I’ve been going barefoot since 2009 – walking, running, hiking, training, playing, and just otherwise being barefoot for the vast majority of my lifestyle. It’s been great and I love it, but that’s not what this post is about. You see, in that time, I’ve had to adapt my social skills to include a large selection of quick responses that must be ready at a moments notice. If you’re already a barefoot runner, then you know exactly what I mean. You just never know when someone is going to publicly announce their opinion about your feet, and it’s immensely satisfying to be able to respond to these poorly thought-out remarks with flair. And let me warn you, these foot-stalkers can come out of nowhere!
Case in point. I was running with my dog on one of our usual routes, a portion of which is frequented by walkers, runners, and cyclists. It was pretty cold that day, and it was raining with a thick, foggy haze, too. Then it happened. A single humanoid figure started to appear in the fog ahead – walking toward us. My dog, Ronin, perked up immediately, raising his imposing posture to appear as large as possible (not hard for him) and directing all of his attention on the mysterious, approaching figure with a “let me at ‘em” expression. I whispered “easy boy” and reminded him that he had already eaten breakfast that day.
It was at this moment that something just told me that I wasn’t going to get past this person without receiving at least a small dose of teasing – maybe it was the high-tech shoes he was wearing, or his awkward stride, but deep down, I knew what was about to happen. I was going to get the “treatment.”
I prepared myself as best I could with only the few moments I had. As we got closer, I could see that it was an older gentleman with a cheerful smile, which quickly turned to a scowl as he said to me, “my word! Your feet must be freezing,” to which I responded, “daaaa, guuhhh, duhduhduh – yeah.” And we kept running past him – hardly breaking stride. Needless to say, it wasn’t my most shining moment, but I was now determined to succeed next time this happened! So, I literally spent the rest of my run thinking about what I should have said (does that make me weird?). Next time, I wouldn’t be caught off guard!
Continue reading Barefoot Running Lingo + Things NOT to Say When Running Barefoot
Interview with Damien Tougas About All-Things Minimalist Footwear
You know it’s a good day when you open your email inbox to find an interview that you’ve been waiting for nearly a month to get back, and that it was more than worth the wait. This is one of those interviews that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside – something I’m proud to publish. While reading through it this morning, I kept muttering to myself, “this is good stuff.”
It’s no surprise, of course, because Damien Tougas is truly a minimalist footwear expert. He’s been experimenting, testing, and reviewing all kinds of footwear options for years. So much so, that every time I’ve visited him, he’s got a huge bin just stuffed full of shoes just waiting to be worn for the first time. Yep, all the major footwear manufacturers send him free minimalist shoes, sandals, slippers, boots, and moccasins, among other things because they want his opinion.
On top of that, Damien is also the founder of Toe Salad: the Internet’s premier minimalist footwear website, but he’s the real deal not just because he’s tried a lot of shoes and has a snazzy website about them. He’s the real deal because he’s found a way to truly help people understand and benefit from proper footwear choices – and it’s not hip, trendy, new-age nonsense either. Damien is a really down-to-earth guy and he wants simple solutions that are practical and based on common sense. Personally, I consider him THE go-to guy for all things regarding footwear. Damien also happens to be a friend of mine, and he’s a very cool guy who enjoys a lot of outdoorsy interests. What can I say – I’ve got cool friends.
So, let’s get right down to it. If you are at all intrigued by minimalist footwear (or going barefoot) – perhaps on the fence about it – then this interview is for you. You will learn a lot – as I have. You’ll also notice that there are a lot of very useful links spread throughout. They’re included for a reason. So, don’t be shy – check them out!
All right. Enough blabbing from me – enjoy the interview.
Continue reading The Minimalist Footwear PRIMER Featuring The “Man Of Many Shoes”
How to Start Walking Every Single Day in One Month Or Less – Introducing the “1 Minute a Day” Walking Program
Have you ever wondered why they don’t say, “walk for your life?” I mean, seriously! Walking has been linked to increases in nearly all measurable health markers, and decreases in the risk of nearly all preventable diseases? I know, big surprise, right? Of course, everyone knows that walking is really good for us, and people like Dr. Mike Evans will show you why walking might actually be the single best thing for our health.
But what if I told you that not only is walking a universally beneficial activity that is accessible to nearly everyone with two good legs, but it’s also very easy to do. And I’m not kidding either. Pick up one foot, lean forward slightly and then put it down. Go ahead. Try it right now. Then do that same motion with your other leg. See? It’s almost like we were made for walking. Keep practicing, and it’ll get smoother in no time.
Around here, we take walking seriously.
So, we’ve identified something that is incredibly good for us. We’ve also identified that you can do it yourself – or at least well enough to not require a personal trainer at this stage. You can book some sessions to improve your technique later.
So, now that you can do something that’s good for you, what’s stopping you from getting out there and soaking up all the rewards that come with regular walking? Ah, willpower – of course! Most people would love to have a regular habit of walking and experience the myriad of benefits to be had. The problem is that, for whatever reason, it just doesn’t happen. That’s an easy one, too, and I’ll make you a deal. If you will commit just 1 more minute a day, then I’ll get you into a regular walking habit in one month or less – seriously. I’m going out on a limb here, but this may just be the easiest walking program ever devised. In fact, the first step is so easy that we’re going to get started right now. Yes, right now.
The “1 Minute a Day” Walking Program
Grab a watch, cell phone, or anything that will help you measure a minute (or you could always just count, “one one thousand, two one thousand…” for now). Now that you have your time keeping apparatus handy or heady, as the case may be, I want you to stand up and walk for 30 seconds straight – without stopping. After the 30 seconds is over, immediately turn around and walk right back here and then continue reading.
Continue reading Burn Fat, Build Willpower, and Get Healthier With This EASY Walking Program
Two days ago, you might have noticed that some websites you normally use were down or just weren’t working correctly. This wasn’t a coincidence or a mere fluke. On January 18, over 7,000 reported websites shut down to protest legislation that threatens some of the fundamental internet freedoms we enjoy today. And these weren’t all small, fringe websites either. Maybe you’ve heard of Wikipedia. No? How about Google then? Yep. The big G. And when I say these websites were shut down – they literally went dark – total blackout in some cases. (Note: Google didn’t actually black out as they originally threatened)
This internet protest happened because of two pieces of legislation that are facing America today: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Those are really nice sounding names that instill faith in each bill’s terms, and who wouldn’t want to stop online piracy and protect those important IP addresses? But the makeup of these bills is much more sinister than their facades may reveal. These bills would deliberately take away many of the basic Internet freedoms we enjoy today, and would enable the government to regulate even more of this wonderful, currently-free tool. I won’t get into the details here (see references below for further reading), but the logical extreme of this type of legislation could easily turn into a nightmare for internet users.
Here’s a short infographic to give you an example of some of the end-user consequences if such legislation becomes law.
Note for my international readers: If this happens here in the USA, then it would set a global precedent and it may be coming to a neighborhood near you sooner than later.
Created by: Online University
The good news is that the protest did make an impact, and last I heard, at least six U.S. Senators changed their stance on the issue to stand with the people - including NH’s Kelly Ayotte, I might add. Live free or die, people. Live Free or Die (NH state motto) . That’s refreshing to hear, to say the least, but the fight is not over. These bills are still pending, and they could be back in the spotlight any minute, or quietly addressed in Congress without anyone knowing about it.
No, the Internet isn’t perfect, but if you like the way it is, for the most part, and don’t want to see it change exponentially, then I would urge you to contact your local representatives and strongly urge them to oppose these two bills. If you’ve never done that before, it’s not hard and takes no more time than sending an email.
If you’ll do that, you have my thanks. I want to keep bringing information to you, and that just wouldn’t be likely if these bills were signed into law.
You can Click Here to find and contact your local Representatives, and you can Click Here to find and contact your local Senators.
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CST Coach, CST-KS
Health-First Fitness Coach
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With the busyness of the holidays, and the arrival of my daughter just before the New Year, I’ve had my hands full for the last several weeks. Things are mostly back to normal now – a new normal for us.
(Click to enlarge)
We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming very soon. The results from last year’s survey have helped me form a solid direction for Physical Living in 2012. Big plans, folks. Big plans indeed. I’ll keep you posted!
CST Coach, CST-KS
Health-First Fitness Coach