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Friday, March 25, 2011

My first glimpse of freedom

My entire life, I have been a swimmer. I have never considered myself to be a runner. However, new city, new job, new need for fitness and I decide to turn to the most accessible exercise regimen I could muster: jogging.

I started out on a good foot, with a new pair of Nikes and a gradually building regimen set out for me by, and everything was great. But then I found an incredible love for a pair of Vibram Five Fingers and it felt so amazing to run with such light feet that I didn't feel the damage my incorrect form was slowly causing. I didn't feel the stress fracture sneaking up on me... until I ran out my frustration from a bad day, further and longer than I had ever run before, and completely overdid it.

Thinking it was just another sore day, I gave it a couple days' rest and ran again... and again. It felt great when I was running! ...until I had to hobble to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Until I was limping around at school. Until I was an idiot and gave myself a stress fracture and did not give it enough time to heal before trying to run again.

It has been over two months since my last run. I have confined myself to a boot, I have taken every precaution, and I have been pain-free and playful for several weeks now. It is time to get back into the running game. I realize that last time I went for a pair of Vibrams, I made the switch completely backwards. You see, it doesn't go: running shoes, Vibrams, barefoot, it's the other way around: running shoes, barefoot, Vibrams. I've learned that in order to run in a minimalist fashion, you have to learn to run all over again, and that means starting with instant feedback, the best and cheapest coach you will ever find: your bare soles.

So, I'm starting on a new adventure. I am going to try, very carefully, to start running barefoot. Everything about it seems right to me. I am not looking for speed, or distance, or glory... I am looking to fall in love with running, and get in touch with the part of myself that was made to.

Welcome to my barefoot adventure.

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