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
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.
“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.
“Learning Taijiquan means to educate oneself. It is like slowly advancing from primary school to university. As time passes, more and more knowledge is gained. Without the foundations of primary school and secondary school, one will not be able to follow the seminars at university. Studying Taijiquan requires starting from the very bottom, working one’s way systematically and step by step towards the more advanced levels. Someone who does not accept this, thinking that he may take a short cut, will not be successful”
-Master Chen Xiao Wang
Click here for a humorous personal account of what it means to learn with a master (in this case, Master Chen Xiao Wang).
“Perhaps what really differentiates Bruyninckx from other coaches is that he is not only interested in creating better football players, but also wants to create better human beings…” (from the article)
Click here for a fascinating look into the highly imaginative and humanistic approach of Belgian football coach, Michel Bruyninckx. Bruyninckx’s innovative use of constraints along with measures for cognitively overloading players provide an excellent model for learning and integrating a myriad of complex patterns while removing the unnecessary self-judgment. I call it the Feldenkrais-Erickson-Inner Game(Moshe Feldenkrais, Milton Erickson, W. Timothy Gallwey) approach.
“And what about a form of urban design that, instead of concealing repression, visibly organized our shared world as a commons? Because this, and nothing else, is a city: the organization of our shared world.”
Click here for Leónidas Martín’s insightful Op-Ed piece on modern architecture’s affect on communal space.
“In the world of 2001, people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.” (from the article)
Clickhere to read Nicholas Carr’s insightful article in the Atlantic on how technology has changed and continues to change the way we live and think.
“We have forgotten that the first maxim covered life as well as sport judo and few of us seem to have ever learned the meaning of the second (which means simply love).”
-Robert W. Smith
The Feldenkrais Method was born out of a childlike curiosity that all of us possess–even if it lies dormant beneath layers of assimilation to our fast-paced culture. Its founder, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, exemplified the same fiercely independent way of thinking that we see in all great scientists, musicians, artists, writers, dancers and athletes—indeed, anyone who values exploration, uncertainty and playfulness. It is also the same sort of mindset that we see in infants, toddlers and young children and that we ourselves embody in our more spontaneous, less defensive and perhaps more vulnerable moments.
“…some of the brightest kids prove to be the most vulnerable to becoming helpless, because they feel the need to live up to and maintain a perfectionist image that is easily and inevitably shattered. As an observer of countless talented young chess players, I can vouch for the accuracy of this point—some of the most gifted players are the worst under pressure, and have the hardest time rebounding from defeat.”
Click here to listen to a revealing story on NPR’s Morning Edition about patience, perseverance and diving in the process rather than needing the instant result. A simple word for this is: learning.