Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Chi Bollocks.

It's highly annoying to discover you've been doing something quite naturally and then have somebody else point out that what you had been doing quite naturally is in fact a big load of new age bollocks. It really funks up the morning of a Fatcat.
Specifically I'm talking about running here. I run long distance, anything from 10k to 50k a week at the moments, and I will be upping that to 60k a week over the next fortnight. I have noticed over the year that I have developed a very distinctive running style, in that I am inclined to run head down and tilted forward-almost running over my knees, so to speak. I do this because gravity being what it is the more weight I put ahead of my stride the easier it is for me to self propel, the easier it is to self propel the easier the run. Not exactly rocket science. Nothing woo about it, right?
Well wrong, because I have since discovered that this is 'chi running' .
Now I no more believe in 'chi' than I do unicorns, to me running at a tilt makes perfect sense, plus I find it much easier on the joints, I could wax lyrical for quite some time about why running at a tilt helps me- the long distance runner-but I can't now because I am in a total and utter bluesy fucking crank. I wanted to impart my learned wisdoms to Andraste and Grims, all the better to avoid knee damage, all the better to avoid aches and pains on the longer runs. I would like to expound on WHY tilt running is brilliant on hills, especially if you hate hills like I do.
But I can't, because everything I naturally learned over the last 24 months has now been CONTAMINATED by fucking woo. I can't really have just stumbled literally into something helpful, oh no, it's a mind body connection of ancient wisdoms and inner harmony. It a spiritual awakening, it's a GIFT, it's a balancing harmonious combination of the mystic and the physical.
Except it is not.
I do NOT chi run. I tilt run. Nothing woo about it.
Woo, I am against firmly it.

Labels:

64 Comments:

Blogger morgor said...

hehe, probably running along the most direct path is following "ley lines".

Stopping when you get out of breath is "meditating on the divine".

I went for a run yesterday for the first time in a while, got blisters on my feet from it because of cheap runners, probably need to invest in some jesus shoes.

11:01 a.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

Meh. Chi is just energy. We all have it, we all use it. Why make such an effort to deny its existence?

11:02 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

For it is written (or uttered in harmonious singsong chanting) you can not resist the woo...

11:05 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

If chi is just energy then why not just say 'I have some energy,' why the mystical mumbo jumbo?
I don't believer in 'chi' I think it's a load of old hooey. I'm not denying it's existence because for me it doesn't exist, that would be like me denying a negative.

Morgor, for the love of your feet, get kited out in decent running shoes before running.

11:11 a.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

The web of woo is trying to catch you, fmc! Run from the woo, flee the chi! Imagine them coming after you with crystals and hokum. It'll do wonders for your training!

11:13 a.m.  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I have always been a strong believer in doing what comes naturally and stick by this whatever the outcome.

11:13 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"That which animates life is called Qi. The concept of Qi is absolutely at the heart of Chinese Medicine. Life is defined by Qi even though it is impossible to grasp, measure, quantify, see or isolate. Immaterial yet essential, the material world is formed by it. An invisible force known only by its effects, Qi is recognized indirectly by what it fosters, generates and protects."

I mean for fuck's sake...what does ANY of that even mean?

11:14 a.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

It means money.

11:19 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

it means don't ask questions cos they'll have to make up answers.

11:20 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

In Bobos on Friday night I had to sit scoffing my burger and listen to the table next to me going on about Lourdes, then one guy told this story about a friend of a friend who had NEVER walked in his life, who got pushed into the water in his wheel chair and recovered the use of his legs thereafter. I mean, seriously, he actually told this story to four other people and not one of them said, 'wow, who is this guy and how can we verify this genuine miracle?'. This is how woo works, one anecdotal lie after another, bought and accepted by people who should know better. I hate it, I hate it with the power of 100000 suns.

11:22 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

FMC "Chi is a Chinese term, and loses much of its meaning when removed from its proper context. Simply put, Chi is the Taoist concept of an underlying lifeforce, which is said to circulate in specific patterns in the body. The benefits to good health associated with Tai Chi practise derive from maintaining the flow of chi. Many manifestations of Chi can be explained using quite normal vocabulary, without recourse to mysticism."

If you substitute the words "blood and oxygen" for chi, then it makes more common sense - it's just some Western folk like to dress things up a little to make them seem esotoric.

11:25 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

...esoteric even - if I am going to use arcane words, I should at least get the spelling right. Har!
I love words. Especially assuage.

11:29 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's perfect! Yes I need blood and oxygen to run. Oh pithy woo names, how you chap my hide so.

11:32 a.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

The thing about the New Age woo that annoys me is that it doesn't even have an imagination. The Church is the biggest woomonger around but at least they have a decent back story with a huge cast and Charlton Heston and a self-sacrificing young hero stuff.

If I'm going to spend my hard-earned on gongs and crystals, then I want to believe these gongs symbolize the gonging to death of a saviour I can really get behind, a righteous dude, you know?

A plot, that's all I ask.

11:33 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Speaking of words, my current favourite words are 'gumption' and 'magniloquent'.

11:33 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Crystals and gongs eh? You could start you' own mystical woo, all you have to do is come up with a snazzy sounding name and add, 'based on 3000 years of ancient eastern understandings of energies' to it and Bob's yer uncle.

11:36 a.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

Asunder and propinquity

11:38 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

The Church is the biggest woomonger around

Yeah, they've got millenia of practice and they've been successfully tricking people for hundreds of generations.

I had to look up magniloquent, it's a synonym for grandiloquent which I'm guessing is from loquacious.

11:39 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I'm liking 'salubrious' at the moment.

I used to dabble in martial arts when I was younger and the ideas of chi or whatever you want to call it were central to practically every system, whether in practical terms (systema, jujitsu) or more philisophical (aikido), so I do believe there is a genuine use for it. Geerally its just an abstract notion of energy or life-force.

11:42 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It rooooollllls off the tongue so well.

11:43 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

'Generally' - my chi is all outta sync today...

11:44 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Decerebrated and nuzzer...

11:45 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Chi in martial arts is usually nothing more than condensing the core muscles to generate more power to a punch or a kick, a practical measure, twisted out of all proportion with woo.
Salubrious, an exquisite word Sheepie.

11:46 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

nuzzer ?

11:47 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

I'm fond of the word vicarious too.

11:53 a.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Didn't you hear FMC that the only house in Limerick not to be flooded last week had a Child of Prague on the mentelpiece? I mean mantelpiece.

11:53 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Was it also on higher ground? It was? Praise be! The statue works!!

Morgor, that is because you like Tool.

11:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Green Ink said...

Yes but does it work for lifting X-Wings out of swamps FMC?

11:59 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I wouldn't agree with that particular definition of chi FMC, but I see where you're coming from.

From my experience its alot to do with directing and manipulating energy or force, centre of gravity, continuous motion etc. I'd agree there are alot of shysters using the term to denote some mystical mumbo jumbo, but I do think that it has its uses.

'magnanimous'

12:00 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Which now? Chi, Woo or funny looking statues? X-wings, mmnnnn, in my head I'm just seeing Wolverine, semi naked and growling, and I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant. My ley lines are probably tangled up with my chakrahs.

12:02 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Melliferous! Like Stephen Fry's voice.

12:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Green Ink said...

Oh that's just because I look like a half naked Wolverine and I was channeling.
I find the fact you failed to get the Star Wars reference strangely reassuring. :D

12:05 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

in my head I'm just seeing Wolverine, semi naked and growling

When I was a teenager I used to have a poster of Wolverine snarling on my wall with the claws out.

I'm not gay you know.

12:08 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

har. I never got the whole appeal of Star Wars, although the paramour assures me every home should have a light saber.

12:10 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

You sure morgor? Seems like you may have a thing for hairy Canadians with bad haircuts... you like Celine Dion too?

12:11 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

... a gift to a superior.


The woo is in everything, and everything is in the woo (there ain't no presence like omnipresence)

12:11 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

You sure morgor? Seems like you may have a thing for hairy Canadians with bad haircuts... you like Celine Dion too?

Celine Dion should be eviscerated.

So I like hairy canadian men and dislike mannish canadian women.... hmmm.

12:17 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

'eviscerated', eh?

Disembowelment is a good word too.

12:20 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

chi smee. the lady doth protest too much.....hehehehe

12:30 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Hah. Tilt running sounds much better anyway.

And Morgor, yep, I'm a total dude.

1:16 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

I'm a total dude.

who used to wear velvet pants.

1:30 p.m.  
OpenID grimsaburger said...

Wow. I tilt run, too--didn't know it until I played football with friends one Sunday a long time ago. I'm a slow, slow runner but I lean forward so it looks like I'm trying to run faster, but I just can't. My friend Liz said I looked like I was trying to outrun falling over on my face. Now that I know what I know, I should've said, "Chi, baby, chi." She was a narfy chi/reiki type, it would've been convincing.

2:24 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

Oooh, narfy's a great word.

2:47 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Narfy, heh, I know the type. I've met the type. I've fled from the type.
Seriously this 'tilt running' is really rather good, just keep your body really loose, almost tumbling into the next step, sure it looks a mite odd but I've run the hills twice now in two weeks without needing to stop once. Mid you I think all the squats are helping too, definitely strengthens the legs up.

2:58 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

I'm going to try your tilt running this evening. I hope I don't have a broken nose tomorrow.

3:07 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

You won't, keep your arms loose, and try position your upper body over your knees, it's a relaxed comfortable gait, not forced. Try to find the fine line between a gravitational pull and your body's automatic response to it and move into it. Above all, keep loose, I can't say that enough, every time you feel yourself tightening up make a concerted effort to relax your muscles. Let me know how you got on.

3:12 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

"the fine line between a gravitational pull and your body's automatic response to it "

Bit chi...

4:06 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Isn't meliferous meaning producing honey and melifluous meaning flowing like honey (A melifluous voice). Unless Stephen Fry produces honey with his voice.

Which he could.

Though it would look pretty horrible and I'm sure it would spoil those nice shirts that he likes to wear.

4:24 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Double L, Doc.

4:52 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Opps, I meant Stephen Flly.

5:10 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Bit-chi indeed S&C.

I like the word ghastly, it just really works in terms of description. A ghastly person, you can just conjure them up can't you?

5:38 p.m.  
OpenID grimsaburger said...

A ghastly narfy person.

Wish I could take credit for narfy, but Spouse started that one with his description of another similarly chi-reiki friend who ate "narfy food, like chickpeas with couscous."
Of course, ten years later chickpeas and couscous are staples in our grown-up, post-Hamburger Helper and fried chicken household. But not narfy chickpeas and couscous.

6:05 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

If a hipster tells you you're gnarly in California, that's a good thing, apparently. 'Course she could have been messing with the stupid furner. Or she could have been advising more sunscreen to counteract the damaging effects of the sun so my skin doesn't look like bark at 40.

9:55 p.m.  
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