Monday, August 9, 2010

Barefoot in the Park -- Prologue

The other day I took a walk with my dog in this beautiful park. A beautiful park that has been around for the past 20 years and which I've visited only a few times. As I walked around and noticed all the great surfaces a barefoot runner might enjoy, I wondered why I never came more often. I think the part that deterred me the most was worrying about parking.

So, I made a plan to go to that park today and experience some barefoot running there.
But here I am, all ready to go, and I feel that anxious feeling about trying something new. This will be laughable to many people, but the problem is a real one for me.
The answer for me is to stop thinking and just go. So .... here I go! When I get back I'll post some pictures.
Well, I'm back and BOY did I enjoy myself.
I took so many pictures and had so many thoughts, that I decided to break this adventure up into several parts.
LOL, what's funny about that is that I've recently been reading the adventures of Jason Robillard (author of  The Barefoot Running Book-- which is coming out in a new edition very soon) and he is writing in several installments about his recent attempt to run 100 miles barefoot in the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run. And what is funny is that he is telling his story in many parts, and I'm about to tell the story of a 1.5 mile barefoot run in several parts too.
But there is a point in this, I'm realizing. It goes back to my philosophy that there is a whole microcosm of the entire experience of being a runner contained in "The Barefoot Mile." I want beginners and slowpokes like me out there to know that when you see these long distance runners and endurance runners and trail runners and long to experience what they are experiencing, you are not as far from it as you think. In fact, by going out and running your little mile that is challenging to you, you are experiencing what they are, even if it is in micro or seed form. The little difficulties, challenges and little running happenings that occur while you're out there are, for the beginner, the same kind of challenges that will come along once you become more advanced, and the attitude and steps you take to solve the little issues is practice for larger challenges ahead.
So, I shall tell my little story about my little, slow, beginner 1.5 mile barefoot run in the big county park.
Click here for Part I -- Setting the Scene

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