About Me...

Blog entry posted by Barefoot TJ, May 14, 2019.

It's okay. A lot of people on the forums don't know that I actually can't run anymore, not since 2012. I took my last run in November of 2011. I developed Morton's Neuroma (interdigital perineural fibroma compression is the actual term) in the main nerve branches that run between the metatarsals. It causes deformity to the nerves (bundled up) and a buildup of scar tissue around the nerve sheath. It's a condition that is caused by wearing the wrong types of shoes (and in my case, mostly from running in the wrong kinds of shoes, those with narrow toe boxes and elevated heels like Nike, Brooks, Saucony...). It can come on acutely or build up chronically over time. I was more prone to the condition because I was born with narrow spacing between the metatarsals. If I had stayed barefoot from birth, I never would have developed this condition. I was brainwashed by "western society" into thinking that I must wear shoes in order to run, so when I first started experiencing pain in my forefeet, I sought help. I first received a cortisone injection in (yes, directly into) one of the nerves on my left foot that went right through my foot (I could hear and feel the pop as it excited the bottom); then I had 16 alcohol sclerosing injections to kill the nerve--yes, go figure (one in each neuroma, two in each foot, over the course of four weeks); then electro-shockwave therapy to give life to the nerves--yes, go figure (with 8 numbing injections given every other visit over five visits); then cyrosurgery (with 12 numbing injections between the webspacing to prep for); then four neurectomies (but all four nerve endings grew back into stump neuromas, which is worse than the original condition); and finally having re-neurectomy surgery with rerouting and reimplanting the "new" nerve endings into my arch muscles to stop them from regrowing back into stumps, and it worked, but it caused a lot of other problems in my forefeet, burning and extreme sensitivity being the worse. At that time, I also had tarsal tunnel decompression on both ankles which failed to alleviate the aching, burning pain I still have in my heels and arches when I've been on my feet for too long. I am left with fat pad atrophy in both forefeet that feels like I'm walking on the bones in the balls of my feet from all of the treatments and surgeries.

Sorry for the boring play-by-play, but that's actually the short version.

I still get around barefoot, choosing to shun the shoes that caused me so many problems, but I will wear very light footwear with open toes and no heels on occasion.

The Runner's World Barefoot Running Forum and the Barefoot Runners Society were both born out of my need to understand what was happening to my feet and to connect with others who were learning to shed their shoes for better foot health.

Now, I run vicariously through all of you. Hee.