This video blew me away. It reveals the secrets to safe and fast barefoot stride.
To school, I wore a shiny red sweat suit with white stripes running down the arms and legs. Back in the day, it was the raging style. In that boisterous outfit when the lunch bell rang, I darted off to the gym, where I would bust some “fresh” break dance moves.
I could robot well, I could crab crawl, and I could even do front flips. But there was one move that I could never master. It was called the windmill. The break dancers of today still twirl it out because it’s a lovely move. The legs scissor overhead, then they swing down, and when the movement is perfect, they are shifted towards heaven so that the downward motion is transformed into a surging magical levitation, the torso pops a rotation and the cycle repeats. The magical surging levitation was the crucial part of the Windmill that I could never get right. Instead of gracefully swinging overhead, rolling down, then floating up, my knees would just bang on the hardwood floor.
Maybe it was the memory of the thrill of learning to ride a unicycle at age 35 or maybe it was the retro bubble letters I saw on a Web page, but
I had this desperate urge to conquer the dang Windmill.
First stop: YouTube. Break-dance instruction video, check. Makeshift amazon cardboard dance floor on the living room carpet: check. Silly 80s break-dance music: Doug E. Fresh on Spotify: check. Determination to succeed: double-check.
Maybe my mind had never stopped working the mystical timing problem with the windmill break-dance move. But something had changed. The decades of accumulated wisdom all kicked into action, for as soon as I attempted the move, success embraced me with her loving arms and my legs whipped around at just the right time without banging the ground and I, Mister Middle Aged Barefoot Runner, was doing the windmill like a feral teenager full of joy and hope! It was like that day my parents picked us from the last day of school and took us to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and my dad made us yellow painted skim-boards in the shape of rockets and we slide on top of the thin sheet of cool ocean water at high speeds and flipped into the oncoming foamy waves and the sun was out and everyone was happy and it all smelled like sweet Mr. Zoggs coconut surf wax. That thrill filled me as I busted out some delicious break-dance in my living room. Suddenly I was remembering moves I thought time had eaten; I was doing the bronco, back-spins, snap-twists, and of course, the freaking windmill. Someone should have filmed it; it was so beautiful and I was sweaty and barefoot at the end, but there was a smile tattooed on my face the rest of night and I slept well and dreamed of apples.
The next day, my triumphant re-entry into the fabulous world of 80s break dance turned into a dull pain on my side an inch or so from my heart. It got worse as the day rolled on. The following day, I suspected a cracked or bruised a rib or maybe the popping of delicate internal organs; deep breathing hurt as did moving my torso in any direction, but I didn’t care. I conquered the dang Windmill and it was worth it.
Tout disparaîtra mais. Le vent nous portera.
HIT PLAY TO HEAR THE EPIC BREAK-DANCE SONG.
Some barefoot fiction.
Leona shuffled to center of the stage with an armful of coral snake hoollahoops. She was wearing a tight bronze bedazzled leotard that showed much more of bosom than she wanted. Someone wolf whistled. It wasn’t her fault, her boobs seemed to swell and bulge by the minute. She knew all the boys in the school just by looking at the tops of their heads, but she never said, “My face is up here.” Instead she opted for, “Your worship pleases me. Go in peace my son.”
But the earth wasn’t moving; the ceiling was; soon after, a loud crack thundered through the auditorium. A huge black bag fell from the ceiling. If Leona hadn’t dashed from the center of the stage, the bag would have squashed her, for where she had just stood, the enormous bag punched a meteoric crater.
Mr Edwards had never even taken the stage for a high school production, he had never attended a Broadway show, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a drama teacher. It wasn’t as if he hated drama. In his own way, he loved it. He just didn’t have a talent for it. His degree was in Communication Studies; it was the closest he could get to the stage. And he barely escaped university with that. His professors consistently marked him down for theatrics, Professor Poole, even wrote” histrionics”.
“This is NOT the elocutionary school,” Professor Poole said, “You’re delivering a presentation about outsourcing technical support, not Death of a Salesman. Drop the bad Chinese accent. No role playing, just the facts.”
- The scene at most bars when DC Comics publishes it’s quarterly report.
- Arch villain Admiral Alchoholo strikes again.
- Bartender, these shots were supposed to make ME feel INVINCIBLE.
- You must be the new guy.
- Excuse me sir, but has anyone told you that it is very impolite to wear a hat indoors?
- Why I Don’t Write for the New Yorker (barefootrunnerslife.com)
[pullquoteleft] Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question.”Yes” is the answer.
Those who tread barefoot, shouldn’t scatter thorns.
Repetition is a form of change.
—Card from the Movie Slacker
[pullquoteleft]Full on Double Rainbow all the way across the sky
Paul “Yosemite Bear” Vasquez
[pullquoteleft]Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
I created a silly dance called the “barefoot shuffle” to annoy and amuse my wife. But I also use it to loosen up and to make my neighbors roll there eyes even more. The barefoot shuffle is as simple as it is stupid. I simply kick my feet from side to side and hop around; sometimes I pump my fists from belly button to chest. The whole dance is natural; it just sort of bursts out like a peel of laughter. As it turns out, the dumb dance has some deeper truth in it.
In the video below, Alan Watts, talks about how natural running is a kind of dance:
I agree: Running should be joyous and good running form is not force of will; it flows from the spirit–from the inside to the outside, from outside to the inside; each stride as rhythmic as your pulse. Every toddler runs that way, they all do the dance and most of them aren’t running to win a race, they’re running because they’re thrilled to be alive.
It’s difficult to experience the world when there is a synthetic barrier between you and it, which is why I tread barefoot whenever possible.
And now, some Alan Watts quotes:
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
“… the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.”
“… the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets — is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together.”