What Barefoot Dreams May Come?

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“What dreams may come…?” That’s the plot device Shakespeare used to stop Hamlet from ruining the tragedy. Death, Hamlet decides, is too mysterious; why “fly off” to new troubles? Instead, he stays alive and essentially kills everyone he loves.

But the dreams of today are not road blocks to suicide.  Quite the opposite. The dreams of today are the automatic million dollar money machine cash bank, the instant rejuvenating, anti age cream that boosts metabolism while increasing libido and leads to world domination. The dreams of today are incentives.

Marketers sell hope and make desire. How? They speak to the heart, not to the brain. Logic comes AFTER the emotional decision to buy. It’s not good it’s not bad. But it’s the way marketing works. So, they appeal to our feelings, they tell us stories or better, yet they try to get us to tell ourselves stories.

The Barefoot Running Industry is no different. Take this commercial which stars long distance running super star, Anthony Krupicka.


The music, the scenic footage, the “all natural” feel are not accidental. The ad is designed to make you dream of injury free barefoot running. It sells the dream of being an all natural runner.

The reality of barefoot running is that you’ll probably get injured at some point. You’ll step on glass, aggravate your Achilles, stub your toe, or have pain on the top of your foot. The dream of injury free running is there. But the reality is too. There’s nothing wrong with dealing with running injuries. I have had my share from running barefoot.

It seemed that I traded upper body problems for lower leg problems when I started out. I’m still getting over a terrible tear in my right calf. Yet, I’m still running barefoot.

Am I crazy? Maybe a little. Am I glutton for punishment? Maybe a little. Do I secretly hate myself? Maybe a little less. But I carry on not because I’m chasing some dream of injury free running, but because running barefoot actually makes me ENJOY running. That isn’t a dream. That’s a reality. I look forward to my barefoot runs.

While I do think that many of my lower leg injuries have disappeared, I don’t think they’ll be gone forever. My feet are much stronger than before. But I think that constantly running on hard concrete regularly does test the integrity of the foot.

Maybe injury free running isn’t a dream, maybe this time next year I’ll have a different view. But won’t sell that dream until it’s real.

I’m not barefoot runner because I think it will keep me from being injured. I’m a barefoot runner because I love the way it feels, I like being connected directly to the earth, I enjoy feeling the wet cold asphalt, the squish of moist fallen leaves, and the rough texture of the road; heck, there’s even a part of me that enjoys the glowers from my neighbors.

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