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Author and businessman Danny Abshire visits Natural Running classes as guest speaker

Durva Trivedi, Editorial Editor

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Not many high school students enjoy running. Usually when physical education teachers announce the mile run, students groan and complain. However, PE teacher Jeff Yanke has brought a new natural running curriculum to Central and has seen an unprecedented level of enthusiasm from students whether it’s about running or nutrition.

Recently Yanke invited cofounder and CTO of Newton Running Co. Danny Abshire to come speak to his students about natural running. Abshire is also the author of an internationally acclaimed book entitled Natural Running. Abshire explained to Central students why running is important and why the natural running form is more efficient. Additionally, Abshire showed students how to do drills and work on strengthening skills.

“Running is a great outlet because these days we have a lot of stress on us about succeeding in school, succeeding in life, the economy, world politics,” said Abshire. “But the idea is you have to be within yourself and control yourself and decide what you want to do for yourself and running is a thing where it is all about you and what you think and how you move so there’s a lot of correlations between being a good runner and using that relaxation and exercise and fitness to help you think and help you have a good body. You could always look at it as just sheer exercise but it’s much more than that.”

Abshire talked to students about the struggles he and his colleagues faced in starting up Newton Running Co. and about how and why he persevered to create the shoes he sells today. For Abshire, running is a way to face the stressors of the world and to be healthy and the shoes he creates are meant to help people run more efficiently.

“We didn’t say there’s a right way and a wrong way to run there’s just a more efficient way to run,” said Abshire. “You could choose alternative things, you know, that are maybe not as healthy, but something like running can change your life in a good way and be a part of your life to start your day or to end your day a little more stress free.”

Naperville Running Co. was the third store in the country to sell Newton’s shoes and it’s manager, Kris Hartner, supports Abshire’s philosophy on running as well as the product.

“I’ve been a fan of the product since it came out,” said Hartner. “After trying it myself, I realized it really makes a difference.”

Hartner is one among many fans who love the shoes and the natural running form. Abshire said the company gets a lot of great reviews from customers.

“The best response we’ve gotten from people around the world emailing us on a daily basis almost saying their knee pain’s gone away or their hip pain’s gone away or they qualified for a race or broke their marathon record by like 30 minutes or something wacky like that,” Abshire said.

Senior Jarjieh Fang enjoyed meeting Abshire and hearing him speak because he reiterated a lot of what Fang learned in Yanke’s physical education class and also shared new information about efficient running form.
“[Natural running] brings you back to the basics,” said Fang. “Not only is it about natural running, but it’s also about nutrition and fitness. Natural running is about hurting yourself less and helping yourself more.”

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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.
Author and businessman Danny Abshire visits Natural Running classes as guest speaker