|Members of the Barefoot Runners Society-Minnesota after a great group run. Can you guess which one I am?|
Citizens, at one point or another you've probably heard me gush about barefoot running. I absolutely love it. I don't think I could imagine a day without either thinking about it or doing it. I love it not just because I think it's a healthier and more natural way to run. I love it because of it's power as a vehicle of change.
Even to the outside observer, barefoot running is much more than just changing the way that someone runs. That's because it goes against a societal norm; that shoes are necessary to protect your feet from the ground. According to popular culture, the ground is hard, painful, and unforgiving. Your feet on the other hand are tender and weak. They need coddling and plenty of support. You believe this implicitly, because that's what has been told to you. And it was told to you by some so-called health expert who was told the same thing by someone further up the stream of bullshit. A paradigm is established without anyone ever examining whether it was true.
For everyone who tries it, barefoot running is more than the actual act of running without shoes. It's a paradigm shift. By shedding your shoes you also shed those closely-held beliefs that shoes are necessary to protect you from the ground. You find out that this is most certainly not the case. You feel better than you ever did in shoes. That makes you feel empowered and liberated because you overcame your fears and did something you didn't think you could do. You feel in control of your own destiny. It's a pretty cool feeling.
And I know from experience that most people who do it don't just stop there. For many people I know, barefoot running seems to be the first step in the building of a transformative force of awesomeness that has the potential to reach every aspect of life. For as many people as I meet who have simply taken off their shoes to enjoy running a little more, I meet one who considers it the beginning of a radically changed life. It could be the thing that finally helps you run pain-free, thus vaulting you to new found health and fitness. It could lead you to question other commonly held beliefs, and thus turn over new leaves in other areas of your life like your diet and your career. It could change you from a moderately attractive and successful family man lawyer into the mega-attractive hugely-popular barefoot mogul superhero slash pillar of the community. The sky is the limit people.
Why do I tell you folks this stuff? Because I want you all to try it at least once. If not by running, by going barefoot somewhere where you ordinary wouldn't. I want you to overcome your fears and preconceptions in this one area of life where the risks of something going wrong are pretty low. I want you to push the bounds of what you're comfortable with, and find out that's it's not only "not so bad"...it's great! I want to be a catalyst for you to take that first step toward positive change in your life. I want you to be as awesome as me. Although by that time my awesomeness will be exponentially greater than it is at this moment, so you'll actually be as awesome as I was today. Hey...I'm good, but I'm not a miracle worker okay.
Now me bathering on about barefoot running is all fine and dandy. It's not going to change much on its own. When I tell people that one of the biggest motivating forces in my life has been barefoot running, the reaction is somewhere between roaring laughter and eye rolling. People want hard evidence. They want real stories from real people. Not just that, they want to hear those stories from people like them. I've made the most barefoot converts out of my friends and folks with similar beliefs. So to really get this thing going, I can't do it by myself. I need your help.
So citizens, this is your call to action. I want your stories. I want you to tell me how barefoot running has affected your life for the better. And I want to take those stories and share them on this blog for the world to take inspiration from. I don't care if you're a barefoot ultra runner, or if you're just starting out. If barefoot running has changed your life, you have a story to share.
Here's how it's going to go down. Email me about your barefoot journey at email@example.com or post about it in the comment section. If I decide to share your story, I will feature it in a new series of blog posts I'm calling "Fan Fridays". They will post every Friday until I run out of stuff to post. Yes, I am trying to be a bit more lazy and I'm outsourcing my blog. Yes, I completely ripped off the idea from Mark's Daily Apple. But hey...it's a good concept, and it's been inspirational for a lot of people.
I will likely just post whatever you write me word for word, so please write as professionally as possible. I'm not your English teacher or your editor, and I don't want to have to correct grammar. I'm trying to fill a whole post here, so be detailed! Remember that most blog posts are at least 500 words. I will also promote any alterior motive you have in writing to me, be it an attention whoring blog, product, or service. I will include links to those in your post.
I look forward to hearing your stories citizens! Happy writing!