At the end of May this year, I spent a few days in Boston with family – a long overdue visit to one of North America’s most historic cities. We settled in along the Charles River at the foot of the main bridge leading to the centre of ‘Beantown’. This put us literally within walking distance of Little Italy, Wharf 7, the TD Boston Garden etc.
Of course, for the coach, it put me within 30 seconds of running along the Charles River east and west as well as over the bridge into downtown – barefoot! Yet again being the only barefoot runner amongst the 100s of early morning Bostonian runners, I get the stares, odd looks and proverbial “how are your feet” inquiries. It never ceases to amaze me how North Americans look upon running barefoot as a step back into the Stone Age…instead of a way to run continuously under any conditions – INJURY-FREE!!
My best barefoot run of our visit was over all types of rough surfaces along the edge of the Charles and over the iron slats of the main bridge (the gaps & hard surface made me lock into lighter, tighter running at a faster cadence – poetry in motion!). I scooted over river rock, gravel, grass, clay trails, boulders, concrete, rough asphalt…to name a few materials…with no issues. I finished the run with a swim (at high tide) in the Charles River amongst 1000s of my new ‘friends’ – jellyfish! At first, I had no idea what they were – thus, I scooped one out of the river. Not the most intelligent thing I’ve done on life BUT – no harm done. It slid harmlessly off my hand back into the river. Beautiful…!
Later that day, my wife was reading an article that said the Charles is the cleanest river in America – this after a major commitment by the City of Boston to clean it up over the past 15 years. The irony is – I had just commented on how much ‘crap’ I swam through in only one area. If this is the cleanest river in America, I would NOT want to go anywhere near the filthiest!
All in all, it was a wonderful trip to a great city. Having the opportunity to get in a few Squat-Scoot barefoot runs was an added bonus for me. The ability to lock in, centre my balance, literally glide from surface to surface invigorates me – especially being able to do so injury-free. More and more of my clients are shifting to some percentage of barefoot running – immediately noticing the elimination of pain and avoidable injuries.
If you haven’t done so yet, hook up with a certified, experienced barefoot running coach and give it a go! You will NOT regret it.