Had a very pleasant 10K barefoot run this morning. Unlike other runs recently, I covered a lot of different surfaces on this one – nice smooth asphalt roadway, much rougher and less pleasant asphalt roadway, some lumpy and rough sidewalk, and even a nasty metal grate ventilation cover. As if that weren’t enough, I’m learning to roll my feet over the small stones that inevitably crop up from to time.
Feeling the ground is an integral part of running barefoot. It’s part of being connected, part of being sensual, part of being alive. As well as feeling all of those surfaces, I can feel changes in the road’s temperature when it’s in shadows. I can feel the cool dampness of a grass surface early in the morning. It’s all about the feet being an important part of the body’s neurological feedback loop. The body feels, the brain processes, and the mind focuses. It’s a great way to start the day.
Focus is good. Focus is especially good first thing in the morning. Years and years ago, I shaved with a straight razor every day for about six months. It gave a great shave, but the best part was bringing the mind and hands to a very clear focus first thing in the morning. Running barefoot is like that – but it’s a lot more fun!