Ok, before I show you pretty pictures of yarn, I just have to write about a book I just read, called Born to Run. It’s one of those books that completely changed my way of thinking – in this case, about shoes and running.
I’ve always been one to prefer barefootedness. I remember running on the gravel walkways around my house as a kid, with never an ouch! or twinge. Running around barefoot on the beach, occasionally getting stuck by prickers from sea grape bushes or catch-and-keep. Scrambling around barefoot on the rocks by my house, accidentally once sticking my foot into a dirt patch full of cactus spines. Aside from those few missteps, I only put shoes on to go to school or into town. Fast forward to today, where my feet are in shoes most of the time, except when I’m home. Then I kick them off and run around barefoot again. But now, I can be barefoot outside too:
Woo-hoo! Yay for funny-looking little toe shoes! Also known as Vibram Five Fingers. Apparently, we’ve been doing nothing but screwing up our feet ever since Nike invented thick-soled sneakers in the 1970’s. A lot of the arguments the book brings up are well-researched and make a lot of sense. Running and walking with a heavily cushioned shoe promotes heel-strikes, which just transmit force up your leg, through your knee, to your hip. Running in thin-soled shoes encourages a more ergonomic stride, one that our body evolved towards over the course of 2 million years. You hit with your foot underneath you, on the outer part of your sole, then rotate forward toward your big toe. Your foot and leg muscles act like springs, absorbing the impact and returning it for the next step. Anyway, I can’t recommend this book enough. Christopher McDougall does a great job with telling a captivating story about the Tarahumara and interspersing it with fascinating history and facts about the human body and how it was Born to Run. I’ve always hated running, and I’m truly inspired to go out and really start running for fun.
April 20th, 2010 at 7:11 am
[…] is part of the barefoot cult, discussed in some detail in the book Born to Run. Chia seeds – and yes, we’re talking […]
April 1st, 2010 at 10:11 pm
I’m nearly finished reading this book. I’ve learned a lot about shoes, foot health, biomechanics. And Emil Zátopek — what a story, among the many others.
This morning Mads and I went for a long walk on the beach in MB — barefoot, of course. Ahhh…. well, except for the tar on my heel. eh.
April 2nd, 2010 at 4:46 am
I know, the part about him disappearing into Uranium mines to clean toilets is heartbreaking. But I loved the story about how he won the Olympic marathon!
April 2nd, 2010 at 7:18 pm
…and how he gave his 10,000m Gold Medal to the Aussie who didn’t win his race in 1968. Wow.
April 1st, 2010 at 9:16 pm
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