Rarely have I seen a book on running, in particular on running mechanics, actually hit the mark and make an impact on my coaching. Edward’s sense-able approach connects the dots for so much of what I have seen over the years when working with my elite athletes. Improving running form is not a one step or one method process. It is a coming to terms with who we are as humans first and athletes second. This book takes us back to the beginning. It teaches us to understand what it means to be a child again. It rekindles our desires to explore to play and to expand our sense of self. Never have we needed this mind-body connection as much as we do now. The art of running should bring us joy not injury. “Slowing Down to Run Faster” is here to show us the way. —TERRENCE MAHON, Head Coach & Founder of Golden Coast Track Club, Adidas Endurance Coach
Edward has done something quite remarkable by showing us how we can use the Feldenkrais Method to run better. If you do the exercises in this book slowly and with awareness, you will indeed run faster with less effort. More importantly however, if you read the words carefully, you will learn how your running can teach you about yourself and how you live. This, in turn can transform your running from mind numbing jogging into a practice that is healthy for body, mind and perhaps even soul. —JOHN TARR, Music Teacher, Feldenkrais Assistant Trainer
This book opens the door to the revolution currently taking place in sports in general and running in particular. In sharp contrast to the conventional citius-altius-fortius approach, Slowing Down to Run Faster demonstrates how we can increase strength, power and speed not by pushing more, but by refining our ability to move. What comes out of the process is not only improved abilities, but the possibility for improved awareness and increased enjoyment of the act of running itself. —KREŠIMIR ŠOŠ, Former Strength and Conditioning Coach at GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Croatian U-21 National Team and Legia Warsaw FC
This book will give you so many insights, not only into the world of running, but life itself. Edward’s writing is clear and interesting and the exercises in the book will, in fact, make you a better runner. —GÖRAN MÖRKEBERG, Running Coach, Physiotherapist, Feldenkrais Assistant Trainer
While a good number of my colleagues and friends will likely disagree with Ronald Purser (especially the ones profiting from the “Mindfulness Revolution”), he certainly makes a strong case for employing some critical thinking before indulging in a series of mindfulness classes, a wellness retreat or any number of offerings from the self-help world. It’s high time to be (politically) mindful of mindfulness.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 22 of The Mass Psychology of Fittism(Undocumented Worker Press: ’15)
The Foot To understand how humans might have looked, felt, moved and behaved before we entered the modern to postmodern era—that is, when we were fitter in the evolutionary sense—it is instructive to turn once again to Mr. Darwin and both the environments in which our human genome developed and those in which humans continue to flourish.
It turns out that the human body has remarkable capacity to adapt to virtually any terrain on Earth. We may have evolved on the African savannah, but we thrived virtually everywhere on Earth. And this means that the most important environmental constant in human existence could be variation and its propensity for generating neurological complexity. Today, in places where humans encounter daily variation underfoot, we see tell-tale signs of our evolutionary heritage: strong feet, legs and backs. Unfortunately for most modern city dwellers, however, the possibility for becoming strong and healthy has been largely surrendered after years of shielding ourselves from Mother Earth and her varied ways of appealing to our senses.
Noam Chomsky gives a fascinating and important talk entitled “Education For Whom and For What” about two major possibilities for education. For a funny and illuminating personal anecdote, go to minute 29-31.
Charles Eisenstein‘s seminal work, Sacred Economics, played a pivotal role in inspiring my latest book, The Mass Psychology of Fittism. In the following video by Ian McKenzie, Charles talks about the role that a debt-based money economy has played in fundamentally promoting political oppression, poverty, inequality, war, environmental destruction, anomie, and the severing of deep social ties.
Changing perspectives through an imaginative use of constraints is what leads to learning and breakthroughs–whether in the world of dance, martial arts, sports, mathematics, philosophy, cabinet making, or indeed any field you can imagine. Architect and professor, Hajime Narukawa has created the world’s most remarkable map–one which allows you to change perspective and thereby alter your concept of up, down, right, left, center, East, West, North, and South. This is exactly the map–or perhaps more accurately stated, these are precisely the mapping possibilities, that I have been searching for for almost 20 years.
“I could say that when I was a young man, an adolescent, and I hungered for a voice, I studied the English poets, and I knew their work well and I copied their styles, but I could not find a voice. It was only when I read—even in translation—the works of Lorca, that I understood that there was a voice. It is not that I copied his voice—I would not dare—but he gave me permission to find a voice, to locate a voice, that is, to locate a self—a self that is not fixed, a self that struggles for its own existence. And as I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.”
“This boy said to me, ‘See that bird standing on the stump there? What’s the name of it?’ I said, ‘I haven’t got the slightest idea.’ He said, ‘It’s a brown-throated thrush. Your father doesn’t teach you much about science.’” -Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman elucidates the difference between learning and mindless parroting in this short and concise article.