I have been running barefoot for a week now. I know, I know…. ONLY a week. But it has been an amazing week! I have spent the past week looking at websites and watching youTube videos about barefoot running. I have followed the advice to start slow and go ‘shoeless’ for general things like taking the trash out and washing your car.
I have to say, I really love being barefoot; even just walking around the house and the yard. I feel like a kid again. I feel like the ‘anti-establishment’ rebel that I know I am not. But most of all I feel like I am getting closer to my running goals just by scrubbing the bumper of my Jetta while sans-shoes. Every barefoot step is strengthening my foot muscles and it feels great.
When I say, I have been running barefoot for a week, what I really mean is I have walked down to the ¼ mile long walking trail in my neighborhood about 10 times and ran back and fourth for 20 or 30 minutes at a clip. In the world of long distance runners and endurance freaks (the world that I WANT to be a part of), my current distance is laughable. But I am so at piece with it! I feel like a newborn. I understand that this is a new beginning and I have to take it slow. And that understanding doesn’t come only from reading and research, but I feel it in my body and soul that this is the right thing to do. I feel more accomplished about my 1 mile run this morning then most 5+ mile runs I have taken in the past.
So on to the title of this entry; “First Blood”. Erica and I live in a new construction townhouse. To get to the ¼ mile long walking trail you need to walk about 500 yards down our street which still doesn’t have the final paving and is rough and rocky. My plan is to walk, barefoot of course, down that stretch of road to the walking trail and therefore toughening up my feet. Yesterday I thought Erica was going to fall over laughing watching me tip toe and dance around rocks. Our new neighbors must think I am nuts. Fast forward to my return trip down the rocky patch after a quick run and after the one hundredth “ouch”, I looked down and saw blood on my toe. Blood! AWESOME! My first blood. My badge of honor. The first blood drawn in the battle against modern footwear. If I was flexible enough to pull the toe up and suck the blood in a macabre ritual and then let out a primal scream (a la C. Thomas Howell in “Red Dawn”) I would have! Instead I smiled and got the band-aids so as not to piss off Erica with blood stains in our new house.
Here it is… horrible ugly feet and all. I love it.