I’m currently getting ready for a half marathon in June and had a nice 10 mile run on Sunday. Coming home my 3 kids saw me running down the road and they all ran out, all barefoot as well, to greet me. It was really cool, I wish I could have captured that picture. So I said to my 3-year-old daughter if she wanted to run up the road with me, my middle son had my phone and snapped this picture of us. Amazing how natural kids run barefoot, but we all ran this way as kids. I believe we are all born with a natural foot strike, but years of footwear diminishes that natural instinct, but can always be re-learned.
Let me come clean. I used to make fun of crossfit until I took a class and instantly become hooked. But this is not shocking to me, I knew it would happen and I knew I would love it. Crossfit is perfectly designed for my DNA makeup. It’s a nice structured program that basically touches upon every movement of the body, it’s fast and intense, then you are done. I went to 3 different crossfit gyms for a “free” workout and get a feel for the scene. Was I intimated? Yes! There can be that superiority, holier than thou attitude with some crossfitters, it’s definitely out there. I could careless about the fashion as well. I’m also not sold on kipping or these butterfly pull-ups, to me that’s just not a pull-up. I’m all about keeping it strict. But so far my overall experience, with 3 different gyms, is everyone is pretty damn cool and supportive. It’s absolutely a community.
I’m not fully a member at a gym yet. I try to do at least one drop-in at this particular gym that I like, and will probably start a membership there when I can afford it. To be honest crossfit is not cheap! I basically live from paycheck to paycheck and I don’t have an extra $140 floating around, which would cost for 2 classes a week for a month. So the knowledge I gain from classes and online stuff, I do my own WOD at home. I have a decent size garage that I can actually turn into a small crossfit gym, which is something I’m interested in doing. You just need some basic things to get going. I already have a pull-up bar, something for dips, two Kettlebells, some dumbbells, a jump robe, and an old school barbell with weights. My next purchase would be an Olympic bar and bumper weights, that’s a must have.
This was my work out this morning in the garage:
5 minute double unders
10 hanging knee raises
10 pistol squats (5 per leg)
10 hollow Rocks
5 rounds for time
12 dead lifts
9 hanging power cleans
6 push jerks
You are supposed to use 155lbs for this workout. I stared with 80lbs. since it’s the first time doing this. It’s not easy.
It was so nice to finally head out the door for a run in just a t-shirt and shorts. I had a nice 7 mile run on Sunday morning, slowly starting to train for a half marathon in June.
7.1 mile barefoot run. Time: 1:03. Pace: 8.57
The winter of 2017 has been somewhat mild. It was unusually warm at the end of February and in the beginning of March, I was in shorts at times and observing the crocuses and daffodils prematurely sprouting. March can be a funny month, such as the saying goes, March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb, or vice versa.
So we got our good first snow of the winter. It’s crazy because I’m not a fan of winter and really could careless about the snow as I get older, but I always find great excitement running in the snow. Anyways 6:30am the alarm goes off, I change and out the door I go wearing my Vibram Komodsports. It’s snowing pretty good, wind is at 20 mph, with a temperature of 25 degrees F, and not a soul is out. As I am heading home up ahead in the middle of the street I see someone with a tripod and camera. I stop and he introduces himself and asks if I want to talk about the weather. He worked for HAN Network. So random but a fun experience.
Here is the video.
Here is another video I did at the tail end of my run.
This image may well be my next tattoo. But what is Wabi-Sabi?
Not sure how I started following Mark Baumer’s journey to walk barefoot across American to support awareness of climate change and water shortages, maybe through some Facebook link, but I happened to start following his journey from the beginning. He started in October and fast forward to September I’m in my car with my oldest son going home from a soccer game, when I see this guy in a poncho, bright green shorts walking barefoot. I knew instantly it was him just from watching his videos which he posted which were awesome and entertaining. I had to pull over and introduce myself. We chatted just for a few seconds and off we went on our own ways. He certainly had a unique personality and I was inspired with his outlook on life.
When I heard he had been killed it really shocked and saddened me. I only met him for a few seconds but it seemed I actually knew him more than that. Just a tragic accident and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. RIP Mark, what you were doing was amazing and I enjoyed following your journey.
7 years of running barefoot under my belt, a few weeks ago I had a slight epiphany when it comes to running barefoot in the winter, humidity determines a lot with the comfort level. You have the obvious common factors of what will make your barefoot run enjoyable, challenging, or miserable during the colder months which are, temperature, dry or wet conditions, ice, snow, wind, but one thing I never took into consideration was the humidity. Living in New England we experience periods of high humidity in the spring/summer months, at least with me I never gave humidity a thought during winter. See how strange my mind thinks as someone who runs barefoot in all seasons.
I get mixed reviews from my feet running barefoot in the winter, it can be 20 degrees F and that run can feel great, the next run it can be in the 30’s and the feet feel over-sensitive. Again, common sense will tell you that wet conditions in winter is always a challenge as opposed to dry conditions. The point is why do some colder runs feel more comfortable than warmer runs? That’s where the humidity factor comes into play, something I never thought about until a few weeks ago.
Every morning before a run I check my trusty “Weather Channel” app on my phone to see what I’m dealing with and off I go. Last week before a run I checked the temperature before my 5:00AM run and it was 35 degrees F, not bad at all, scroll down a bit more and I notice the humidity was 60%, wow I thought, that is high even though when you go outside you don’t initial feel that humidity. I got 4 miles in, dry conditions, but the feet were super sensitive on this run, and it actually felt like it was in the 20’s. That’s when my very small light bulb in my head went off, humidity! I put that thought in my memory bank for the next run.
A few days later, the same process wake up at 5AM, check my phone first before I head out. Temperature reads 28F, wind at 15 mph, and humidity at 20%. Given the fact I had that wind going, this run was much more comfortable, the sensitivity was minimal compared to the previous run at 35 degrees. What I learned with this observation is the comfort of running barefoot in lower temperatures all depends on the humidity index. High humidity expect some discomfort, low humidity is your friend.
Case in point on this morning 3.5 mile barefoot run, 15 degrees F. Coldest run of the season so far, humidity was 30% which made it very tolerable and was still more comfortable than my run last week at 35 degrees F. Once it hits the teens I become more cautious, it’s not about distance but exposure to time. Reflecting back to a few snow runs throughout the years, I remember that nice, fresh, crisp fluffy snow where surprisingly it feels great to run barefoot in, compared to that thick dense snow where the coldness just cuts you to the bone, I’m sure it had to do with the humidity. Absolutely useless information, but to a barefoot runner maybe it can hold some value.
I love music, all genres and variety, except country, sorry it just does nothing for me. Growing up there was always a variety of music playing from my parents, it went from Crosby, Stills & Nash, rock, classic rock, all the way to the classic years of Motown. I gravitated to the black artists mostly when younger, I remember the first time I discovered James Brown and was completely blown away. Then discovering Michael Jackson, that was the cream of the crop for me, I became obsessed with MJ, still my favorite artist to this day.
Soul, Rhythm & Blues, the Motown culture, the rise of Hip Hop out of New York was fascinating to me. One of my favorite shows to watch as a kid was Soul Train on Saturday mornings. My favorite part of the show was the dance off. I was soaking it all in like sponge.
My earliest memories of hip hop was probably around 1982 or so, I was around 12 years old. I remember on a Friday night listening to DJ Red Alert on the radio, 98.7 to be exact, on my boom box and making my own mixed cassette tapes. I would pop a blank cassette in and when a song came on I liked I would press record, then hit pause when it was over, then just repeat again. I would pause out all the commercials and talking so I just had a continuous flow of songs. Then I discovered break dancing, I would practice for hours. Just dancing in general was something huge to me at this point. I self taught my self to break dance, and dancing just by watching Soul Train, Micheal Jackson, etc. I was completely enthralled with the culture of the streets, you want to learn how to dance with soul, or break dance you certainly won’t find that in the white suburban neighborhood where I lived. So the TV and VHS tapes were my tutorial system. A major movie influence was Beat Street, once that came out it was over!
My sister was into ballet and at this one place she took classes there was a sign for break dance lessons, so of course I had to check it out. I remember after my first class one of the instructors came up to me and asked if I wanted to teach. I was like 13 at the time, for one that was a huge compliment, but refused the offer, had no interest to teach. I went to a few more classes and since I was at the same level as the instructor I just stopped with the lessons. In all honesty, I wanted to take ballet as well, a little secret I kept to myself. It was a little dream of mine to be a dancer and somehow make a living with it, oh well that ship has sailed.
Here is a picture of me at 14, maybe around 1984, at one of my middle school dances. It was a very “white” school but there I was going to school in track suites, toe shell Adidas with the fat laces, suede puma’s, drawing graffiti on my notepads and submerged into 80’s rap. Not only was I knee-deep into the music, but the culture as well.
Fast forward the to the 90’s and basically I was at the mall buying at least 3 hip hop tapes a month, maybe more. I have a huge Tupperware bin to this day with all the tapes I accumulated during that time period. 90’s hip hop is no doubt my favorite era. I’m not going list my favorites but if I have to pick one album that really blew me away it was Public Enemy’s “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back”
It was hardcore, raw, aggressive and controversial. The production was on another level, sampling at it’s finest, extremely creative and unique. This album taught me more about black history leaders than any school or book. It was more than music, it was an education as well. I was definitely a soul child, I had to question if it was my Dad or the mailman, kidding!
Peace and Merry Christmas!
My family and I had a great short vacation in Newport, RI this August. We try to go every year, it’s a nice getaway without extensive traveling. We are beach people so if there is a beach, a pool we are good to go. We stayed at the Atlantic Beach Hotel which is in Middletown RI, it’s a great location, the beach is right across the street, a few restaurants, some surf shops and it’s all within walking distance. Newport, RI is about a mile from where we stayed and that’s always fun to go into town and check out the stores and scenery. The night life during the summer is full of action and so many great places to eat, so after a nice dinner it’s fun to walk around and take in the scenery. The seaports are really beautiful at night, and some of the yacht’s that come and dock are insane.
On our last day there I got up at 7:00am to sneak out for a barefoot beach run, then hit the Cliff Walk and run that for a bit. I slipped out the door with everyone still asleep, and it was a beautiful morning, clear sky’s and about 75 degrees at 7Am. I first hit the beach and barely anyone out there. Something about the ocean that is so spiritual and cleansing, if I had the money my dream home would be right on the beach somewhere, to wake up every morning and having the ocean greet you would be absolutely amazing.
I never bring my phone when running but for this one I did, I wanted to capture some moments.
Here’s a quick video when I hit the beach.
Some photo’s I took from the cliff walk, it was a perfect morning.
Most of the Cliff Walk is paved except for one section, I thought it would be fun to record this part running the rocky section. I had to concentrate on foot placement and while recording could be a bad combination, so took it nice and easy.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, or enjoy the beginning of your summer wherever you are!
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