Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Find your will, and your way

ChiRunning workshop promises improved technique, raises money for Girls on the Run Wood River Valley

Express Staff Writer

Cheryl Lloyd is a registered nurse and avid runner who is certified to teach a course on better exercise techniques that can enhance skill without upping the risk of injury. A portion of the workshop’s proceeds will benefit Girls on the Run, a self-esteem raising club for girls. Courtesy photo

I found my mother's will this weekend. No, not the "what do I get that he doesn't" kind, the one where she kept her resolve. Where she dipped whenever she had a goal to meet, like going from three packs a day to none in one day, with one decision.

I lay in bed Saturday morning petting my cat thinking about all those people straining up the hill through Ketchum for the half marathon. About 10 a.m., I texted a girlfriend lamenting what a lazy butt I was because here it was June 2 and I had promised to start studying for my teacher credential test and training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland with my BFFs in January.

By day's end, when I began to feel the chafing of my thighs in the heat, I declared I was going to do a 10k the following morning in the Camas Prairie. It's been a long time since I've been able to set, much less meet, a goal. Children, illness, employment and survival have taken precedence.

But on Sunday morning as I chugged along the dusty road through the Camas lilies trying not to overexert or twist my ankle or pull a muscle so I could cross the finish line, I had a lot of time to think. One hour and 22 minutes worth and I remembered what Mary Fauth, executive director of Girls on the Run told me about a ChiRunning workshop coming up this weekend that was raising money for Girls on the Run and offering improved running techniques that included pain-free styles.

"Personally, I'm interested in this topic as I consider doing a fourth marathon," she said. "But I have fears about training issues and running pain-free. I'm looking forward to employing this technique so I can go into my next race with even more confidence."

The course will be one full day. Two days are offered this weekend—both Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, at the Community Campus in Hailey.

According to certified instructor Cheryl Lloyd, who will lead the class, beginners and experienced athletes find ChiRunning to be a revolutionary approach to running and walking that helps develop safe and effective lifelong fitness programs. 

By applying the principles of T'ai Chi, ChiRunners improve technique, develop a strong body-mind connection, develop great posture, strengthen core muscles, improve balance and eliminate the "no pain, no gain" approach to fitness.  You don't need to know T'ai Chi to learn ChiRunning or ChiWalking.

"Hills," said runner Anne Jeffery, who has taken the course before. "I use ChiRunning technique for hills. I am not sure I'm any faster, but I feel lighter and hills are not as much of a slog as they were before I attended the workshop."

Lloyd will share the key principles and a few posture exercises and provide a video analysis of your technique. No special fitness level or attire is required. 

I actually made it through the 10k and even won first place in my age division! Well, I was the last one across the finish line and the only one in my age division. I know now that I have the will, but I lack the knowledge that will bring the confidence to push past this point. I'll write next week about what I find out at the clinic, but if you want to learn for yourself, contact Fauth at


Two chances to help GOTR

When: Saturday, June 9 or Sunday, June 10.

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $185.

Who: All fitness levels.

Where: Hailey's Community Campus.



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