Keep Your Babies #BAREFOOT!! for #InjuryFreeRunning


A little over 1 month ago, I blogged about my grand-niece, Esme Hawthorn, showing great barefoot running form potential…at age 4 1/2 months!! Well, 1 month further into her young life, Esme has progressed to ‘walking’ on log beams (see video clip accompanying this blog) and doing full push-ups from a perfectly held prone plank position (see photo). I am amazed that a 5 1/2 month year old is able to do such physically challenging things – barefoot, of course, and well!

Esme’s parents are huge fans of connecting barefoot with Mother Earth. As a result, Esme is encouraged to go barefoot virtually all the time on ANY surface and under ANY conditions. I’m convinced that this is why Esme is so strong through her full core, advanced WAY beyond her age as to balance, body motion control and toe gripping/cupping of any surface (note how she cups her toes and grips the rough surface of the beam automatically and forcefully). You will also note her head position (level and looking forward). Her eyes never waver from the forward position and she seems to have an intuitive trust of her parent and her body – in other words, no fear! If only ALL parents had the same approach with their babies, there would be virtually no ankle, knee, hip, back and shoulder injuries that plague so many youngsters as they get involved in physical activities.

Esme’s grandma (my sister, Joan), tells me that Esme is also ‘water running’ whilst wearing her waist life preserver and ‘walking’ over river rock, pebbles, rough asphalt and gravel at the family cottage and home (in Toronto, Canada). I’ve noticed that she is alert to her environment, physically powerful and balanced and mentally determined well beyond her age of 51/2 months.

I have been competing in various sports for over 50 years and coaching athletes of all ages and abilities for 45 years. Never have I encountered an athlete who shows as much natural affinity for barefoot activity than little Esme. If only ALL of my clients showed the same natural affinity, I would have a team full of world champions. My prediction in the 1st Esme blog last month was “remember the name – Canada’s Olympic barefoot running champion circa 2038” – looks like it WILL come true!!

Keep your babies BAREFOOT!!!

coach Jeff




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