Beginner Steps


I have to confess.  I, like many others, was drawn to the wild tale of the Tarahumara Indians and Chris McDougall’s book “Born to Run.”  And I sat and devoured every word!  McDougall truly has a talent for story telling.  While I know that it was a non-fiction book, it read very much like fiction which made it even more enjoyable to read.  That said, I am not going to chuck my shoes immediately and go native.  However, there were some convincing points made that I believe to be true and beneficial for me.

To begin with, as a child I ran, and I ran a lot.  I ran barefoot through fields, over gravel roads, sand burrs (stickers), and anything else that was in my path.  I also ran full tilt.  There was no fear of what I might step on; I merely scanned ahead and side stepped what needed to be avoided.  And I loved it!

As I got older, I began competing in Middle School.  I quickly found out that there was a certain form and length of step to be had.  My running became jogging.  Rough, bouncy, tiring.  It wasn’t as much fun anymore either.  Then I basically quit in high school.  I figured there was no way I could compete with those who were more serious about running than I was and who had been practicing form, etc. for several years.

I’ve attempted to “jog” here and there over the years, but I preferred to walk because there was less stress on my joints.  In fact, I came to the conclusion through reading that walking was better anyway due to that very fact.  It seemed like everyone was saying not to run because it would destroy joints and organs with the terrible beating.

My husband loves to run.  He ran cross country in HS and then kept running in the Marine Corp.  We tried to run together once or twice, but our strides were very different, and (quite honestly) it wasn’t very enjoyable.  We never tried again.  Finally in the last few years we started walking together, but his heart is still into running.  I would love to run with him and share some of that time.

Then I ran across the book “Born to Run.” I can’t even remember now how I did, but by reading it and other authors (Barefoot Ken Bob, Barefoot Ted, etc.), it seemed like barefoot runnng was the missing link (pardon the pun).  Again, as a child I loved to run, and then something happened.  I wanted to run, just never could or never really thought I could.

So for several weeks now I’ve been walking around  in the house barefoot.  I made one venture out to the mailbox and back in the snow and decided that is for die-hards!  Everywhere else I’ve gone, I’ve put on my slippers.  They’re hot pink with colored paint splotches all over and animal (muppets) sewn on the toe.  I think they’re cute and so did the kids at church 🙂  My brother was appalled that I wore them to the store.  I told him the store sold them, so why couldn’t I wear them!  He didn’t agree.

I haven’t actually tried much more because (here comes the excuse!) I’ve been sick.  Yes, sadly, for 4 weeks now I’ve been battling acute bronchitis.  If I EVER get over this, I’ll start walking and build up slowly.  But I decided that I first need to heal.

My husband has since purchased some minimal sneakers because no matter how much he  believes in the barefoot ideology, he WILL NOT go barefoot.  I think it’s mental, but don’t tell him that.  Hopefully we can start running around together soon.  I look forward to those days.

Until then, I am taking it s…l…o…w!  By the way, that’s what everyone suggests, so maybe being sick right now is actually a blessing in disquise because I have a tendency to over do.


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