Friday, September 25, 2009

Barefoot Running Hurts So Good

Barefoot running makes me happy. It's not because it's more comfortable than shoes. In many respects its not. Like most things in life there is both pain and pleasure to be had here. There is an upside to pain and suffering; feeling alive. By making myself uncomfortable I appreciate the pleasure on a deeper level than I ever could without knowing these two sides of the coin. By getting out of my comfort zones I make new personal breakthroughs. To really know a thing means to also know it's opposite.

When I go too far with my barefoot experiments I experience pain. It starts out small like mild sunburn and over time gradually increases. If I go too far beyond what I've done prior and before I am ready, I develop sores on the bottoms of my feet. It's a fine line. As I practice being barefoot by running more and more miles, I push back the time until injury occurs. Like pressing a knife, you have to know how far you can go. Although frustrating, I enjoy the challenge. You have to try and sometimes fail if you hope to get better at anything. On a normal run, without a new limit to be found, I enjoy the warmth of road worn soles in the same way someone might enjoy hot peppers. It's pleasure of a much more natural feeling than running in shoes. I get a lot of feedback from various surfaces; texture, temperature, moisture, etc. My feet grip and release and I get all kinds of sensation. You might be surprised how good running without shoes makes you feel.

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