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David

My journey into barefooting began during a Family Medicine rotation during my fourth year of medical school.  One of the patients in the clinic told me about a book, Born to Run, about a tribe of “super-athletes” that live in the Copper Canyons of Mexico.  This ancient tribe has an incredible trait . . . they run.  Let me be more specific . . . they run, and run, and run . . . sometimes hundreds of miles at a time.  It’s truly an astounding story, but gets even better.  This civilization has been lost to advancing society for hundreds of years, so where do they get their shoes?  They make them.  These people are running hundreds of miles at a time in homemade shoes . . . well into their old age.  In truth, they run in something more aptly described as sandals.

The next part of my journey came when I was in the operating room during another rotation and I met a nurse anesthetist.  She runs triathlons.  I’ve always respected people that run marathons and triathlons, but I’ve always thought they were a bit crazy.  However, meeting this woman changed my paradigm . . . the timing was perfect.  I’m starting to feel the effects of aging more and more.  I know how to hold these effects back a bit . . . exercise and nutrition.  So, I’ve been searching for an exercise program I would enjoy, could do anywhere or anytime, and do it for the rest of my life.  The best exercise in the world not done will do absolutely nothing.  So, the absolute best exercise you can do is one you enjoy and will continue to do.

In the book, a type of shoes is mentioned called Vibram Five Fingers.  I looked them up online after I heard about them and thought they were bizarre.  What do you think happened next?  I bought a pair.  The salespeople at the store asked me if I had read Born to Run.  I hadn’t.  I got the kindle version, read it on my iPhone, and it changed my life!  I’m now trying to do everything I can in either bare feet or wearing a minimalist shoe.  This blog is a chronicle of my journey.

While I try to run exclusively barefoot, the Salt Flats proved to be much too advanced for my feet.  The salt crystals were akin to a field of shattered glass.  Thank goodness for my Vibrams!