My Blog My Content

Valen Longfeather Barefoot RunnerAs many readers know, the content of my blog is anything but focused. So I was shocked when someone offered to buy my Website.

I immediately thought about what I have written over the year.  Rifling through the archives, I found posts about ghost encounters, an interview with a fictional reptilian from Star Trek, a remarkably handsome long haired fellow ranting about Vibram Five Fingers on a YouTube Video, some silly jokes, a few Podcasts with too many sound effects, and even crappy poetry.

I have, of course, slanted all my content and media for this blog toward barefoot running and what it means to me. But I must admit that some of my “popular” content was written with keywords and search engines in mind. I used the keywords as a writing prompt–similar to the way I write sonnets, I start with the end rhymes, then write the lines. I never published anything that I could not spin into a worthwhile post. As you can tell, I speak my mind and I do my best to be transparent and honest about my affiliates–even going so far as write “shameless affiliate plug” next to affiliate links.

The offer to buy my Website forced me examine the blog. Looking at it, I realize that impressions and affiliate income isn’t my main goal. I want to express myself and I don’t want to box myself into writing posts from a list of keywords. I HATE blogs like that and I HATE how dirty SEO has rendered Google and other search engines useless.

It’s time to get uncomfortable; it’s time for a change. I started it off with an ultra conservative haircut. And I’m continuing it with this blog.

The disquieting truth of life is that everything is transient. People, pets, prizes,and possessions sparkle bright in the darkness for a bit then fade away. There’s something that seems inherently sad about that. Buddha said that the pain of impermanence/transience arises from attachment. We cling to the world, our lives, our relationships, our families, our possessions, and accomplishments. We expect them to remain present, predictable, and permanent. They aren’t. When the earth rumbles and land beneath our feet sinks, we scream and claw at crumbling dirt instead of floating into the Great Abyss.
It’s odd that I find myself compelled to shake my personal universe, to write about my personal life, “to explore strange new worlds, to seek new life and civilizations, to boldly go where no barefootedly written split infinitive has gone before.”

Since I don’t always wear shoes, barefeet will stomp through my posts. But on the whole, the writing for my blog will not be as instructional or as heavily “barefoot runner”; instead, it will shift to the “life” part of “barefoot runner’s life”. I will, from time to time, write how to posts or offer tips about running without shoes as learn them. And I will also preserve the content  and media that I have already produced. I hope you continue read. I hope you comment, and I hope you become a new friend not only in cyberspace, but also in real life.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease.

–Valen

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3 Amazing Barefoot Running Secrets

  1. Still life with human legs and daisies
    Image by J. Star via Flickr

    Run Recovery. When starting out give yourself at least a day to recover from barefoot runs. Never run through foot or lower leg PAIN. This recovery approach has been the key to healing my unnecessarily torn calf muscle and soleus strain. If I had followed this simple time off for recovery formula, I would have skipped many of my aches and injuries.

  2. Straight gait, smooth stride. The easiest way to check your stride is to wear a necklace while running barefoot. I think this is the seventh million time I’ve written about the necklace trick, but it works. (Valen’s Official Barefoot Runner’s Life Barefoot Stride Checker Necklaces Coming SoonThe other essential way to ensure a safe, soft stride is to have someone video record your barefoot run. This is a surefire way to spot bad bio-mechanics. It’s how I cracked my calf and Achilles problems. When I watched the video of myself running, I saw right away that I was swishing my legs from side to side.
  3. Rolling Pin
    Image via Wikipedia

    Rolling Pin Massage Trick. I’ve written about this one too. Buy a cheap wooden rolling pin (LIKE THE ONE IN THIS SHAMELESS PRODUCT PLUG: J.K. Adams BRP-1 10-1/2-Inch by 2-1/8-Inch Maple Bakers Rolling Pin). The rolling pin will not only release the lactic acid from sores muscles, but it will also break up scar tissue, leaving your muscles strong and sexy. The pin will reveal tightness in spots you thought were fine. It’s easy to use, just firmly  it roll over your lower leg. I start rolling from Achilles up to my calf. Then I move to my ankle over my shin up to my knee. I find a lot of hidden tension in my tibialis anterior. Don’t MASSAGE OVER VARICOSE VEINS.

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How I got Garrison Keillor to Look at my Bra!

Mr. Garrison Keillor
Image via Wikipedia

I’m thrilled to announce that Garrison Keillor will read a poem from a book whose cover I designed. The title of the book is The Sliding Glass Door.It was written by, Scott Poole,  the house poet for the exciting radio show Live Wire!

I designed about ten covers for this book, but none of them caught the eye of the editor and founder of Colonus Publishing.

For the final design, I simply took my shoes off and just let the thing splash on screen. I added digital paint, I masked layers,  and then I remembered that Scott mentioned the periodic table in one of his poems. I thought it might be funny to turn Scott Poole into one of the elements. The editor loved the idea. Scott hated it. He wanted me to replace the “Poolium” element with an apple–interesting enough, the apple is an image from the poem that Garrison Keillor read on air.

Concerned about Scott’s reservations about the cover, I created this digital ditty:

But the editor and founder of the press was dedicated the element cover:



Because Scott disliked the element cover so much, the editor was going to run the champagne bottle cover for the second edition. But after Garrison decided to read the poem from the book with element cover, Scott decided to stick with original cover for the second edition. (That previous sentence is a complete lie. As it turns out, Scott liked the cover earlier on.)

Of course, it was the excellent poetry of Scott Poole that landed the spot on the Writer’s Almanac, not the barefootedly designed cover with a bra, panties, and a fake element. Even so, this goes to show that good things happen in barefeet.

 

Enjoy “The Bible” by Scott Poole (The Writer’s Almanac, 9/9/2011)

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5 & 1/2 Captions the New Yorker Won’t Use

Captions for the New Yorker Caption contest that I wrote in bare-feet.  Run bare, write bare.

  1. How every traveler appears to airport security.
  2. “No Arms, No Fowl.”
  3. Harold took precautions; he was, after all, a wildly successful tax auditor.
  4. Antique firearms+Craig’s List=Selma’s Mortgage Payment.
  5. It was a recurring nightmare for the Amish pastor.
    & 1/2 Harold was NOT a barefoot runner. The only thing Harold wanted to bear was arms.
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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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