“Let me first tell you that I appreciate your work and your book very much. I have also just signed up for a Running Reborn membership and watched some of the videos, which are great!
Firstly, a few things about me…
I am from Germany and in a few weeks shall turn 70 (really...) I have been running since 1985, from marathons up to many Ultra Races, such as 100k Biel/Bienne, the Swiss Alpine Marathon and two 24-hour-races. As a runner I was just an average guy with a marathon personal best of 3 hours 21 minutes, 100k 10 hours 21 minutes.
I have also been a running coach/teacher since 1995 and was trained in Running Therapy in 1994/5, offering courses to people suffering from depression, obesity and a really wonderful group of women recovering from breast cancer.
For a few years I had my own small Outdoor Running-Centre ‘Beyond Jogging’ (in honour of Mike Spino, whom you may know) and since 2004, with a friend, I was leading courses combining Sitting Meditation with Running Meditation. For 7 years I had been a ChiRunning Senior Instructor, ending 2017.
So, I think I have a lot of experience in running and teaching running. I’ve also read a lot of books about running and racing, which might have something to do with my work as a freelance lecturer for two publishing houses. I have always loved this way of living, working from my "home office" before the word existed in Germany, looking after my four children and running when it fitted in – lovely!
I was always keen on studying movement and body awareness, always trying new approaches – in Germany there exist some other trainings I tried such as Gentle Running, Natural Running, Happy Running etc. It was interesting, but only when I got to know ChiRunning, I thought: This is it. And I still think there are some correspondences with your work and I learnt a lot from them.
Over the last few years, I ran just for fun, only running a marathon in 2018 with my eldest son (his first, he is much faster than I have ever been) and some shorter races the last year. And then I stumbled across your name, reading my first book from Adharanand Finn (about the Ultras) and immediately found ‘The Lost Art of Running’ and read it.
I could tell you some details about changes in my running habits, that have already now taken place. But the experience that’s impressed me the most comes from another side. I have been meditating for more than 20 years and I am also a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher, where I always struggled with having and maintaining an upright and relaxed posture while sitting or standing.
With Running Reborn, I got it, and 10 minutes later it had vanished. Previously, after an hour or two or four later I'd realise "Gosh, I wanted to be aware of my movement, my standing or my sitting."
This is the real difference from now to former times. Now, I am aware of my movement sitting at breakfast, standing at my standing desk, sitting in silent meditation and running, of course. I still get out of my awareness, but on the whole, it is much more on my mind. And I must confess, it's hard work! But on the other hand I am aware of my progress, and so it is fun also and feels really great.
Now, with your help to set a new default modus in relaxed posture in everyday life, I can hardly slouch for more than 5 minutes, and then it's up. I say to myself, “Come on, boy, sit or stand in a relaxed way!”. Immediately I bought a standing desk and use it every day.
I have thought about the reasons why, although I have tried hard for years, this is possible now and I came to the conclusion that now the wish to stay aware with the movement in everyday life comes from my own deep wish to run beautifully, while the other reasons had come from more external places.
And I am spreading the news; my eldest son is already infected…