Reflections in Teaching
These are some thoughts that I had after assisting in a ChiRunning class with Danny Dreyer on June 27, 2015. I learned a lot while teaching, and I hope these insights are helpful to you. Enjoy!
I just got done with Chi Running class with Danny Dreyer yesterday, and I had all these thoughts in my head that I got up early this morning to jot them down. I really want the best for running and health for all my patients and clients, and that means that I have the responsibility to give them the best of my brain to help them with the right cues that helps them understand. I have a lot of thoughts in my head about nuances of the running form while I’m with my students, but all they need to hear at the beginning is just a few words in simple terms.
When I was struggling to find out what I needed to say to get students to lift their ankles instead of push, Danny came over and gave the bar between the ankles analogy. This is where you imagine that an imaginary bar sticks straight out from the inside of your ankle, and you are just trying to lift your ankles over this bar. After he gave the full explanation and demo, it really worked for a lot of the students. He told them to just focus on that, nothing else at the time. Once they got out of their heads and into a single thing that their bodies needed to do, then they had a little more success.
I would say for sure that the process was overwhelming yesterday, but about the best way that I could grow, since I had some of the best instructors in the country right there giving me feedback. I really have more inspiration to get better with my form and teaching after a kind of lull or letdown after the instructor training. I know I’m on the right track and I feel inspired instead of overwhelmed to go through the process.
The trail run through Forest Park in Portland today was a great experience, as we floated up and down hills with little or no effort, just increasing awareness of the surroundings and how to relax more. I feel so much better when I’m with a group of people going up the hills, seeing that they are having difficulty with the side winding technique for going up hills, and I felt better and better as I watched Danny and the other instructors take those little steps and lean in. We learned to take the chi in from the forest, gathering it and taking it with us for our later day activities. I have not taken that mental step after the run, which at times has left me depleted because of how much I give out to others. I have to say that I feel my energy stores are more towards F than E, which allows that beautiful energy to flow through me and into other’s lives as well, especially with my wife and children.
I have such a gratitude for being able to breathe, stand, and run in such an invigorating place with such amazing people. I have such inspiration in me now to continue my education in the ChiRunning certification, and look forward to each present moment that brings success and happiness with people I know and haven’t even met yet.