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What’s more fun than barefoot trail running?

December 16, 2015

Barefoot trail running combined with parkour!

I like this quote (from Wikipedia, of course).

Parkour involves seeing one’s environment in a new way, and imagining the potentialities for navigating it by movement around, across, through, over and under its features.”

How has it taken me this long to realize there’s even more to see along our local trails than “just” all the fabulous native plants, critters, and rocks?

There are also possibilities for PLAY . . . and active play is vital for our desk-bound generation.

Here’s a video that Christopher McDougall (yeah, that guy who wrote Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes) posted on his Facebook feed this morning . . . about how play, and movement, and parkour (all synonymous?) can help us older adults age more gracefully (ha . . . literally!) : To Be and To Last: A Parkour Documentary.

Of course, I’ve been heading in this direction for a while, ever since web-stumbling across Katy Bowman’s excellent, fabulous, life-changing blog (recently re-branded as “Nutritious Movement”).

So now my barefoot trail time has become a quest for opportunities to jump and swing and balance and hang:

barefoot fence balance

barefoot flying


All the while still enjoying the beauty of our local wildlands:


The view west from Robber’s Peak/Anaheim Hills: Pacific Ocean, then Catalina Island 26 miles off the Orange County coast. (The locked gate symbolizes the paradox of “wild” places: ACCESS DENIED in an effort to keep things wild.)


Same view spot, now looking east toward the San Gabriel Mountains (about 60 miles). That’s Chino Hills State Park in mid-image, with “Old Baldy” (Mt. San Antonio) in the distance (left) with just a dusting of snow from our weekend mini-storm.

And, of course, the sycamore are still sporting some terrific fall color:


Winter is on its way. . . and “el Nino” (“El Niño means The Little Boy, or Christ Child in Spanish. El Niño was originally recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America in the 1600s, with the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The name was chosen based on the time of year (around December) during which these warm waters events tended to occur.”) and Christmas!

Christmas Time’s A Comin’! (This video of the classic bluegrass song by Bill Monroe starts with an interview; skip to 1:15 for the song, which you will not be able to get out of your ears . . . for better or worse 🙂 )

Christmas Times A Comin


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gina permalink
    December 16, 2015 10:34 am

    Parkour and Bill Monroe. I feel like we are related. I want to share that our group did make the backpacking trip North R 2 South R over Thanksgiving week. I think we were the last before the road was closed for the season. Our shuttle driver was a veritable tour guide as we drove four hours from the South Rim to the North Rim. What a beautiful land. When he dropped us off, that sinking feeling of “no turning back now” set in. The campground was like a ghost town: windy, cold and isolated with snow flurries and teen degrees. We celebrated our Thanksgiving that afternoon to load off all the weight. It was a complete traditional meal with everybody sharing what they brought. The next morning when we finally embarked into the canyon, I finally saw the path you ran and that is no small “feet”! Those rocks are crazy. On our second to last day, I finally took my shoes off at Phantom Ranch because I wanted to feel the water in the creek like you shared in your photos. Then, I backpacked up to Indian Gardens barefoot. The mental exercise of placing my feet overran any fatigue in my body. Kind of like playing Tetris. Lots of looks and questions, especially from a concerned ranger. I loved the “who dunnit” remarks from those who finally caught up to the footprint maker. I shared how you had inspired me with many, and then my brain was very tired at the end of the 5 miles. Thanks Thea for your example of living fully. Merry Christmas.

    • December 16, 2015 10:46 am

      Hi Gina . . . it was so fun to read your description of hiking R2R . . . I remember well that “sinking feeling” when your ride leaves and you realize you have no other way to get back to the South Rim other than your own two feet!

      What a lovely Thanksgiving feast . . . everyone sharing what they had in the cold (very traditional 🙂 )

      That is SO AWESOME that you backpacked all the way from Phantom Ranch to Indian Gardens barefoot! Congrats! Isn’t it hilarious to see other hikers’ reactions?

      And the “Tetris connection” . . . interesting . . . going barefoot over rocks is definitely a sort of placement game.

      Your message made my day! I’m so happy to hear about others’ barefoot adventures. Merry Christmas to you! (and if you ever want to get together for an OC barefoot hike/run/parkour adventure . . . let me know 🙂 )

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