Monday, October 3, 2011

Chi Running Presentations at REI = Unsatisfactory Use of Barefoot Running

This is a rant. Blogs about my life will be coming back shortly :)

A few weeks ago my mom sent me an email about a presentation at REI named "Barefoot Running Presentation". Great, I thought! I saw that it was promoting Chi Running. Awesome as well! I thought it would be a great time for me to learn about Chi Running since I had already seen Barefoot Ken Bob's presentation and Nicholas Rominav's Presentation on Pose.

After sitting through one hour of traffic I finally arrived to the presentation. I was about 10 minutes late. I asked around the store and found out that the presentation was held in the back, where they keep all the shoes. Ironic I thought, but proceeded on.

When I walked in the instructor was doing Q/A. People were firing away questions and she was answering them. I questioned this structure, since I was expecting more of a presentation.  Unfortunately her answers were not very informative and were mostly examples. These examples were displayed one time and didn't really explain Chi method at all. Meanwhile everybody in the room is sitting in a chair, with their shoes on.

One activity she made us do was stand up and align our hips. I though this would lead to running, but after being instructed to briefly push on my neighbor to see the stability of the bones, we all sat down again.

She mentioned minimalist shoes and encouraged people to transition to barefoot running a few ways, one of which included scaling down the padding on the shoes to minimalist or barefoot. I strongly disagree with this because I feel it encourages bad form.

Oddly the instructor said multiple times throughout the presentation, "... but we are not going for a run today." She also kept mentioning her other workshops.

Soon enough the presentation was over and she passed out papers encouraging people to come to her Chi Running class. This class cost $130! Great, I just sat though a one hour commercial. Three hours of my life wasted.

To sum it all up the presentation was mostly the audience fishing around for answers. Very little was presented in a non-answer form. The demonstations were poor and didn't really help much to understand Chi Running. More importantly barefoot running was not the main subject of the presentation.

So was this the instructors fault or REI? REI could have named the presentation something different. It should have been called, "Chi Running - An Introduction" or something of the sort. The fact that the group didn't run or even take off their shoes irritates me to no end.

Barefoot Ken Bob, you are still my favorite presenter. You taught more by instructing, letting the students experiment, and running with us then I could learn anywhere else.

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