Why I Love Barefoot.

My whole life, I have had a recurring dream:

In this dream, I  run in the desert, and I feel free, like in flight.  This dream always leaves me extraordinarily happy when I wake up.

Every time I have attempted to run in real life, I always hated it.  I trained myself to run 20 minutes on a treadmill once, but then my knee hurt and I stopped.  It felt like drudgery, and I am not the kind of personality to stick with drudgery.  I switched back to the elliptical machine, and figured I must not be a “natural runner.”

A few months ago I had this dream again. I thought, I MUST be a runner…these dreams are too strong.  There has to be something to this dream!

How can I run like I run in my dream?

In the beginning of this summer, I bought some Vibram Five Finger KSOs and hiked around in them. 

I loved feeling connected to the ground.  The Vibram soles allowed me to feel more sensation while protecting my feet on trails from rocks and roots. I walked on the beach, rocky river beds, and climbed rocks with no discomfort.  It was really fun!

However, I needed more information on how to run in these toe shoes.  It’s funny, because the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall had been on our kitchen table for months, and I never read it.  It  got boxed up and put in the basement with other books while cleaning.  I thought “that book about ultra marathoners is about crazy guys.”

About a month ago, I downloaded the audiobook.  I think I am now on my 4th listen, and the story is crazy…crazy amazing!

Realistically, I don’t see myself running ultra marathons, however, how about a 5k….barefoot?

To support my newly awakened foot muscles and tendons, I have been doing training exercises to strengthen the tendons in my feet, and relax my hips and calves.  Reading Barefoot Running Step by Step by Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton has been so informative and helpful when getting started with correct barefoot running form.   I grew up with dance training, and most recently studied bellydance.  Months of barefoot bellydance training totally helped prepare my feet for the midfoot foot placement required to safely walk and run barefoot; it is in my muscle memory.  I also stand for long periods of time in leather soled sandals.  I dread the colder days ahead when I will have to put on covered shoes!

feet right after barefoot run on gravel

Take it slow….take it slow…

Since I always consider myself a beginner runner, I definitely take it slow.  A week ago,  I completed a daily 5 minute barefoot on gravel everyday.  Today, I am up to 10 minute runs, mixed with barefoot walking on trails and gravel paths.

Barefoot running requires that I listen to my body, and any pain or strain that arises.   Now, going barefoot feels better than wearing the Vibram Toe Shoes, since I have much more balance and more accurate information coming form the soles of my feet, which informs if my form is correct.  I can feel my feet getting stronger everyday, and the feeling of being barefoot on the trail  is very addictive!

Time to go barefoot!

To the Forest!


3 thoughts on “Why I Love Barefoot.

  1. I have had two pairs of vibram sprints and I absolutely love them. I would live in them if I could afford a pair for every season! Also I have read born to run and it is so inspiring. It is such a well written and funny book 🙂
    I enjoyed your post and wish you the best for your barefoot adventures.

  2. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience with barefoot running. I have been mostly hiking barefoot these days or wearing my vibrams, mostly for the connection to earth. Earthing is a must! And thank you for the info on omega-3’s and inflammation…i have never heard about Marine Lipid Omega-3. I will have to try some!

  3. I used to really enjoy jogging on the beach at low tide when I lived there but because I am anatomically build with broad feminine hips I developed chronic hip pain and knee pain and had to give it up. I consulted many professionals and always go the natural route but did consult with a doctor who made me orthodics. And he explained that if you have broad hips running and jogging is not a good idea. Walking is the best. I pushed it too far and listen and now have severe problems with my hips and lower back as I also was part of the high impact aerobic group also and danced all my life. I have found one Omega-3 supplement which helps me keep moving and it is 100% natural, 100% sustainable and comes from New Zealand. What I love about is it is cold extracted and as low on the food chain as we can get and still get the benefits of a Marine Lipid Omega-3. I only wish I had had it when I first started my running regime as I think it would have prevented the chronic inflammation that develops without powerful Omega-3’s. You might like my blog which shares quite a bit of information as I am now very close to this company and serve on their Holistic Advisory Board un-paid because I am so passionate about this companies conscious commerce efforts. If we don’t support the good guys that awful evil empire of Montsanto will take over everything! Hope you like my blog and give it a try! Your post is wonderful and Earthing is a daily must as is Omega-3! http://celestialmusingsblog.com/2012/06/18/what-on-earth-is-a-greenlip-mussel/

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