Why I do this
I’ve been blogging away here at Barefoot Wandering and Writing for a few years, aiming for a post a week, not always hitting that goal, but also aiming to not feel too much pressure. As I mentioned four or five times to mountain bikers today who felt compelled to comment on my shoe-less-ness, I run barefoot because it’s fun, and I want this blog to be more pleasure than pain as well.
I just scrolled waaayyyy down to find my first WordPress post . . . dated 8/28/10. Then I remembered that I had a Blogspot blog for a short time before that . . . and did a search to find that first post. It was actually from my “pre-barefoot” days . . . but one month later, the record of my barefoot journey begins. Here’s a quote from the end of that piece:
“So far I’ve been out 14 times (yep. I’m counting) in mud and streams and dust and sand and lots of rocks. It’s all challenging fun. Gravel does get old fastest. Mud is squishy cool. Aged piles of horse poop are like golden-bleached pillows. Leaping good times.”
It’s all challenging fun.
That’s why I do it . . . and that’s what today was like, a chilly (low 60s is a chilly winter day here in So Cal), wild-flower-filled romp up and down Barham Ridge for an hour.
After 10+ years of excruciating, run-stopping left knee pain that I’ve thrown all kinds of money at to find a fix, I feel incredibly blessed (and very grateful to my “physio team” of Dr. Derrick Sueki at Knight Physical Therapy as well as Darcia Dexter, Movement Educator) to be able to run with ease for an hour or more up and down steep, sometimes-rocky hills with a smile on my face and nothing on my feet.
Why do I do this? Because the wildlands of Orange County are places of amazing biodiversity, and barefoot trail running gets me out there to appreciate them. My little camera does its best to record a fraction of the beauty I witness, and I spend a bit of time every week or so to lay it all out on this blog, hoping others wander this way and feel inspired to love and appreciate this place or their own local wildlands.
That’s it, too: I want my running and writing to inspire others. (I just re-skimmed an excellent article on Writing-World.com titled “To Blog or Not to Blog.” Like all the other pieces on this helpful web site, it contained much useful information, but there was nothing here about “inspiration” as a reason to blog.)
What got me thinking about this is I just remembered one of today’s mountain biker comments . . . as I scooted to the side of the Chutes Trail to avoid the hurtling mass of man and aluminum tubing headed my way, I heard a voice say, “You’re OK.” (This I assumed referred to the fact that I was far enough off the trail to avoid collision.) Then he continued, “That’s pretty inspiring.” (And this I assumed was a reference to the fact that I was barefoot–and not to the length of my awesomely ratty gray granny braid.)
So here’s a batch of what I hope are inspiring images from my latest runs: