Sunday, September 9, 2012

Going Barefoot

The end of summer means cooler mornings and last chance bbqs with friends.  It also means our roughest Summer Feet.   I’m a runner, so I know my feet pretty well.  We made a deal with eachother a long time ago.  We’re friends. 
In April, as the sun starts warming the air, I may bristle out barefoot to the mailbox ouch-ouch-ouching it every step of the way.  Those are my Winter Feet.  They feel the grooves on the stairs and any other non-existent bump or errant pebble.  Winter Feet are tender and tentative.  They fear the ground.  They fear exposure.
My Summer Feet, however, can walk across fire, handle shards of glass, anything really - only to realize when I am home, “Oh, wow, look at that, there’s a nail in my foot”.   I yank it out and move on with my life because I know Summer Feet can handle it.  If that were my Winter Feet, well, I’d probably be dead, or at the very least in the Emergency Room.
Summer Feet are tough. 
If ever us runners were to explore Barefoot Running, now would be the time.  Summer Feet Season.   I have gone shoeless on the beach, but never on the road.  And I don’t think I am quite ready for that anyway.  Yet, I do have a pair of Nike Free Runs which I am testing out currently.  They are a far cry from my trusty and true Sauconys.  And putting the two side by side, I would say the Sauconys are my heavy weights while this minimalist shoe is a feather weight.  Still, I am going to give it a test run. 
They go on like a glove, no lacing up.  More of a slip on.  As I make my maiden voyage in these minimalist shoes, they are light.  And I mean really light.  How could they support this frame?  Breathe.   I am nervous but realize there is enough cushion not to completely freak me out.  It’s a step toward barefoot.  And it’s a good step.  I feel the way I run slightly adjust to these shoes and wonder for a moment if I am going to get shin splints or something.   I disregard the shin splint thought and keep running.   My body tweaks itself.
By the time I am home, I feel pretty good.  It's almost as if the lighter shoes lightened me somehow.  There was a non-existence to them.  Strange.  My monkey mind wanders.  I ponder the closeness to the earth we all feel when barefoot.  (though, I of course, technically wasn’t barefoot).  Still the idea is there; the thought of using our real soles, the ones we were born with, to connect our souls, just a little closer to the earth.    
Share your thoughts or experiences on barefoot running. 
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