Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Barefoot Running

It started with a bee sting and a swollen heel, a heel that did not like shoes. The moment it touched a shoe, it itched and tingled in protest.

For every day life, this wasn’t too bad for me. I could manage without going out. But what about running? Maybe I could bear the itching and tingling for running. Well, I could start small and try walking.

After two laps of walking, it was clear this wasn’t going to work. My foot refused to behave, even for half an hour, even for walking. It seemed that I’d have to give up my beloved running until it healed.

I moped around sadly until Mum hit upon a bright idea. “Why don’t you run barefoot?” she suggested.

Barefoot? The idea had never occurred to me before. On thinking about it, I wasn’t sure I liked it. I could get something in my foot. The grass would be cold and wet. Besides, no one else in the family ran barefoot.

But then, if I didn’t run barefoot, I couldn’t run at all. And that would be too much to consider. No, I’d have to run barefoot, even if the grass was cold and wet, even if there were sticks. I’d rather run barefoot than miss running altogether.

On the way down to the field, my dreaded thongs flopping on my feet, I still wasn’t sure about this barefoot running thing. I might find it much harder than normal. But I’ll give it a go, just once.

Dropping my thongs off with the water bottles, I started my first lap. The wet grass bounced beneath my feet. I hardly felt the little sticks. I even avoided the snail, crawling slowly across my path.

I finished one lap, then another, and another. My feet didn’t care that they didn’t have any shoes to protect them. They just wanted to run and run. So run they did, lap after lap after lap. Bare feet weren’t a handicap, not when I ran as many laps as ever.

On the way home, thongs slapping against my cold, wet feet, I had to admit, running barefoot was something special. Just to feel the grass as you run, just to know that it’s only your feet hitting the ground, pushing you is amazing. Yes, I like running barefoot.

What will I do when my heel is better? Well, I think I'll go back to wearing shoes again. Nice as running with no shoes is, it's still cold and wet and dirty. But it can be done.


  1. I think it's cool that you like to run so much -- my little sister's like that, but I'm more on the "I think I'll stay inside" team. I mean, I know that's not heart healthy and all, but hey. It happens.

    I hope your foot feels better soon! That sounds painful.

  2. Jenna, running's not for everyone. My brothers refuse to come running, even though the rest of us like it so much.

    My foot's just about better now. I'm actually going to try wearing shoes tomorrow. Daring or what?

  3. I'm not a runner either, but the barefoot thing sounds pleasant :) Good to experience something new, eh?

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  4. I don't "run,"(unless getting pulled around by a rabbit at a fast speed intermittenly counts,)
    but I do like to go barefoot. I agree with you, I like to feel the ground under my feet. Or the treebark. Or whatever IS underfoot. I mean, why would grass be so pleasant to feel if not to feel it?
    Unfortunately, a week or so ago, two dogs and a goat, belonging to some new neighbors, decided to stroll over to our house. I thought that I would just catch them and ask at the nearest houses until I found where they belonged. I forgot about shoes. Over here, it is winter. The animals ran home without help, but I was left with red, sore feet. So much for saving people the worry of losing an animal...

  5. I miss running barefoot! I used to do it as a kid all summer long. By the end of the summer my feet were so calloused nothing hurt them. (New follower.)

  6. Sarah, I wasn't much of a runner until right before Christmas, literally three days before. Now I love running, and at the moment I'm preferring running barefoot, mostly because running in shoes hurts my arches.

  7. MAS, that's a great thought. Grass does feel so nice it's a shame not to walk on it barefoot and feel it properly.

    Oooh, I wouldn't like to be in your feet after that cold animal encounter. I have to get a new pair of running shoes before I can run in shoes, but it's not important until winter arrives.

  8. Hi Emily! It's so nice to meet a new follower.

    I used to run barefoot as often as Mum would let me. It was always so much more fun, especially as putting shoes on took precious time away from playing.

  9. I'm not much of a runner myself, but I have very strange feet (the largest and widest and flatest that I have ever known a woman's foot to be) and have a hard time finding shoes that don't literally kill my feet (I've had some horror stories, lol!). Our yard is a couple of acres of grass, so I love going barefoot. There's something special about feeling every bit of the ground between your toes-- even if its muddy.