Given the information overload that I suffer from like everyone else, what do I do with all the stuff I consume about running? In addition to occasionally hitting the trails and walking and jogging the pavement (yes I enjoy using this term because it seems to annoy those that take themselves too serious – beats me why) I like being an arm chair runner and read and watch videos about running related topics. What is true in general, is true for my running related grazing, much of what I come across is crap. That’s actually the easy part. It certainly “wastes” a bit of my time but as I enjoy spending that time, why even mention it. The more difficult part is dealing with the stuff that appeals, rings true, cries out for me to do or change something. One of the topics that does that to me is running form/technique. It started when I heard about chi running. Obviously the last thing I wanna do when it’s about running is worry.
But it all sounds so very true, and nudges me to work on improving myself, follow a program, get better. Still, is all the stuff I’m supposed to do not going to detract from what I really look for in running? which is something like this:
From Chi running I moved on to the barefoot/born to run craze, lured by its enticing story tellers into a world of natives close to nature and the sublime.
But as fads go, they soon create their share of absurdities that you don’t wanna be part of. (The absurd is easiest expressed through humor and the below does it without menace which is nice)
I just return from a couple of barefooted days in the Western desert and a couple of them in Dahab and I can assure you that its great to leave your shoes behind. Like many others I’ve spent lots of time without shoes when I was much younger so this is hardly a new insight. More of a reminder than anything else. But does it make sense to become fundamentalist about it? There is still lots of terrain that I can not navigate walking, let alone running, and the amount of barefooted practice required to get there would come pretty close to a full time job. As it was in the days that everyone could manage nearly any terrain.
How very confusing all of this is. Best to stick with the don’t worry motto, and not get hooked on anything. Feel the earth when she is inviting, but remain watchful and protect yourself when necessary, glide (or is shuffle a better way to describe it?) when appropriate and fly when its required, look for the silence, the deafening silence sometimes, of the outdoors, but always remember John Cage’s thoughts on silence, find the rhythm in crazy down hills, but know that uphill slogs are all about rhythm too, if you’re a trailer, carefully listen to the track gazelle, if you’re the latter kind, hit the trails. If you’re a runner, do something else, if you’re not become one.