how or why are you now barefoot?

Discussion in 'Chapters' started by Martyn, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Martyn

    Martyn Barefooters
    1. New York
    2. United Kingdom
    3. International

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    I have started this as a discussion on the UK BRS page on facebook. But here is why I do it. Feel free to join in.



    Whats your story??

    How did I get in to this whole minimalist, barefoot thing?
    I have been a deep tissue and sports massage therapist for many years now and have treated people with all sorts of aches and pains. In December 2009 I was at the clinic in Nottingham, waiting for my client and listening in on a conversation another client was having. He was explaining how he is a personal trainer and what those things were on his feet. He went on to talk about barefoot walking and running and how you cant get these things in the UK. I was fascinated to here such a radical view on keeping fit and running I just had to stick my head round the corner and have a look. I saw, what I now know to be a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSO in Blue Camo. “Yeh, like that will ever work”. I thought, as I went off to deal with my client.

    Boxing Day 2009 my wife and I flew to New York for the Christmas and New Year holidays. It was snowing (a lot) and I had to buy some walking boots. Every sports shop and outdoor shop we went in had a section dedicated to this very strange Vibram shoe. Every time I asked an assistant what they were all about, I got the same answer. “Its all to do with barefoot running, a return to nature, less injury, better form, more freedom, no more replacing shoes every six months. Its going to be massive and we cant get enough stock”.“Yeh, like that will ever work”. I thought, as I strode out of the store in my new boots.

    We did the usual tourist things round the city and eventually, a few days later ended up in Central Park. Around the edges of the park, where the snow had been cleared there were people running, roller skating, walking the dog, power walking and doing anything else you can think of to keep fit. Then I spotted a guy in a pair of Vibrams come running past, then another and another, suddenly they were everywhere I looked. There were even a few people running in bare feet in the snow.“Yeh, maybe that would work”. I thought as I looked down at my boots.

    New York was a fantastic place to visit, but with all holidays there comes a time when you have to go home. We both descended on Borders book shop for a read or two on the flight home. I picked up Bruce Lee’s biography and “Born to Run” by Chris McDougal. Bruce never got a look in on the way home, I read Born to Run from cover to cover and was converted. I had listened to the guy at the clinic, seen the shoes, seen the runners and now read the book. That’s four things that I knew nothing about, all pointing the same way.

    To top it all off the soles on my boots are by Vibram.

    I eventually found the UK importer and set myself up as Midlands distributor for Vibram Five Fingers and barefoot running related products. I now run either in a pair of Vibram Flows or barefoot. Some times both on the same run. I am loving it and can’t recommend it enough.

    You have to start so slowly and be so patient but the pleasure and odd looks is well worth it.

    I am pushing my running clients towards barefoot, but it isa struggle.

    Martyn
     
  2. Stephen

    Stephen Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

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    I run barefoot because I like the feel of it.

    As a child I roamed the coutryside without shoes and perhaps as a result, now, as an adultbeing barefoot makes me feel free.

    I used to be obsessed with Marathons and Ultras. Always in shoes. Then I got sick and completely lost my fitness. Starting from scratch againI decided to go barefoot and I love it.

    I do all my running off-road, I love the smell of the coutryside in my nose and the feel of it under my toes. I'm gearing up to do some cross country racing this winter, barefoot of course!
     
  3. Aranya

    Aranya Barefooters
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    I gave up running in my late-twenties after persistent knee injuries. Then I met someone at a forest gardening course (of all things) & they told me about VFFs. That led me to reading 'Born to run' & feeling a sense of hope that maybe I would bge able to run again.

    I'm still early in my journey, but being patient. My tendency to be barefoot most of the time these last 15 years must help, but running I never thought would be possible that way. It's great to have the inspiration of those who have gone before & a growing number of us experimenting with this. I look forward to sharing barefoot runs, but still feel a bit isolated here in East Devon.
     
  4. Stephen

    Stephen Barefooters
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    Hi Aranya,



    I think it's funny that you're inclined to be barefoot most of the time - more than once I have had my kids look at me like I was a very peculiar Dad when they realize in the supermarket that I've no shoes on :D

    I wasa bit isolated too here in North Kerry. Isn't the internet great!
     
  5. Aranya

    Aranya Barefooters
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    Interestingly, I first started taking barefooting seriously when I spent a year on a beautiful mountainside near Sneem on the south end of the Ring of Kerry...
     
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Barefooters
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    It's the place for it here allright.

    I'm beside Banna if you know it?

    I do all my running on the beach and the dunes these days. Until the cross country comes this winter that is!



    It's lovely around Sneem, my wife is from South Kerry - down Ballinskelligs side.

    We'll have to go for a run if you ever come back :)
     
  7. Aranya

    Aranya Barefooters
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    A very beautiful part of the world... the Undercliff on the Dorset / Devon border is pretty good too but quite populated.

    We didn't get out much while I was there, but we did visit Dingle a couple of times. More often we went south into Cork. All great places for a running holiday if anyone else is reading this. ;)
     

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