Barefoot running movement...Where are we going wrong???

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Barefootpuffin, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Barefootpuffin

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    Afternoon fellow runners.



    Just posted a spot on my blog. I originally started to write something about running while listening to music, but half way through the post I got off on a much more interesting tangent. So I re-wrote the post focusing on the tangent. I even had to knock the dust off my soap box. I do get a little preachy, but I'd like your opinions on what I've written and how you feel that we, as barefoot runners, fit into the running commnuity as a whole rather than a subculture.





    Let me know what you think,

    Aaron
     
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  2. NickW

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    Good post Aaron.  I really

    Good post Aaron. I really have been thinking about this very thing a lot. I do see a lot of seperation here in Oregon, and I don't know that it is from the barefooters. I know that I am slowly helping to break down that barrier in my own little neighborhood as numerous shod runners who used to snort and give me dirty looks as I'd run by now actually smile and say hi and talk to me about running. A week or two ago I had a walker who apparently was astonished that I was running barefoot, a shod runner who I see nearly everyday stopped and explained to her why I was running this way. She then ran back up to me and we laughed about how the walker was so shocked.

    I think maybe we are slowly starting to break these barriers, although we have a long ways to go here still. The one and only race I've run barefoot I recieved a lot of negativity and I think we still need to show them that we really are no different, we run because we enjoy it.

    I do not look down at anyone running and actually am very excited when I see newbies, shod or barefoot, out there. Ours is not the only way, it's just maybe the best way for ourselves. I try not to judge, but to encourage instead.

    Sometimes I think the heavy hitters of bfr may actually sometimes create a bigger gap and do more damage than they intend because they push so hard that ours is the best way. It's kind of like the religious person who comes knocking on your door, most will ignore and actually shut the door on them without listening because that person tried to push their beliefs on them. I try to do the opposite with bfr and just do my thing and if they come up and ask me about it then and only then will I explain myself to them. They are actually coming to me for the information and are willing and interested to hear about it. I think this approach will help benefit our bfr community much much more than the "ours is the best way" approach.
     
  3. saypay45

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    I've said it in the past, but

    I've said it in the past, but as a barefoot runner you are an ambassador to the sport, whether you want to be or not. It's your job to educate yourself and provide a positive image for the movement. Again...whether you like it or not. And...it's a movement whether you like it or not.

    For many people, you represent the only tie that people have to the barefoot running community. One bad interaction and most people will likely be done with the whole lot of us.

    Your post is also much along the lines of Kate Kift's post "Reclaiming the Word Running". I agree with her main point there, that by labeling yourself a "barefoot" runner you segregate yourself from the larger running community...whether you mean to do that or not. People do it even more when they pronounce barefoot running to be the only right and pure way to run, and that shoes are evil.

    Keep on keepin on my friend.

    Also...keep on linking my website. :steve:
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

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    So many thoughts on this

    So many thoughts on this subject, but for now I will just say "teach, don't preach."
     
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  5. Barefootpuffin

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    it's beginning to seem like

    it's beginning to seem like your site is the only one that I link too. It's so unfair that you say what I want to say while I'm still thinking it. Some day I'll say something you'll link too haha.



    I agree that we are all embassadors. I hope folks start seeing us as ambassadors of running rather than ambassadors of barefoot running. Sure, I make it up front and known that I'm a barefoot runner. However, I prefer to say it like this...I'm a runner, who doesn't wear shoes. Conveys the same thing, but makes for a more ambassador like persona. We need, now more so than ever, more runners. If for nothing more than improving the health, both physical and mental, of our fellow country men.





    Puff
     
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  6. Barefoot Gentile

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    I got into barefoot running

    I got into barefoot running just out of curosity. In a way I wish I didn't have access to the internet because being in this "little world of the barefoot running internet" it's kind of annoying and overbearing. I think alot of people start running barefoot to gain some kind of fame.

    Being a barefoot ambassodor was something that never crossed my mind, and still is the last thing I want to be. I just run barefoot because I like it, I am not out to change anyones decisions to run bare, or bash others that run in shoes.

    When I talk to people about running I NEVER mention I am a barefoot runner unless they ask or someone I know says he runs without shoes. Other than that it's something I keep very quiet in real life.
     
  7. NickW

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    See Gentile, I am with you to

    See Gentile, I am with you to a point. Because I am in college and I am genuinely curious about bfr and its effects on the human body, I have done and am still doing papers on bfr. So at points, I do have to talk to the class about bfr. I don't go at it in a preachy way though. I go at it in a pure curiosity way and that I am trying to get to the bottom of the debate. I am not ashamed to tell anyone that I am a barefooter. I do not preach about it. I tell them my story and how and why I became a barefoot runner and why I am so curious about it. My math class that I am currently in, most of the class looked at me like I was crazy at first. Then when I explained my story and what I've found in my own research and the Math behind it, people actually have become very curious and ask me questions just about every class period now.
     
  8. Jonny00GT

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    I guess I look at things a

    I guess I look at things a little different, when it comes to running. I've never been a runner. In fact, I hated it up until this year when I pushed, tugged, pulled, twisted and cussed my first pair of Vibram on my feet and fleeted out the door. I never intended to go barefoot, but tried it to help my form. I think TJ set me up when she said it was the only way to learn good form quickly, even if it is true, but I'm glad she did!

    I was hooked the first time, but to me...It's still just running, only it's the way I found that finally let me enjoy it. Some listen to music, some don't, some carry a water bottle, some a camel pac, some a water belt, some nothing, Gu, Chomps, chia seeds, Gaitoraid, Cytomax, water, compression gear, Nike, Asics, Under Armor, this shoe, that shoe, thin shoe, fat shoe...uh...sorry...Dr. Seuss mode kicked in there for a sec. My point is, I was a green, wet behind the ears, running freshman when I joined my local running club. They welcomed me, accepted me, included me and made me faster! Yes, I'm the only barefoot runner in the group, but that's just one more aspect of running we get to talk about, and as the non-running spouses of the club members like to point out, "We are ALWAYS talking about running, planning a run, or running!"



    -Jonny
     
  9. skedaddle

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    The barefoot movement, like

    The barefoot movement, like any other movement will sink or swim by the fruit it bares, the best thing any of us can do is be ourselves and let others make their own judgements.

    I think barefoot gentile has got it right. if people are curious they will ask, the same way all of us did in the beginning.

    Shod or unshod, makes no difference to me, celebrate diversity, the world would be a very dull place if we all thought and acted the same.
     
  10. saypay45

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    Barefoot Gentile wrote:I got

    I think this is a fine position to take. Many times I do the same.

    At the same time, there's nothing wrong with someone talking the complete opposite position though and deciding to become an advocate for barefoot running. If there weren't such people, this place wouldn't exist.

    I also don't think there's anything wrong with people profiting or becoming "famous" off their knowledge of the subject (although I really don't think being known to only a few thousand people makes one famous). It happens in every other facet of life. I never understood why barefoot running has to be this pure thing that is outside that realm.

    I just got an ad for a company that will put up my Christmas lights for $500! Is nothing sacred!
     
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  11. barefoot kean

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    NickW wrote:See Gentile, I

    Im in the same boat as you Nick, its gotten to the point that my professors will stop lecturing in the middle of class and comment if I have shoes on. However, there is a slight difference, all my classmates are (obviously) also engineers and therefore are certain they are correct that I am crazy and my feet will have serious foot problems later. They mostly just tell me to put shoes on without asking any questions. Which is one reason I have a soft spot for libral arts people, they are at least willing to learn about it. Note: I am generalizing and know this is not always the case, just in my general experience.

    As far as bfr being a fad, I disagree. The media attention is definitely giving it fad status in popular culture, but the people who do it more than once almost always seem to genuinely love it (although i have yet to hear of someone who runs barefoot who doesn't like it).
     
  12. spoonerweb

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    I don't push it. If someones

    I don't push it. If someones asks, then I'll mention it.
     
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  13. JosephTree

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    I don't push it kinda like I

    I don't push it kinda like I don't push how smart, kind, creative and handsome my kids are. I might not make a loud point of it, but in my heart...
     
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  14. Barefoot Gentile

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    I do not think barefoot

    I do not think barefoot running is a fad as well, i was a liberal arts guy in community college so my mind is open to everything.

    @Saypay: I am with on the purity thing, and totally agree with what you said. Barefoot advocates are a must! $500 to hang christmas lights, wow that is new one!

    @JonnyooGT: And your story is one that will have alot of inspiration to others and a something I like to hear myself!
     
  15. Barefoot TJ

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    Running barefoot is the

    Running barefoot is the oldest form of running. How can it be a fad? How can bare feet be a fad? I can hear it now, "Oh, bare feet were so yesterday!" Ha!
     
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  16. barefoot kean

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    TJ, for some reason I can

    TJ, for some reason I can actually see someone somewhere saying that
     
  17. jschwab

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    Yeah, for me it's like eating

    Yeah, for me it's like eating organic food or natural childbirth - how can something people did for MILLENIA before us be a fad???!

    I feel a bit like a fish out of water because barefoot/minimalist running is incredibly popular where I live and there is not a lot of reason to "spread the word" - either you get it or not, no reason to push. I formed a little totally conventional running club that ended up being kids and adults running together. If we have ten people, usually only one or two are wearing conventional running shoes, a few are in Vibrams or water shoes and half are totally barefoot. Barefoot is just life around here.
     

  18. ajb422

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    I still have a really hard

    I still have a really hard time accepting it when people try calling me a runner. I have to fight back the urge to be like, no really I just run alot I'm not a runner. I suppose by that definition I can't really be a bare foot runner either. Just someone who tends to run a lot and does a fair amount of it barefoot. I don't really talk to people about it much anymore. My contribution to the cause is to sing and smile, meet everyone with an enthusiastic "good morning" and look like I'm having fun while running. I figure that makes a bigger impression than all the talking in the world.
     
  19. migangelo

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    if you want to change the

    if you want to change the world, do nothing. change yourself.
     

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  20. Barefootpuffin

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    I'm not arguing that everyone

    I'm not arguing that everyone has to be a running ambassador. I was merely pointing out a problem that I, along with several others, have found within our own community. The last thing I want is for our community to implode on itself because we are not included with shod runners. Like I mentioned in my post, I'm not overzealous with my barefoot beliefs, and I don't push them onto people. However, I'm not going to sit in the shadows about it either. If anything, people will remember who I am by the fact that I am barefoot. I embrace the "ambassador" hat and I try my best to point people in the running direction. I firmly believe that running/exercise in general is necessary to our survival. Like I said, it doesn't particularly matter to me if they wear shoes or not, but it does matter to me that they run if they are intersted, and if I can do something to spark that interest then cool beans. It also matters to me that they run with the safest most natural form available to them. Again, whether they are wearing shoes or not.



    It's like a patient asked me a few months ago: Why do you always wear bright colored shirts? My answer was because you may not remember my name, but you remember that I'm always wearing a bright shirt. So you remember me. If you remember me and remember that I have been kind or brightened your day then you have a better stay at the hospital when you see me.



    It's basically the same thing. I run barefoot because it's better for me, but people remember me because I'm almost always barefoot. They may not remember my name, but it sparks their interest and they just have to find me and they know who I am by the fact that I am different. So, it helps.



    Puff.
     
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