A different paradigm: enjoy running
I don’t know about you, but since I run barefoot (in stead of shod), I have been experiencing a shift from a masculine paradigm to a feminine paradigm. I mean by that, that I gave up on running to win, to compete, towards an outcome, a result or a goal. I don’t compare myself anymore to my fellow runners, I don’t plan my runs anymore, I run when my body tells me to do so, I don’t measure the distance, time, heart rate anymore, I don’t follow the perfect running schedules anymore in order to run a certain distance in a certain time, speed is unimportant.
I don’t run to get slim, fit, healthy, the best, I don’t want to achieve anything with running anymore……
I guess it all has to do with that barefoot running makes you feel in stead of being mental, so you truly get into another mode. Some (ancient) cultures had/have that too.
What a liberation, release and freedom!
And what do I do now?
I enjoy running, I listen to my body, I discovered that my feet love the earth. No, even stronger than that: may I say that my feet have a love affaire with all the different ground textures of the earth?
This ecstatic feeling that I get, it’s hard to describe.
Every time it’s an adventure to sense every step, it sucks you right in the here and now, into an intense sensation of the body-nature-surrounding-unity.
I start to run and I pause when I like a certain view in nature or when my body tells me to do so (that was unheard of in the early shod days). I just don’t care anymore, because I have no masculine, measurable goals anymore. I don’t have to prove anything anymore to anybody. And even pain or injuries are ok, because in the masculine paradigm that was a hindrance to reach certain goals or to keep up with the fellow runners. So I don’t call my injuries names anymore. (But by the way: I was healed of an old, almost chronic Achilles tendon injury by starting to walk and run barefoot (against all professional advice 🙂 ).
Actually this is a whole different kind of sport – that’s why I call it here in the Netherlands “oerlopen” (translated: “primeval running” or something like that, compare the expression “primeval forest”: ancient forest which is not changed by man).
It’s such a miracle that the feet and the body know, every step on their way, how to adjust precisely to this specific type of surface, how to adjust the position of the feet, which muscles they have to use now and different ones somewhere else, dependent on surface, speed, mood, temperature etc etc. (Compare that to shoes in the masculine paradigm!, but comparing is very mental, so forget it).
Actually, I even don’t compare myself anymore to runners with shoes. That would be like comparing apples with pears. Like I said, this a different branch of sport.
So did barefoot running make me shift from paradigm? Did it make me giving up on running and did it give me joy instead?
So let’s stop to prove that barefoot running is better, or that shoes make smelly feet or blisters or force you to run unnaturally. We just have reinvented primeval running in modern times.