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Category:  Articles » Recreation & Sports » Running

 

The Barefoot Jogger

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2010-09-20 08:52:25     
Article by Penny Mckay

Recently I have been trying a spot of barefoot jogging or to give it it's correct title "Natural Running". Which in its "natural" state is jogging without footwear (no, not without clothes, though I'm sure they're doing that somewhere in the world!). I actually read about it in a magazine article and I am one of those people who when they like the idea of something they have to try it. The thought behind "natural running" is that many of our modern day joint problems and postural problems are more as a result of the shoes we are wearing, the surfaces we are walking on and the habitual way in which we are moving. So for many of us it is about getting your shoes off on a regular basis, connecting with the earth and actually encouraging your bones, joints and ligaments to do what they do best and that is to absorb the impact on and support the body. So that's what I've been doing. Now don't get me wrong I have no intentions on becoming the next Zola Budd or anything (though she was incredible and very brave) but once tried running barefoot is incredibly liberating and I am hooked.

Today was the second time for me to brave getting my tootsies out whilst moving at faster than walking pace and the experience was as liberating this time as it was the first.

When I made the decision to take my trainers off for the first time, it was pretty early in the morning and there weren't too many people about to point and stare at some nutter without any shoes on! And I was at the beach. That seems to help somehow because it is deemed as acceptable to take your shoes off at the beach anyway so I felt somewhat less conspicuous than if I were jogging round the block from home. The decision was also made more for me, than by me, by the sight of the golden sand looking so clean and incredibly inviting, all new and fresh first thing in the morning. The sun was glinting and winking on the sea and seemed to ask it of me. Why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't I indeed? So with that off came the trainers and off came the socks and came a sense of freedom and reconnection that was totally unexpected.

It was the same today. It's as if the minute your shoes and socks come off your child comes out. Being barefoot is so indicative and so evocative of that child state of running free with boundless energy and gay abandon without aches and pains. I felt this. But not just this.

What I felt beyond this was every footfall. Each time my foot struck the sand, the sand moulded and mirrored my foot giving "me" total support where I needed it. I actually felt the earth beneath and I actually felt my body respond. It was as if, with each strike there was a wave of response from the earth, that travelled back up through my body. I also felt a return to something completely unadulterated and totally natural and my body seemed to breathe this incredible sigh of relief as it let go. Through this sense of connecting down as each foot hit the earth, I was communing directly with the earth and she was responding. My joints were absorbing the impact and supporting me as a team and I just wanted to keep going in this natural state with the wind in my face and the sun on my back. My feet and legs being rejuvenated by the waves of the sea and the waves of energy from the earth. With that gay abandon of old I splashed through the shallows until the stones at the shoreline (a recently added feature to Bournemouth beach due to an alleged surf reef being built!) finally drove me up in to the soft sand of the beach and back in to my socks and trainers to continue on the promenade. Just fantastic!

So, if you fancy the idea of natural running, jogging or walking too, pick your where and when carefully. Clearly grassy areas are going to be more comfortable then concrete, but you may find you will be doing the dog poo dodge more than jogging unless you can find a no dog area. So if you have a beach nearby I'd head for that option. I'm also not suggesting you do barefoot anything for very long. No, we aren't use to it, yet, but it is our natural state and I'm sure that somewhere within your physical structure and your psyche you will remember what it is all about. 5- 10 minutes willl be plenty for starters. Combine a walk with a little jog until you feel you are coming alive to your body again.

Finally, if you have any form of joint problem endeavour to connect with your body and connect with the earth in a natural state (without footwear) more frequently. Who knows, it could help?

For more information and courses (particularly if you are prone to injury) check out www.naturalrunning.co.uk with John Woodward who has a background of working with Alexander Technique. How he works is very interesting indeed.

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Penny Mckay is a bodywork therapist and believes passionately in the power of the body, mind, spirit connection. Her work involves assisting clients in raising their awareness of themselves and their True power, through journeying with the body. Penny also offers articles, information, links and forthcoming events of the body, mind and spirit kind via her blog-ezine. To find out more click http://www.pennymckay.co.uk

Specialized in: Healing - Spirtual Healing - Chakras - Past Life - Past Life Therapy - Past Life Regression - Regression - Therapy - Past Life Memory - Spirit - Karma - Soul Purpose
URL: http://www.pennymckay.co.uk/
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