Barefoot Psychological Silencers

Barefoot Runners Life Podcast (Episode 2)

Two Inoffensive Responses to instantly silence the annoying Barefoot Inquisitor.

This podcast explains a simple trick for silencing people who ask you, “Where are your shoes?”
Unlike the responses in my previous post, the retorts in this episode are for everyone. I even show you how turn lead into gold–so to speak.

Episode 2 Barefoot Runners Life Podcast

5 Tricks to Healing a Torn Muscle Fast

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...
Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mikael Häggström (User:Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Movement. Do not over-work the injured muscle; otherwise, you’ll just re-tear it or completely rupture it, thus knocking yourself back to square one and scarring the muscle fibers, making future tears much more likely. The idea is to move to the onset of DISCOMFORT, not PAIN, then ease up. Don’t do jump moves or anything else that will place a huge load on the muscle all at once.
  2. Compression. For calf strains there are compression sleeves. Most sporting good stores have a wrap for every body part imaginable. The wraps are great for supporting the muscle as it recovers and for increasing circulation as your body repairs the damaged tissue.
  3. Ice. Nature’s anti-inflammatory agent. If you live near a cold stream, you can let the crisp mountain runoff rush over the injury. I stood knee deep below a waterfall, fueled from Mt. Hood’s melting snow. The mountain infused its chill into my injured calf muscle making me smile while I shivered.  If you’re not a peace loving hippie type person, you can buy ice wraps at sporting goods store or online from my ActiveWrap Foot / Ankle Hot & Cold Therapy, Small/Medium AFFILIATE. Do NOT ice a muscle LONGER than 20 Min.
  4. A wooden
    A wooden "roller" type rolling pin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Tissue massage with rolling pin, broomstick. The hard surface allows you get a deeper over all massage with an evener distribution. Your fingers are good too, but they tend to go deep at small points, the hard curved surface evens out the pressure.

    English: This is my own work, Photo by Gila Br...
    Basket of fruits and vegetables, illustrating the miraculous healing powers of nature's bounty. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  5. Diet. This is sort of a no-brainer. Protein is the building block for muscle; so feeding your body the nutrients it requires will speed up your recovery quickly. Don’t SUPER dose yourself with protein powders or eat eggs. That will just make you sick. The trick is to eat fresh HIGH WATER CONTENT FRUITS & VEGETABLES such as avocados, bananas, and oranges. Eating fresh fruits & vegtables will DRAMATICALLY INCREASE RECOVERY AND LEAD TO GREATNESS. I used to believe that eggs offer the best quality protein known to humankind; they do, if you’re a fox or a weasel or some other carnivorous wild animal. Nothing can hold a candle to raw fresh fruits and vegetables in terms of density of powerful recuperative nutrients. Since following an all fruit diet, my ability to recover astonishes me. My Achilles aches calf issues have vanished, my stamina has increased, my moods are glorious, and I have tons of energy, all of which means I am able to add more kilometers to my runs with the worry of injury. If you’re injured, eat fresh fruits & vegetables. If you’re not injured, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. You will be amazed!

Muscle strains SUCK, but the tricks above will help you get back on your barefeet once again.
May you be blessed, may you be happy, may you live with ease. Run, long , run far, run bare!


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Silly Soleus Strain

I strained my soleus doing eccentric heel drops. I contintued to run and stretch the tight muscle, turning a level 1 strain into a level 2 strain. Now, I’m battling muscle spasms,  a deep ache, worst of all I have to ride a bike to get some amount of cardio. No barefoot running for a few weeks.

I took the wrong approach. I’m training for 30 mile run, but during my training  the deep innards of my calves were sore and my Achilles was barking. I decided to stick with my mileage and ignore the aches. That was a mistake.

I’m treating the strained soleus with MICE (Movement, Ice, Compression, Elevation) instead of RICE. I am not stressing the muscles, but I am using them until they start to ache. Then I rest and recover and use them again until the onset of the ache, then I rest and recover. And by movement I mean walking on the treadmill or around a stroll around the block. I’m also walking up hills BACKWARDS. That’s a great trick for sore Achilles too. When you run or walk backwards up inclines, you dramatically decrease the load placed on your Achilles and Calf and dramatically increase your ability to trip–in fact, everyone who sees you walking or running backwards and barefoot will think you are “trippin”.

From what I’ve read, the movement increases blood flow to the damaged muscle and keeps it working, preventing atrophy from disuse. The trick is NOT to overdo it; otherwise I’d just be resetting the injury and building a bunch of scar tissue which would lead to further issues.
I’m also adding some massage with tennis balls. The tennis balls or other hard, curved objects break up the scar tissue.  Some people use broom sticks, rolling pins, and of course the stick. The Stick is a total gimmick, a rolling pin does the same thing AND you can use it to ward off reptilian humanoids.

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6 Eyed Barefoot Doodle

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.

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5 Ways Barefoot Running Beats Bicycling

Cyclist Léon Georget in 1909.
Image via Wikipedia

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.)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Ugly Clothes. You have to wear spandex shorts, a tight shirt, and a helmet, none of which are very comfortable or fashionable.
  4. Flat tires and maintenance. Changing tires on the side of the road is a hassle, even if you have the right tools.
  5. 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.
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Happy Anniversary

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 we gave to God. You stood by me  when the demons came screaming out. I was even less sane then than I am now, but you are 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.

I love you.

Top 3 Barefoot Running Injuries & How to Treat Them

The #1 cause of barefoot running injuries is GOING TOO FAR TOO FAST. You can’t just run the same distances barefoot as you did with shoes. You WILL INJURE YOURSELF. Watch the Video in my “How to Run Barefoot” to get started SAFELY.

Here are three of the most common Barefoot Running Injuries and How to Treat Them. (Site Disclaimer)

  1. Monster Blood Blisters

    I’ve had blood blisters before, but nothing like the ones I got the first week when I started running barefoot. They looked like purple marbles shoved deep into my toes.

    What causes them? A combination of heat, friction, pressure, and moisture form blisters. So, running barefoot on a treadmill is a fantastic recipe for blisters. Luckily, as the skin on the sole of your foot thickens, blisters are less of a problem.

    Blisters can talk. Heel blisters, for example, suggest heel striking or over-striding. Blisters under your toes or the ball of your foot at the base of your toes imply a tendency to “push off” with each stride.

    Blister Treatment

    Clean the blister with soap.
    I let nature choose whether my blisters pop or not. Sometimes they break other times they don’t. The fluid or blood is there for reason; so, I just let it do its thing. I don’t pick at scabs either. I trust my body.

    Sterilized needlesBut if you’re determined to conduct minor surgery on yourself. At least, buy a box of tattoo “liner needles”. These are single use sterilized needles. Get a small grouping 3 or 5 tight liners will work great.  Don’t GET MAGs, Flats, Double Stack Mags, or Round Shaders. Those needle groupings are way too wide. You want a LINER, better yet a TIGHT or SUPER TIGHT LINER. (BTW, placing a sewing needle in a flame/hydrogen peroxide will NOT STERILIZE THE NEEDLE. You can give yourself a staph infection if you break the blister with dirty instruments.)

    Moleskin For Blisters
    Helps Prevent Further Blistering

    Use moleskin to prevent further blistering. Just cut a hole the size of the blister and stick the moleskin around it. MOLESKIN is USELESS for SMALL BLISTERS UNDER TOES. Blisters are common to shod runners. As a barefoot runner, I no longer get blisters.

  2. Top Foot Pains and Aches

    My wife had this, not me. She described it as a dull ache on the top side of her foot. Pain on the top of the foot is usually from the anatomical changes occurring in your foot. The new stresses of splaying your foot forces your foot to change. Overworked muscles, stretched tendons, and ligaments cry out for relief. Pain on the top of the foot can also result from the stress placed on the metatarsal bones (metatarsalgia).

    Treatment for Top Foot Pains and Aches

    Treatment is simple: RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). If the pain becomes moderate level or you experience sharp, shooting pains, stop running until the pain subsides. If you keep running on it, you can bust-up your metatarsal bones. Do that, and you’ll be on the couch for months.

  3. Achilles Tendonitis & Calf Pain

    Barefoot running puts a lot of stress on your lower leg. The calf muscle and front of the leg become sore quickly. This pain is from the lengthening of the calf and Achilles. You’re going from a raised heel shoe to a zero drop (heel and forefoot are the same height). Your lower leg, ankle, and Achilles are actually put to work. Some Achilles and lower leg trouble results from bad barefoot running form. YOU MUST LET YOUR HEEL TOUCH THE GROUND. JUST DON’T LET IT HIT THE GROUND FIRST. WHEN YOUR HEEL TOUCHES THE GROUND WITH EACH STRIDE, IT UNLOADS SOME STRESS PUT ON THE ACHILLES AND CALF. A lot of beginners overstress the Achilles by running on their toes. The heel NEVER touches the ground. a HEELESS stride will over stress your calf and Achilles.

    Treatment for Achilles & Lower Leg

    If you’re Achilles aches, STOP RUNNING. If you experience sharp, shooting pains, stop and do not run again until the pain subsides. If you rupture your Achilles, you will need surgery, you’ll be in a cast and you won’t be running for a good long while. Take a break from running, let it heal.

    Rest Ice, Compresses, and Elevation will heal the injury.
    These Ankle Wraps are awesome. You can freeze or heat them. They’re great injury aids.

    Once it’s healed STRETCH AFTER runs.  Then use a Rolling Pin to Massage your Lower Leg. The Rolling Pin Massage will break Up scar tissue, increase circulation, and help your Achilles out tremendously. I have an entire post devoted to My Achilles Tendon Injury Recovery.

Use Bellows Breathing to Aid All Barefoot Running Recovery

Wearing Regular Running Shoes is NOT a SIN. Use them to transition to Barefoot Running. You can run with the same great barefoot stride in shoes.

Ghosts of Santa Cruz

The Haunted Coast.

They say the California Central Coast is full of ghosts, that with the mists, clouds, and fog the sea brings apparitions. You never feel quite alone near the sea, especially when the hazy light fades.

I’ve felt the touch of spirits, good and bad. The good, on one of my trial runs at UCSC. It was mid day but a type of fog the natives call “pogonip” covered the sun. It filled the forest with cool drizzle. The damp charged the scent of eucalyptus and bay leaf. As I emerged from the tree covered path and entered the meadow, a burst of sun beams broke through the fog; they shined through the hole in the clouds above me. It was as if a window to heaven had opened up. I was stunned; I stopped running and just looked up in amazement at the mysterious portal. A rush of warm air blasted down. It smelled of fresh roses, strawberries, and mint. With the scent came an overcoming thrill of joy. I laughed. When I came to my senses, the portal had closed. I inhaled deeply, then continued my run. From that point onward, I had the distinct sense that someone watching over me. It was a little discomforting at first because it was so pronounced and lasted for weeks. I felt self-conscious taking showers, going to restroom, and doing other personal things. Either I got used to feeling or it went away.

A few days later, a daydreaming mother of three side swiped my Corolla. After the impact, I stepped from my car to find out if the woman who hit me was OK. She and her children were fine. I returned to my vehicle to retrieve my insurance information. Just before reaching into my glove compartment, I felt a presence tugging on my shoulder, urging me to step away from the car. I looked at the road, but it was clear. Nevertheless, the pressure to get off of the road overcame me. I left the insurance information in the car and walked to the curb. As soon as I got to the curb a huge SUV zoomed around the corner and slammed into my car, completely wrecking it.

The other supernatural encounter I had at UCSC was not so positive. It was downright frightening. And I hope it never happens again. It was about a week before the angel came to me. I was hiking across the street from family student housing. It’s an “off limits” hidden trail. The hike started out pleasant enough. I crossed a dilapidated bridge, then spied an inviting side trail. It was narrow had clovers and wild strawberries on the sides. Soon the vegetation gave way to looming redwoods, which darkened the path considerably. As I followed the trail, a growing sense of dread emerged. It got to point where I was in a panic, almost overcome with terror. I felt as I would lose my mind if stepped further, as if some malicious presence would take control. My hair raised, my heart raced. An alarm was triggered in me; it told me told me run, to get the hell out of there ASAP! But when I tried to run, I couldn’t. I was frozen in place. I tried to yell, but my voice didn’t work. Then I heard a branch snap near a ring of huge, ominous Redwoods. I know no one else was on that trial. Whatever had snapped the twig wasn’t human or animal. I knew I could not be alone with it. But I couldn’t move and I knew it was approaching. I forced myself to imagine a peregrine falcon (my totem animal) flying overhead. The grip of terror broke. I bolted off the trail and ran home.

A few days later, I decided to run an experiment, I took someone else with me to the same area, determined not to venture as far this time. I did not tell her what had happened to me the last time I went there. Sure enough, the person I was with had the same alarm signals go off. She turned to me and said, “This place is evil. We need to go.”

These are the places of power, some good, some evil. Their energy cannot be denied. Tread barefoot, it’s easier tell which is which.

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