Bare Feet Provide Information And Allow Easier Movement
Just a quick thought I’ve pictured in my head, but had never put down before. Putting shoes on your feet – which are amazingly great information receptors – is like putting gloves on your hands. Sure there are times that it is appropriate: if your are playing hockey or lacrosse, you protect your hands in a way that prioritizes protection from blunt force trauma over precise sensitivity. However, when you need your hands to do something precise like threading a needle you need the sensitivity for reception as well as for performing actions with fine control.
Am I threading needles with my bare feet when I run?
Of course not. But when I go for a run, I am also not in much danger of getting my feet rolled over or banged up. (People somehow picture this being a possibility, but those things would hurt WITH running shoes on, and shod runners don’t worry about it either.)
Acrobats Don’t Wear Gloves When They Walk On Their Hands
The point is that, when I run, I am somewhere in the middle. Picture someone who has the ability to get into a handstand and walk on their hands. She would opt to forego gloves because she needs her sensitive receptors for input as well as the ability to control all of the muscles, joints, and bones to help her keep their balance. She uses her arms, shoulders, and core to do all of the heavy lifting, but if you put her in gloves that constrained her hands from splaying out correctly, feeling the ground beneath her, and even shifted the weight off of the palm of her hand with high-tech fan and air bubbles, you would be making it harder for her.
One good indication of how to compare the forms of barefoot and shoe-shodden running comes from the amount of noise one’s running creates. I take pride in the fact that sometimes runners are startled when I catch up to or pass them – because they didn’t hear me coming. When I am running efficiently, there should be no sound. My daughter, however, has foot falls that slap the ground so hard! Think about that – if your energy is being used in a way that creates that much noise, then there has to be an inefficiency somewhere. Whether barefoot or not – if you can find a way to run at a pace you are happy with AND do it quietly, then you are reducing repetitive shock on your body.
Uphills and Downhills
Uphills are harder on my feet because I am required to have to push-off more. Still shorter, quicker strides for uphills. Downhills are what make me happy. I hit them with the mindset of ‘let gravity pull you down the hill,’ so it can be a bit chaotic and out of control because I basically go down the hill as if I have no brakes. In this case, brakes would be: 1)friction from my soles on the ground, 2) my knees, and 3) every other joint in my body. For me, the tough part is where the downhill ends – I’ve got all this momentum, and at some point I need to stop or slow down. That is where using you knees as energy/weight absorbers comes in.
So, though it wasn’t overnight, it kinda feels like my role at my workplace has completely changed. I have always been a worker bee and now the best way I can contribute is to manage and lead a team. #igotthis #makeitgreat
A second installment as I gather my thoughts around being a barefoot runner. Previously, I provided my perspective on “does running barefoot hurt?“In this audio post I discuss a mindset about running that seemed like a revelation to me during a run. It revolves around a holistic look of the mechanics of running. With sports, it is easy to think about bearing down and running in a way that is more appropriate to propelling your body through a wall – pushing your feet into the ground in order to have leverage. As I had found to enjoy running in a more leisurely way, I now view running being more like the act of ‘continuing to lift your feet off the ground,’ – more like walking in place for a few steps, then leaning your hips forward. Too much thinking about mechanics? Perhaps. But I think it seems pretty logical that, in the long run, there will be less were and tear on my knees, calves, ankles, and feet.
I really enjoy running barefoot. In fact, for me, I believe it to be the correct way to run. When others see me running or find out that I run barefoot, the most common questions I get are something along the lines of ‘doesn’t that hurt?!’
In this mini podcast, I discuss a couple of points. None of them have to do with me being a masochist or condescendingly brushing the question aside.
not the greatest domain name in the world, I admit. But the thing is – I’ve ‘owned’ this name for as long as I can remember.
‘jakesimon(dot)com’ was taken as of this writing. Perhaps I will look into buying that, but you know how it goes…I use my domain buying site, Hover.com, it says the domain name is already taken. BUT do I want to make an offer? I say yes, it says ‘you need to offer a minimum of $199 for us to help you,’ I say ‘peace out.’
jakers19 is appropriate. it is my email, I used it for FB, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any number of digital profiles that have or haven’t stood the test of time.
I’ve even had friends refer to me as “jakers 1 9” irl! I dig it