I've been toying with the idea of some sort of recurring list for the ol' blog. I don't have the attention span for a top ten, a top three just sounds too exclusive, and I like alliteration so here you go: it's the Friday Five (5). One cool thing for each finger on your favorite hand/foot/appendage:
This week's installment, five reasons I decided to join the cult of the barefoot runner (yes; I get asked all. the. time, particularly when I am trying to run.)
1. It's harder (at least according to those who aren't doing it). I have a knack for doing things the hard way; my mountain bike is a single speed (apparently I'd rather push it up hills than ride it), I don't listen to advice so well (ask my parents and/or/especially my wife) and frankly just have to figure stuff out on my own. I thought bfr sounded fun so I did it. It was a little harder at first, but now...
2. It's easier. No, really, it is! I know this is contradictory, but...who am I kidding? I love being contradictory! After running barefoot for a while it is actually easier. It's easier on my body, with less aches and pains. It's easier on time because I don't have to search around for my shoes on the way out the door. Best of all, it's just easier. I have had an easier time running since I switched; I have more "wind" and feel more able to run (probably helps that I've dropped nearly a pound of shoe from each foot).
3. I'm kind of a hippie weirdo in some ways. I like all the talk of "connectedness with the earth" that many of the bfr community discuss. To be completely serious I do feel more balanced and grounded by keeping myself in contact with the earth (in the physical sense). Say what you will about ions, energy, and all that stuff but I think there's something to it. Put shortly: it makes me feel better.
4. It's abnormal. I tend to be a little off mainstream in general, but I can't show it a lot because I'm at an internship or some other school/job-seeking situation. I can't fly the freak flag too high in those circumstances so I have to torture my wife and family with my weirdness at home. Bfr fulfills that desire (apparently, because everyone I talk to or who sees me out running sans shoes goes all slack at the jaw and alternates between staring HARD or asking thirty incredulous questions). It's fun to be off the beaten path.
5. It keeps me running. I'm a fairly motivated guy in most cases, but running has always been my weakness. I could talk myself out of a run like that (and often did). Running barefoot made me develop and stick to a strict plan of action. This got me out the door for every run and pushed me to see results. Now, running is not only a habit and part of my routine, but it is also a passion again. I am stoked to go for a run, to talk to people about running, and apparently to blog abut running. If losing the shoes is what it took to return me to the healthy lifestyle I slacked from, it was soo worth it.
That's it for this week. Check back next Friday (the in between days would be cool too...) to see the bands that rock my face off!