Story of Barefoot

I remember the feeling of grass beneath my feet, pricking my toes.  I remember the cool feel of the earth as I ran to it from the sweltering pavement.  How I could almost feel the life of the ground.

I was an energetic child (to say the least).  On many occasions I would lose myself much to the fret and chagrin of Mom and Dad.  Oddly enough, the feeling I remember most from being a kid is the feeling of running – not the act, but the connection to myself and to the world around me.

I remember winning.  The tractor-tricycle race at Albesel’s Farm, the softball throw contest when I beat others older and male, and being chosen for JV Softball having never played in my life.  I remember winning.  I remember going for it.  I remember growing.

Then I grew up.

And then it stopped, sure I had a few trips to the gym, but I never could enjoy them.  I didn’t exert any muscle except for the two tiny ones in my voice box.  Then I got sad, and the world around me seemed to hate me a little more each day.

College became a chore, and the world I lived in seemed cruel.

Then came Disney.  Suddenly I was the kid I used to be – active all the time, moving all the time.  And no one told me to stop fidgeting, sit up straight, stay seated, don’t talk.  I was free to act myself.

I started moving around more outside of work, and then I picked up running – mainly out of jealousy of my sister who was training for a half marathon.  Then I found out I could run, I just needed the right music for the treadmill.

Then the pain started.  I stopped.  My shoes were the culprit, over padded and over rigid, my childhood running style couldn’t be accommodated.  My knee hurt everyday, to the point where I had trouble walking at work.  Ribs went out of place in my back and I needed PT.

So I fixed myself up, the pain went away.  I bought new shoes.  My feet hurt every time I wore them – at first.  But then the miracle happened – I went for a jog (that otherwise would have sent me to the freezer for ice for my knee) and I went farther then I had before without the pain.

This is the story of my minimalist running.  These shoes saved my legs – say what you want about their looks.

Vibrams = Happiness

But then I stopped again – and only occasionally went running, again.  I had no pain, but no motivation.

I moved to Virginia and became slovenly.  I rarely went out and I never moved around except to walk to the Metro.  I went running twice in 6 months.  Then I had to move to Maryland, but not before going home to see my family.

They were happy and wonderful as always.  But my sister inspires me to run.  I want to do a half marathon with her, even though she doesn’t know it.

So I came back from break and moved all my worldly possessions from Virginia to Maryland.  I had a decision to make.  I’m half-way to 50.  Do I want to be like this for the rest of my life, or am I finally going to take the plunge – screw the rest of it and figure my shizniz out?

Yes.  Change my lifestyle, change my fitness habits, change the way I eat: change everything.

I’m running again – and that 11-minute mark is still a little slice of heaven.  I have no pain but I am empowered.

So for the first time in a lifetime:

I feel healthy.


Thoughts? Ideas?

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