Review Disclosure

I am not compensated for any reviews on this site. Some products have been sent to me by the manufacturer without cost for the purpose of testing and review, without any conditions on the results or content of the reviews. I may receive commissions from items for which advertisements appear on this site.







Thursday, October 24, 2013

RUNNING IN THE DARK

Yesterday, I was up at 4:45 for my morning run. Put on the headlamp and headed out the door to be greeted with thick dense fog.  As I ran, the head lamp's light reflected off of the fog so much, I literally couldn't see where I was going.  It was really thick. I turned it off for a minute, to find that the foggy conditions spread out what little ambient light there was from a waning gibbous moon, and I could see just far enough ahead of me to keep going.  I decided to just run without the light.

It turned out to be an incredible experience.  It was, well, PRIMAL!  Just me, my and two K-9 running buddies (the German Shepherds who always come with me), running the trail through the darkness.  The trail I was on is one well known to me.  I don't know if I would try a new route under those conditions, but this was one of the most enjoyable runs I have had in a long time.  This time of year the sun is coming up later, so we had a good hour of real darkness.  The fog also muffles much of the sound, so we ran through the dark, hearing the water dripping off of the leaves of the oak trees as it collected from the fog.

I purposely made this one a slow run, and just cruised, enjoying the enveloping fog with the two 4-legged boys at an easy trot just ahead of me.  I almost hated to see the sun coming as the sky over Palomar Mountain to the east began to lighten a bit and the fog began to lift.

I've never liked running in a group of people, having preferred to be a solitary runner, except for the "boys".  This really cemented that feeling. Not everyone would like the experience, but if you can, you should give it a try.   

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

GoSt-Barefoots Online-Shop

Here's an interesting take on "barefoot shoes" (that term will always bother me).  Made of stainless steel mesh.  Seem to have good reviews, but really pricey.

GoSt-Barefoots Online-Shop:

'via Blog this'

Monday, September 23, 2013

THE REASONS WHY WE EAT

Weight control is a tough subject, and a touchy one for those who are carrying a bit (or a lot) of excess fat around with them.  In our society today, that seems to be the majority, at least anecdotally if you look around you on the street.  The big question is WHY has it happened.  People in western society, at least seem to be getting progressively fatter and fatter.  One reason is, of course, the abundance of food.  It is EVERYWHERE!  There are fast food "restaurants" (and I use that term loosely) on nearly every corner.  Grocery stores abound, and "convenience" stores stand ready, 24/7 with salty, sugary snacks and drinks.

If we didn't have this built-in drive to eat, those places wouldn't exist, as we wouldn't have an interest.  Nature has evolved us, over  the millenia, to have drives to survive, fuel ourselves, and reproduce.  It is no surprise that, as society changed and our bodies did not, these drives have become off-kilter, with predictable results.  The food drive is the reason that our hunter-gatherer ancestors became so good at their craft.  Boy, can we gather food!  When we had to climb, run, walk miles, and spend hours to get it, it worked beautifully.  We could sometimes gather up enough food to last us a few days, or even fatten ourselves up when there was abundant fruit and game, in preparation for sometimes bleak winter months, when life was much harder.

Eating is FUN!  Flavors in our mouth are pleasant.  Sweet fruit, good meat, some salt are all enjoyable.  It is that way for a reason.  If eating was an unpleasant task, our ancestors would not have become so good at it.  The problem is that, as our society "evolved" and grew more sophisticated, we, as a group, learned how to gain access to unlimited food supply, and to make it taste SO GOOD, that we want to eat all of the time.  Food has moved from nourishment to entertainment.  It is present at every celebration.  Most of us eat our "three squares" a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with snacks in between.   Kids at school have "snack time".  It doesn't matter whether we need to eat at a particular time.  We've all heard "It's dinner time!" since we were little kids.  If a little guy skins his knee, he gets ice cream to make him feel better.   Food is not looked at as nourishment now.  It is recreation.  If you can keep that in mind, you can beat this system.

I like ice cream as much as the next guy.  There's no denying that candy activates the pleasure centers in your brain.  What you have to do is to recognize food for what it is, what it should be, and what it's not.

What it is:  Food is what we take into our body to fuel it, to build it, and to repair it when it's damaged.

What it should be:  You SHOULD take in food in the amounts needed, with the nutrients that you need, in the quantity that you need, when you need it.

What it's not:  Food is not a substance to make you feel better when you are injured, depressed, angry or sad.  It's also not what you should celebrate with when you are happy.   It is NOURISHMENT, NOT ENTERTAINMENT.  You can celebrate some one's birthday without a giant plate full of sugar.  Go to the celebration, sing happy birthday, slap them on the back, give them a present, and politely decline the big slice of chocolate cake with sugar icing and ice cream on top.

Don't make yourself crazy with this.  It's not rocket science, it's pure nature.  If you REALLY want that cake at the time, eat it.  Realize however, that you are eating for recreation, not nourishment.  Don't make a habit of it.  Get yourself into hunter-gatherer mode, and MOST OF THE TIME, eat only what your ancestors, as I have said in the past, ad-nauseum, could PICK, FIND, OR CATCH.  If you do that, you'll gradually get back to normal weight.

Stay away from the "office doughnuts".  Don't grab a bag of chips and plop in front of the TV.  Get up, get outside, move around and eat real food in the amounts, and types that you need.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

WHY ARE YOU EATING? NO, REALLY ***WHY*** ARE YOU EATING?

What an amazing machine we have in this body!  It has been honed and fine-tuned as the ultimate survival mechanism for a couple of million years.  It can run hundreds of miles, lift hundreds of pounds, heal itself, go for long periods without refueling, withstand heat, cold, abrasion and trauma.  It can propel itself through any environment on Earth, including snow, sand, and water.  It can fight off disease, climb, fight, catch prey, escape predators, plan, evade, jump and swim long distances.

Why, therefore, are so many of our species currently in a state where they can do virtually none of the above.  There are some of us who, through no fault of our own, have been stricken with an injury, illness, or other malady or condition that limits our abilities.  We, as a society, have methods in place to provide assistance to our members who need it.  As we should.

There is, however, a huge portion of our population who choose actions or inaction which render them nearly helpless.  Having people render themselves into such a state is an infuriating sight to me.  We all have our shortcomings, for certain.  Not everyone can swim from Cuba to Florida, run across the continent, climb to the top of the world, or dive off of high cliffs into churning water.  Those of us who have the unbelievable fortune to be reasonably healthy can, however, do what we can to maintain that health and those natural abilities with which we have evolved.

I see daily, people who, because of the unparalleled availability of food, have consumed enough over long periods of time to render themselves barely mobile. Look around in any store, on the street, at sporting events or other venues where large numbers of people congregate.  It seems like nearly EVERYONE is overweight, and a great many people are obese to the point that it affects their very ability to walk.  The food available nearly everywhere, with no caloric cost is, I think, the culprit.  That's why I say "Simulate the Hunt" (C).   You need to expend calories to offset those consumed.  If you sit and consume thousands of calories (meaning kilo calories), obtained with no physical effort, it will pervert your body's built-in energy storage system to the point that you are rendered helpless to move, defend yourself or others, get to safety in an emergency situation, or even perform basic daily tasks.

We certainly don't want a famine.  We have really healthy food sources available in unprecedented amounts.  We have the scientific knowledge of what to do to stay healthy.  We have the ability.  We just need the fortitude and commitment to do so.

Drop the chips, get out of line at the fast food drive through, lose the soda.  Eat something that your hunter gatherer ancestor's could have CAUGHT, PICKED, OR FOUND.  Move that body around to pay the caloric price for what you eat.  The giant abdomen or wide hips will begin to shrink back to normal size.  Energy will pick up.  Organs will function better.  You will feel better, and be happier.  Just TRY it. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ANOTHER SHOE RANT

I work everyday in an enviornment that calls for "professional dress".  There are certain rules that are followed, but I continue to marvel at the footwear that people who are "dressed professionally" wear.  Men walk around all day wearing shoes that look hard, sometimes with a toe that is pretty pointed, and you can tell that they aren't comfortable on their feet by how they walk.  I have, over the past few years, been very observant of people's gaits, and it has become fairly easy to spot someone who is hurting or uncomfortable.  The men's shoes are bad enough, but the women's shoes is such environment are RIDICULOUS!  Not only do many wear stiff leather or other material, but they come to a virtual needle point, and it is really common to see 2,3,4 or more spike heels, with a 1 or 2" thick sole, and the feet pointing to the ground in a 45 or more degree angle.  They mince along, and many have apparently been doing it for so long that they don't realize how badly these things have affected their way of walking.

     I read or heard something on 9/11 that reminded people to pick their footwear carefully, as those who wore such impractical shoes on that day had no choice but to take them off as they negotiated hundreds of flights of stairs through debris that included broken glass.  Particularly for those who don't go barefoot on a regular basis, the feet aren't up to such a challenge, and you won't make it down many stairs quickly in 4" spike heels.

     The point is that feet were designed to provide you with mobility.  When you encase them in coverings that force them into unnatural configurations, you are going to eventually damage them, and in the mean time, render yourself practically immobile in the event of an urgent need to move.  Although we live in a pretty comfortable and safe environment for the most part, it is imperative that you leave yourself options.   It sounds a bit over dramatic, I know, but you should basically dress for combat in the morning.  Most days, it will never be an issue, but in the event of some horrendous event like those on the morning of 9/11, you, by wearing "fashionable" clothing/footwear, put not only yourself at risk, but those who may need to come to your aid.

     This carries over to your physical abilities, and I'll address that in another post, but we really need to get back to putting ourselves into a physical state something near nature intended.  OK, you don't want to, or can't go barefoot in every environment.  I understand that.  You can, however, find shoes that fit, are of a material that is flexible enough to allow your foot to move naturally, and have no, or at least a much lower heel.  Let your feet be feet.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Buy SKECHERS Girls' Twinkle Talls: Twinkle Plus 2 Wedge Sneakers only $58.00

Buy SKECHERS Girls' Twinkle Talls: Twinkle Plus 2 Wedge Sneakers only $58.00:

'via Blog this'  Wow! only $58 to get sneakers for you kids that have a "hidden 2 inch built in wedge heel"!

Ok, I'm no expert, so I can't say that these will harm your feet.  I just know that MY KIDS won't be wearing anything with a magic hidden 2" wedge heel to make them look taller (and, I assume, point their toes toward the ground).


Friday, August 2, 2013

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT BOOTCAMP CHALLENGE

                                 

      I see the Bootcamp Challenge is coming up again.  I ran this a few years ago, and it was an interesting experience.  The goal of this 5k obstacle course is to give civilians a taste of what Marine Recruits experience on a daily basis during basic training.   If you haven't had a chance to run this one, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.  It won't be the most challenging race you ever run, but it has some decent obstacles and it's really a lot of fun.  You will get to climb over horizontal logs, run up over stacks of straw bales, crawl through some sand pits, and hit the deck on several occasions for push-ups,.......oh, all the while being screamed at by a group of very motivated USMC Drill Instructors.

     The whole atmosphere is pretty festive, and when I ran it, at least, there was even an opportunity for you to complete the experience by getting a "3rd Phase" haircut, commonly referred to as a "high and tight".

     When you begin to line up at the start line, a scarlet faced Drill Instructor prowls through the ranks, singling out individuals and treating them to an up close and personal scream fest, veins popping out of his neck as he "motivates" them.

     I must disclose that I experienced the REAL DEAL from January to April of 1972, when I arrived on the bus and scrambled onto those yellow footprints that are painted in rows outside of the recruit barbershop awaiting new batches of incoming recruits.

     It was kind of like a homecoming as I approached the course.  It was laid out in the same place I had gone through it as a 19 year old.   Pretty nostalgic.  The "O Course", as it's known, is toned down considerably from the one to which the real recruits are subjected.  The rope climb, walking the logs, and a few other tasks are eliminated for this 5k.  The Drill Instructors get in your face and yell, demanding push-ups, etc., but they lack the sheer meanness of how they interacted with us as recruits.  I was kind of disappointed that the profanity, the derision, the family lineage insults were gone.  No punching, kicking, or stepping on your head now, either!  I think they toned it down on purpose.  Probably can't get too many civilians to come back an pay an entry fee again if you've actually punched them or stepped on their head.  The fact that it lasts 30 minutes rather than 12 weeks makes it much nicer, too.  It really was fun, and had I never been through the real thing, I'd probably do it again.

If you're up for it, and are in the San Diego area, give it a go! It's worth the $39.00 entry fee.  (Probably don't want to tackle this one totally barefoot.)  http://bootcampchallenge2013.eventbrite.com/

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Surprising Health Benefits Of Going Barefoot

The Surprising Health Benefits Of Going Barefoot:

'via Blog this'

Just Received Earth Runners Alphas

Just got the new Earth Runners Alphas in the mail.  Got them fitted, trimmed, ready for a run.  Can't wait to see how they stack up!  They feel good.  I wore them around for a couple of hours last night.  Seem to be of very good quality.  I will be writing a full review after I have a chance to run in them for awhile.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Earthing-More Perspective

I had an interesting experience yesterday.  At the risk of sounding too "New-Agey", I felt an intense connection with the earth.  We were working in the yard, and, as I often will do, I had kicked off an old pair of flip flops that I have, and was working barefoot.  It always feels good when I do that, but I stopped for a moment, and glanced off to the tops of a coastal mountain ridge, the view of which we are fortunate enough to see from our place.  I realized, at that moment, that there just might be something more to "Earthing" than I had realized.  With my feet in the dirt, I was absolutely connected, not with just the Earth directly beneath my feet......I was connected to that distant mountain ridge, as well.  It was a really good feeling to feel that connection.

Having practiced the Martial Art of Aikido for a number of years, I have studied and read in-depth about "Ki", or as the Chinese call it, "Chi" or "Qi".  It is that unseen force that drives the universe.  Believe it or not.  It is an individual point of view.  I just know that planting my feet in direct contact with the Earth gave me an unmistakable and direct connection with that distant mountain ridge, along with the remainder of the Earth.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The "Barefoot Community"

I've been bare footing most of my life.  Not exclusively, mind you.  The Marine Corps would have frowned upon that, I think.  I also work in a profession that requires certain dress codes, but when I'm home, I NEVER have shoes on inside, and frequently am barefoot outside, as well.

I have had, through various social media, a lot of interaction with the "barefoot" community, from purists to minimalists to dabblers.  One thing I notice is how cohesive this group is.  Not that there aren't disagreements, of course.  Maybe it's the relative numbers that give a "small town" atmosphere to the barefoot community.  It seems to be comprised of a small (compared to the shod group) group of people who really believe, based upon THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE, that reducing the amount of stuff surrounding your feet is a good thing.  Nearly all of us used to run in over-priced name brand running shoes, and have the injuries to prove it.  I have a bunion (I really hate that word, by the way) and the related adjoining toe problems on one foot from "running shoes" and boots, all of which I left permanently over 3 years ago.  The other foot seems to have miraculously escaped permanent damage.

I believe it's like the camaraderie of a group of strangers taking shelter under an overhang in the rain.  That may be the only thing they have in common, but it's enough at the moment.  If you post a legitimate question on virtually any site, page, forum, etc., you will have, almost instantly, dozens of answers from people who have had it before.  Everyone just wants to help.  I never will go back to "real" shoes as some put it.  The reasons?  Better for my feet, legs, back, you name it.  Plus, I like the company here too much.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

You need mattress springs tied to your feet in order to run?....................Really?............!!!

http://www.technewsdaily.com/18483-running-sneaker-uses-mattress-springs.html

At LAST!  Now people can really run!!!  We've been doing it all wrong for 2 million years.  Thank goodness that these guys finally came along.  Our ancestors could have hunted, survived, and procreated if only they'd had MATTRESS SPRINGS tied to their feet!  Oh, wait, they did all of that without the benefit of shoes, much less mattress springs.

Nothing against research, but reading this article, it sounds like these guys, so-called  "experts" have completely ignored our history, and focused upon the running shoe industry of the last 30 years.

I'm pretty sure that our ancestors were able to run withot the benefit of mattress springs attached to the bottoms of their feet.  I thought this was a joke.  Please let it be a joke.......................

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Plantar Fasciitis, Foot Pain, Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy, Heel Pain

Here is a lot of information, much of which I was unaware.

Plantar Fasciitis, Foot Pain, Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy, Heel Pain:

'via Blog this'

Earthing-The Discussion

     There is a lot of discussion out there about this idea of "Earthing".  I don't know the answers, and I've posted links to two different views about the issue.  I don't personally know if it works, but I think it's definitely worth trying.

       I firmly believe that going barefoot is good for you.  I'm getting back to the basic philosophy of this blog.  Returning to the primitive.  Your feet were carefully and painstakingly designed over a couple of million years to work EXTREMELY WELL without any type of covering.  Our countless ancestors trekked over mountains, forests, deserts and plains without the "benefit" of the designers from Nike, Adidas, New Balance, etc. etc. etc.

     Modern shoes seek to confine the foot, squeeze it into different shapes, make it work at unusual angles, isolate it from the elements................you get it.   I don't know if the whole electrical charge thing is fact, but there is some science behind it.
      I've been going barefoot since I was a kid.  During the summers, growing up on the plains of Western Kansas, I virtually never wore shoes unless we were going somewhere that required them.  I ran, played, jumped, rode bikes, etc. without them.  I've been fortunate to be pretty healthy, too.  Is it because of all of that electrical current that I discharged?  Don't know, but I still love to be barefoot and don't plan to change that anytime soon............

Barefoot Discussions - Part 2: Not All Barefooters Believe in Grounding / Earthing. - YouTube

Another view about the issue.
Barefoot Discussions - Part 2: Not All Barefooters Believe in Grounding / Earthing. - YouTube:

'via Blog this'

Walking Barefoot Might Be An Essential Element of Good Health

Walking Barefoot Might Be An Essential Element of Good Health:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, June 1, 2013

XERO SHOES-THE ULTIMATE RUNNING SANDALS-20% OFF SALE THROUGH JUNE 7!

STEVEN SASHEN has announced that after their appearance on SHARK TANK, XERO SHOES are now 20% off.  If you've been thinking about getting a pair (I have 3!) this is the time to go for it.  Link to the right will get you there.  I run in these all the time.  It is really the closest thing to barefoot that you will get.  These ride really nicely on your feet to the point that I don't even feel them when I run.  If you've been wanting to try barefoot running, but are concerned about damage to your feet, these provide just that protection that you need without restricting your feet in any way.  They're great on (and I've run on all of these)  Dirt, grass, mud, asphalt (even chip seal), concrete, gravel, trails.....you name it.  Mine have hundreds of miles on them.  They  come with a 5,000 mile warranty.  Try to get that from any other running shoe!  These are really inexpensive anyway, and now you can even get 20% knocked off THOSE prices!  Give 'em a try.  Link to the right->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CONCEPT | ULTRA-TRAIL Mt.FUJI

Just watched a great program on TV Japan about this ultra;
CONCEPT | ULTRA-TRAIL Mt.FUJI:

It's a 161k trail ultra around the base of Mt. Fuji.  Take a look!

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 29, 2013

I’ve Got CIVD | Ahcuah

This is a really interesting article.  I had experienced this as a child when playing in the snow, when my hands suddenly felt warm, but didn't know the science behind it.  Read on:
I’ve Got CIVD | Ahcuah:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Can Minimalist Shoes Be Beneficial For Osteoarthritis-Related Knee Pain? | Podiatry Today

Link from Steven Sashen at Xero Shoes.  Looks like great information:

Can Minimalist Shoes Be Beneficial For Osteoarthritis-Related Knee Pain? | Podiatry Today:

'via Blog this'

WHY RUNNING IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER "SPORTS"

     I do my best thinking during early morning runs, in the dark or semi-darkness, it seems.  Today, about the 3 mile mark, with my two German Shepherds in front, pacing me at an easy trot for them, I began to realize why running is different.  Runners share a comeraderie, whether it's an elite ultra runner, or a plodder (I put myself much closer to the latter category), the feeling is the same.  Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it feels great, it's hot, it's cold, it's wet, it's windy, it's hilly, it's............. you get the drift.  When I see someone run, whether it's the elites at the Carlsbad 5k at record paces, or it's some guy or lady who is overweight, huffing and puffing and barely moving faster than a walk, I feel the same respect for what they're doing.

     I know there have been fights between runners, and bad feelings when someone cuts too close in front during a race, etc., but it's extremely rare, considering the huge numbers of runners.  You see baseball fights, hockey fights, fights in football, angry words back and forth in tennis, you name the sport.  I think it's  because "our sport" is so basic to our evolution.  The ability to run meant life or death  to whole civilizations for literally hundreds of thousands of years.  It is something that rests deep within ALL of us at some level.  It was the sole means of traveling, getting food, and escaping predation until a few thousand years ago.  That is why, even when it hurts, it leaves us feeling good. 

     As I have said in previous posts, if you run, you are a runner.  That's all it takes.  You may be a "fast runner", a "slow runner", a sprinter, a distance runner, etc.  Those are just adjectives.  Stick with the noun.  You are a "runner".  Go run.
     

Monday, April 1, 2013

KIDS VS. ADULTS RUNNING STYLE

     I had the opportunity to go to observe a "Jog-a-Thon" fundraiser at my son's elementary school the other day.  The kids run laps around a track for 1/2 hour to earn donations from parents/friends/family who donate "per lap".  There were, probably 50 kids, 5th grade and under, and a few parents and teachers who joined in.
      The difference was truly astounding to a barefooter/minimalist!  Nearly every one of the kids, who were running in everything from street shoes to sneakers, was hitting with a mid-foot or forefoot strike.  They were having FUN running.  The parents and teachers, most of whom were wearing "running shoes", were doing the heel stomp.   I watched with fascination as the kids ran so lightly, like so many deer, just having fun and running with their friends.

     This heel stomping style of running, with "running shoes" is TRULY learned behavior, and benefits only the shoe companies (and orthopedists)!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

LITTLE BOYS AND STICKS

     I like to observe behavior, particularly when it is indicative of our basic nature.  We were at some friends' house yesterday, and each of the three couples there has a boy in the age range from 6 to 7.  As boys will do, the three immediately began to play.  In a very few minutes, each of he three boys had picked up a stick.  They weren't being aggressive with each other or anything, just playing with the sticks.  One of the boys' dads commented, "Did you notice how all boys like to play with sticks?"  He's right.  Not that some little girls might not like to play with sticks, but with boys, it seems almost universal.  As with everything in these posts, this is my own opinion.  I'm not offering any statistical evidence for this, but I wonder if boys are, deep in their 2 million years old psyches, programmed to use sticks.  If you think about it, sticks were likely the original equalizers for our ancestors.  How many times did our relatives lost in the mists of antiquity pick up a stick or a branch to fend off a predator or to defend himself or his family from others.   Most of the early weapons that were made consisted of some combination of sticks and/or rocks.  Makes you think that we're not really that far removed from our roots.

Blog Archive

Follow by Email