Chi-in' it with Keith: relax your shoulders...

“I’m going to teach you how to run without using your legs,” said Keith McConnell at this week’s Sunday morning Chi Running Workshop at the Eugene Running Compnay. “You’ll just use your legs for balance, your body to move, and gravity for the rest.”

Huh, I said to myself. This sounds like magic. I like magic. Also I liked that we were inside this week, not out running in the rain, like last week.

And then Keith showed us how to balance our posture and said “sometimes, learning to have a balanced posture can lead a person to find balance in their world,” which might seem like sort of woo-woo thing to say, if Keith were a typical Eugene Hippie guy, but he’s not. He seems like a regular guy to me. But, some of my best friends are hippies, so it’s not like I care one way or the other, it’s just an observation.

And then Keith did an overly dramatic rendition of “walking the fashion gang plank,” as he called it, “you know, like the super models do?” And someone reminded him that he meant the runway, not the gang plank, but he was too busy swinging his skinny marathon runner-guy hips in exageration, so he could show us how NOT to do it, that he didn’t hear.

“Rotate your hips forward. Think of a pole that goes straight down from the top of your head, through your core, and touches the ground. Rotate your hips around that pole.” We (okay, I) did not say “wait, like pole dancing?” at least not out loud, since it seemed inappropriate at the time.

“Think of gravity as the force of the road,” said Keith as he walked through the middle of the big circle of the 32 people who’ve decided to Chi Walk or Run their way through the Eugene Marathon, or Half Marathon, coming up in May. “The road is coming towards you. I want to teach you how to minimize the force of the road. Your goal is to not collapse when you’re tired.”

That seems like a really good goal. I’m all in.

If you’re interested in joining Keith’s weekly Chi Running workshop to prepare for the Eugene Marathon, contact him through his website, and tell him I sent you. He’s trading me the workshop for help with marketing, and I’ll be running the Half Marathon, if I don’t collapse.