Your eyes shut; sometimes, the darkness remains; but sometimes, an image appears.
I was drawing up a rough for another illustration when a creature with 6 eyes popped burst from darkness.
This illustration isn’t an exact represenation of the image I saw.But it distills the idea and emotion I felt when the vision came to me. When my eyes were shut, I saw a wookie type creature with 6 eyes staring upward. I drew the wookie, but it didn’t move me. So, I just sort of let my hand move, the way a medium does when she is automatic writing. This image is result of my doodling.
My wife said that she saw a bird stealing one of the figure’s eyes in an early stage of this sketch–which was really just a scramble of scribbles. That wasn’t what I experienced. What I sensed when I saw the image in my mind’s eye was the figure both offering and losing part of his vision. That he had six eyes remaining was important.
Have you ever wanted to make your own running shoes? Steven makes it easy with his step by step Tarahumara Running Sandal Kits. He shows you everything you need to know to build a custom running sandal.
If you’re not into DIY, Invisible Shoes will also cut and construct a custom shoe for you. You just trace your foot and mail them the template.
If you’re going to run in a barefoot shoe, but don’t want to spend too much money for a running sandal, I highly recommend Invisible Shoes.
I am recovering from a strained soleus. No I did NOT strain running barefoot. I strained it because I thought I was strengthening my Achilles. I did eccentric heel drops, an effective Achilles strengthener and treatment for sore Achilles, the heels drops overloaded my sore soleus, I kept doing them, turning a sore muscle into a full blown strain. That’s where the crappy bike riding comes in. Whilst riding, I realized why I am a barefoot runner and not a bicyclist. (I would just ride my unicycle, but the unicycle is different animal from the bike. It is much better. Unlike a two wheeled bike, the unicycle swings all of your leg and core into action. I know that just mounting it would put pressure on my tender soleus.)
Bicycles boil your but. Even the soft seats are a pain after a while. Having the constant pressure of the hard saddle leads to to a super sore, bruised butt.
Bicycles cost big bucks. They’re not exactly money pits and they do beat rising gas pricing. But they are expensive. And do require maintenance from time to time.
Ugly Clothes. You have to wear spandex shorts, a tight shirt, and a helmet, none of which are very comfortable or fashionable.
Flat tires and maintenance. Changing tires on the side of the road is a hassle, even if you have the right tools.
Just a quad workout. Yes, bikes do work your arms too, but the major muscle is the quad. My quads are fine, I hate they way they look when I bike a like. My leg feels out of balance. Barefoot running gives you sexy balanced legs and feet.
It’s summer. Time to hit the streets bare. But every rose has its thorns. Bare-footing in summer is no different. Creeping from summer shadows are the slack jawed hecklers. This swarm of idiots will make it their purpose to harass and hurl insults. Their inane question of choice:
Where are your Shoes?
It is almost as disturbing as it is ridiculous that these people somehow think that YOUR SHOES or lack thereof will affect THEIR LIFE. Why else would they ask? They see that you’re running. I hope they don’t expect you stop mid stride to strike up conversation with them. No. They’re not interested in engaging in a real conversation. The cold, dirty truth is that they aren’t asking for an answer; they’re calling you an idiot. Not outright; instead of being brave, they’re cloaking it in a question. Insecure people hide behind questions all the time. Their passive aggressive verbal attack is a feeble attempt to make their massively insignificant selves feel superior to someone they do not consider to be a threat. Usually, I let the snide comments slide, but sometimes I feel feisty. If you’re tired of listening the claptrap of the shod AND stupid, here are some potent barefoot zingers.
Where are your shoes?
Only smart people can see them.
Running barefoot strengthens bone. The bones in my feet are almost as strong as the one in your head.
Sometimes less is more; unfortunately for you, that does NOT apply to IQ.
You don’t need shoes to run. Your mouth has proven that.
My feet love the open air. Maybe they can run inside your head sometime.
My feet don’t need shoes, but your mouth could use a brain.
Not on my feet. If you were a quarter as smart as a half wit, you’d have tripled your IQ.
Running without shoes gives me magic power: It forces all the world class idiots within range to ask me about my shoes.
I’ll put shoes on my feet if you put duct tape on your mouth.
Where’s your tail? (Pause). Because I see a horse’s ass, but no tail.
“If you can’t ignore an insult, top it; if you can’t top it, laugh it off; and if you can’t laugh it off, it’s probably deserved.”
–J. Russell Lynes quotes
Running straight bare on concrete hammers your feet hard. If you start out this way, you’ll most likely suffer from top of foot pain, achilles aches, and plantar faccitis. Running barefoot on concrete is ADVANCED–but definitely something to strive for because you look so damn cool running barefoot on the black asphalt. It’s entertaining just to watch the puzzled expressions of onlookers. You also learn right way about the difference between children and adults. Usually children will ask you why you’re running barefoot. They want to understand you–to fit you into their world. Most other adults think they know where you belong in their tiny world. They say thing like, “Put on some shoes.” “You forgot your shoes.” or “You’ll ruin your feet.” There are a variety of comebacks for these remarks. I will cover them in my next podcast. But beginners should not have to worry too much about such comments because running barefoot on pavement is not for beginners.
A nice run around the soft grass of a local park or baseball diamond can instantly reveal joys of barefoot running without stressing your feet too much. When running on grass, AVOID the PERIMETER, WHERE the GRASS MEETS THE ROAD. These places are treacherous for bare-footers. They are minefields of shattered glass, rusty screws, and dirty condoms. Seriously, you don’t want step any of that with naked feet. USUALLY, the interior grass is safer, but you should always be diligent when running barefoot on any surface.
As the skin of sole thickens, you’ll be able to stomp over most road hazards with little risk. I’ve accidentally stepped on glass. To my surprise, my bare foot broke the glass and I was unharmed. I don’t recommend it, but the skin on the sole your foot is pretty damn tough.
Running barefoot on concrete in rain also increases the chances of cuts. The rain drains the super protection of your sole by turning the hard skin into mush. The one serious cut I got was from running barefoot was in the rain. I stepped on a shard of clear glass. It was impossible to spot in the fat Oregon rain, which pops the instant it hits the ground–quite lovely in its own way. I was able to dig the shard of glass from my foot on the curb, but it did draw blood.
Forefoot/MidFoot Strike, Soft Stride
I have a collection of videos about the every so mystical barefoot stride. Watch them. Here are two keys to a good barefoot stride: First Key: forefoot/midfoot strike: You should NOT lead with your heal when running barefoot. Instead your forefoot should land first, followed by a soft tap of the heel. The Second Key: Soft Stride. You are ACTIVELY TRYING to DECREASE THE FORCE WITH WHICH YOUR FOOT HITS THE GROUND. Wearing a necklace will help you track your stride. I have written that in many posts because it’s so damn important. Speed will come later–and it will come. When you’re starting out, it’s better to go slow and soft.
Use “Barefoot” Shoes
Although Barefoot shoes are for experienced barefoot runners, they can help you. Barefoot shoes are great for trail runs. They give the feel of bare-footing with some protection and since the trail is usually soft, you don’t have as many impact driven issue as you do on concrete. But you still have to seek a soft stride and refrain from the deadly heel strike.
Happy Anniversary my dear loving wife. You are my sole mate.
I knew you were the one the moment I saw you. You wore that black leather jacket, the one that got to God. You stood by me even when the demons came screaming out. I was even less sane then than I am now, but you were always there. And I’m glad you’re still here. I hope I’m making you happy as and fulfilled as you have made me all these many years.