Adjul (Marcus) Gardner hosted an intuitive running workshop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a certified wildness guide, a student of Teaching Drum Outdoor School, and spent a year living completely in the woods. I had an opportunity to speak with him about his philosophy of intuitive running.
Adjul describes the concept, "Intuitive running is not a new rule system with specifics of how you have to run, rather it is about freedom and creativity and challenging ourselves."
Gardner, describes the goals of the intuitive running workshops:
- to break patterns,
- loosen up rigidity in the body,
- get people to be more creative,
- try things out that people haven't done before.
At the workshops he, "eases people into running intuitively, gives pointers, goes for a run, and teaches how to apply intuitive running concepts in everyday environments."
Intuitive running is about listening more and quieting down. "I find that not listening to ourselves, makes it harder to listen to other people," says Adjul.
Adjul's background and why he moved into the woods.
I was an overachiever. I thought that would give me fulfillment, but it didn't. So I started reading books, and learned life wasn't always this way. So I became angry at the status quo, and thought that if I was a native, I could get away from all this. I learned that my frustration was my own thing. I learned that most people hide their problems, or blame someone else, but I am learning to trust who I am, and to extend that to others.
Why do you intuitively run?
I find it is more stimulating. I don't have a set routine, I prefer to run with other people. I like to focus on each step, and become conscious and be present with it. I find people dismiss this idea because it looks different, but I am challenging people to incorporate a part of it into their daily running.
What are your thoughts about intuitive eating and the Paleo Diet?
I am more conscious of how food affects me. I ask myself, how did we evolve to eat? I eat close to Paleo. I notice that when I eat something, I feel heavy or energized. My stomach has a lot to do with my health and digestion. I've learned that for me, it is about paying more attention. Not trying to always "get it right." Trying to always get it right is a trap.
Talking with Adjul was inspiring. His goal is to encourage people to listen more to others and ourselves; to be more present, mindful, and creative while running.
For many, running is active meditation. Adjul challenges runners to take running off the concrete, into the woods, and be creative.