People's reactions when you run

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by mandytheartist, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. MedicGirl

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    I've been barefoot running for about a year and a half now, but I'm sure none of my rural neighbors have noticed. But I'm not fond of pavement so my honey forged a 440m dirt and grass track around our olive orchard to run on. Spoiled girl, I am. Since I usually run at 0300 hours, I don't have to worry about lights for the Road anymore, only the occasional skunk passing through the orchard or the squishy frog under foot
     
  2. Barefoot TJ

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    Welcome! Glad you're here. :barefoot:
     
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  3. RV.

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    From forest barefoot running:
    Majority of people welcome barefooting more from curiosity or from surprise.
    A small portion do not react at all or try to avoid eye contact. A very few few percent age try to joke or convince me that I forgot my shoes ...
    I then explain to this last group "I'm not a fast runner so I couldn't get any shoes sponsor..."


    RV.
     
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  4. BroadArrow

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    it's that time again. part 573 of "BroadArrow makes friends with law enforcement: handcuff edition".

    so, i have given up running on the chip-n-seal in the cornfields because, well, my wife has metastatic breast cancer and thus some unknown but all-too-soon expiration date and i don't want my children to be orphans. so, i have taken to running on paths and literally gravel tracks closer to my house and near the university's arboretum (actually, part of it follows the route for the cross-country meets, but who's counting). as i was getting close to the gravel, i was literally thinking to myself, "well, i guess i won't have any more run-ins with the police since i am in the parks and off the roads..." ha! famous last words.

    after finishing the gravel segment and a dirt segment, i went back to the paved path that parallels the road and was on my way to putting in an extra mile and a half or so....

    ... when i heard sirens and saw lights and heard revving engines, i was like, "hmmm... something must be going down behind me." and then they stopped a little ways in front of me, hopped out, and yelled "STOP!" i'm thinking, ok, there must be an active shooter call or something stupid and they need me safe and out of the way. and then they start talking about keep your hands where we can see them and kneel down on the ground and put your hands on your head and "watch for cross-fire".

    oh. i guess *i'm* the active shooter. great. not.

    so that is twenty minutes of my life i'll never get back: kneeling, handcuffed, trying to gently point out in response to their questions that yes, i'm out running. no, i don't have a gun. no, i don't know why that *ahem* person decided to call the cops on me. i have no idea what that person told them because apparently they had two officers interviewing the "RP" (reporting person) in addition to the, dunno, 3-5 cops in front of me and who knows how many behind me. but it was something about "we came out because we got a call that someone with your description, blue jeans and a white shirt, was running down race street with a gun."

    i'm still a little unclear on the legal limbo i was in. they claimed i was being detained, but not arrested. but they still wanted to read me my miranda rights. which then puts you in the bind of "do i want a lawyer with me when i tell them that i was just out for a run and that is why i was in this area, you know, running?"

    anyways, the upshot of the matter is that they eventually decided that i was not actually a problem, that my information really was in the system (yes, 911 called *me* to ask for help a couple weeks ago, so they definitely have my information; and, by happenstance one of the deputies who stopped me out in the cornfields had called me the day before that; but that's a different story) and they had no reason to think i was a problem so they only needed, say, 1 or 2 cops leaning over me instead of 3 or 4.

    they ended up being as cool about it as they could be, given the circumstances. once it was all said and done, i gave them my speech about giving a lecture for my friend's "race in contemporary america" class (or whatever it is) about how going barefoot can give you a little window into how the not-upper-middle-class-white-people have to get along in the world. and wonder of wonders, since they were the university cops (all the city and whoever else had cleared out by that point), they agreed. in fact, i had barely finished my sentence when the (you will not be surprised to learn) black cop was already pulling out his business card, pressing it into my hand, and assuring me that he was ready, willing, and able to do so.

    thus, i ended up with two business cards and a selfie with the cops and flashing lights.

    and, as a window into how stressful such encounters are for the police side of things, it wasn't until they had me stood back up and uncuffed that they noticed, "uh, did you need your shoes back? did we take those?"

    anyways, the most disturbing part of the whole thing was this: i ended up with at least 4 or 5 guns pointed at me and very intimidating people shouting directions and generally exerting existential control over me and MY HEART RATE NEVER WENT UP. my (university) cop neighbor said, yeah, that's probably not a good thing....

    for those of you keeping score at home, that is 5 months and 1 day since the last time i talked with law enforcement.

    sigh.

    be safe out there.
     
  5. happysongbird

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    Such unnecessary stress in a difficult time for you! I am so sorry to hear about your wife. I have dealt with death by cancer for a young daughter and a not so old mother. My heart goes out to you. If you are inclined to contact me at all, feel free.

    As for the police response, I just don't see any excuse for such a response. And after all your trouble with them, you'd think they could just give you a call first!
     
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  6. metalbarefooter

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    More police action from Scandinavia...or it wasn't much action but just a disappointing meeting.

    I was walking my mother in law's dog up in the forest above our house and I'm coming down the forest road on which i haven't even seen a car in the four years we've lived there. I didn't even think you could drive this far up the forest.

    So suddenly there is a cop car coming up. It drives past me to turn around because this is where the road ends and then drive up beside me on the way back. I have a rain coat, shorts and bare feet. They pull the window down and looks down at my feet and i get the usual "did you forget your shoes"

    I first answered yes with a little chuckle but saw that they weren't very amused with the answer given so i just said that i left them at home. I asked if they were looking for something since they were so far off the house areas below the forest but they just asked me where i live and i pointed down towards where the streets are and told them what street i lived on.

    They mumbled something and just closed the window and went back down the road. It was a man and a woman around my age in the car and if i must guess they could have a flirt going on and was supposed to have a private moment up in the woods. That or someone in the neighborhood must have called in a thought i looked suspicious. Anyway, they were just unpleasant and didn't even say goodbye when they left.
     
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  7. happysongbird

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    It has been fun to see the same people walking regularly on my one mile path around the fishing ponds. On my run two days ago one lady seemed to urgently want to tell me something. She and her walking mate had swept off a bunch of glass for me (there is not usually any broken glass on this path), but wanted to let me know they didn't think they had gotten all of it! Such kindness.
     
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  8. Ronnie B

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    Currently on a cruise around Japan. I exercise regularly when cruising to ensure no weight gain. Went into the fitness center on the first day to scope it out. Talked to the gym instructor and mentioned I am a barefoot runner. The reaction was to try to sell me orthotic inserts (how the heck are they supposed to stay attached - perhaps he sold duct tape too). Told that the running track not good for barefoot running. On my first day of running - with low rise sneakers - realized the track is perfect for bf running - flat, hard, smooth and anti slip surface. So today ran barefoot to test the waters (no pun intended). A couple of officers saw me - no reaction. As I completed my last lap an American couple couple asked me about bf running. I gave the usual explanations. They said one of their sons was an avid barefooter but not necessarily a runner. After talking to me they resumed walking the running track - but had removed walking shoes and were barefoot. If I run into them again (pun intended this time!) I will ask if they had any reactions. Perhaps a little victory? In the gym on the bike I am shod - not ready to test that yet. It shouldn't be a problem as the last thing you do after being on a piece of gym equipment is to give it a thorough sanitizing with the wet wipes supplied. Anyone got any experience with that?
     
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  9. bare_ftazn

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    As to your use of the bike, your feet are probably cleaner than most shoes! My gym is a small business establishment and I have gotten them (my trainer and other patrons) to accept my workouts without any shoes. Unshod feet probably don't leave much sweat on pedals. I suspect there may be a few patrons who secretly envy my choice of being barefoot.
     
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  10. JosephTree

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    Do you have an infectious smile, too?
     
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  11. Sly

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    was in France to visit my parents.
    a shod black guy : "ha, wonderful ! this is wonderful ! there we can spend the whole day barefoot, but here in France we always got to put our feet in these bloody shoes"
     
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  12. BFGD

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    Amazing Police stories. I've wondered about the possibility of being questioned by Police but no problems there yet.

    On my last run I had about 200 yards on a bike path and a cyclist called me "brave" as he rode by. Passed another runner a few months back and he shouted "Hang Loose". A security guard at work said it must be "uncomfortable". Out for a run on the bike path with a friend (shod), when my friend was about 10 yards in front of me, someone mentioned my lack of shoes and I said the guy in front of me had stolen them and I was trying to catch him. (Gotta give a shout out to Al Jaffe and his "Snappy answers to stupid questions" on that one).

    A few people at work have marveled at my barefoot running, but I generally get the sense that most people think it is weird.
     
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  13. Ronnie B

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    I am running again! My journey over the past couple of years has been well chronicled in other threads - macerated knee cartilage, Baker’s cyst, Achilles Tendonitis etc. Today was my third run - just two miles but I was stoked! I saw a work colleague who shouted out to me “Hard core”. Another lady asked “Where are your shoes?” I looked down and said “Darn - I knew I forgot something.”
    Another lady gave me a big grin and said “Good for you.” Never thought I would be able to run again. Still have to take the build up slowly and not do too much too soon.
     
  14. Barefoot Barefeet

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    Mandy, do you have any pics of you running barefoot that you can post here for people to see? We like that you run in your bare feet,but people want to see it for themselves.
     
  15. Barefoot Dama

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    So I was on a trail run few weeks ago and I guy coming on the opposite direction said "there she is, the barefoot girl with a beautiful stride" and on the same run another guy also going the opposite direction game me a thumbs up and high fived me. It was a good day.
     

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  16. Ronnie B

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    Had a run today with Nero along the beaches and trails. The rain was coming down hard. As we ran across a paved car park between beaches a couple of folks kitted out in full rain gear shouted to us “Good for you” and gave us a big thumbs up.Not sure if they meant the fact we were running in the rain or referring to me being barefoot. I gave them a thumbs up back. What amazes me is the number of folks running on the beach wearing running shoes!
     
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  17. Jaap Francke

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    I noticed that people in the streets see me running and first don't really pay attention to me - their expression is "just another runner".

    Then next phase is that in the corner of their eye, they notice you're barefoot and their head turns and with eyes a bit more open they look at my feet.

    Finally, their gaze moves up, the focal point moves from my feet to my face and I see them thinking "Is this guy insane or what?". I try to smile and to look relaxed.
     
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  18. migangelo

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    Sunday i went on my usual hike/run at Forest Park in downtown Portland. It was raining so hard the dog didn't want to go with me! I showed up bf and took my shirt off. While everyone was covered head to toe in protective rain gear i wore shorts, watch, heart rate monitor, and a smile. I got lots of stares, smiles, bulging eyes, and only heard a couple of comments. Best was were i park my car in front of this one house.
    3 people on the porch talking who got silent. then i heard "did you see that guy?!!!" i went back and talked. they were in a bit of shock while i was just laughing. all they could say is i was different and wasn't i cold.

    good times and only fell once. no sprains or strains this time.
     

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  19. Random

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    How are you doing, BroadArrow? Your wife? (It has been a long time since you posted in this thread, and I'm almost afraid to ask about her, but I am hoping against hope that it turned out better than expected.) Have you given the lecture for the class yet? With or without law enforcement?

    Have law enforcement people stopped harassing you?
     
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  20. Widefoot Jay

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    lol yeah. when i'm out in town and a running club goes past I always envision that scene from Jurassic Park when Dr. Grant is in the open field and those really small and fast dino's are being chased by the T-Rex
     
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