#EsmeFlorenceHawthorn at 21 Months – #InjruyFreeRunning #Barefoot Update:

It’s hard to believe but my grand-niece (and future Canadian Olympic barefoot athlete!), Esme, is now 21 months young. Time (as usual in my life) is flying by. Since my last update on Esme 5 months ago, she has been doing some rather amazing things. A few of these are as follows:

  • running barefoot on the hard sand beaches of the Dominican Republic (see photo below).

Esme running on beach

Notice her natural knee drive forward, her squared up and quiet shoulders, her left arm drive, her bent knee on the push-off leg, her level hips that indicate perfect centering and balance – all this at age 21 months

  • floating free and easy in the Caribbean Sea (see photo below). Even though she is wearing ‘water wings’, notice the total lack of fear, absolute look of joy, perfect balance in water well over her head, the muscle development around her neck, upper chest and shoulders – a direct indicator of natural muscle activation from the feet through her whole body

Esme in Ocean

Esme’s parents continue to support her going barefoot as much as possible in different scenarios and on surfaces. This has a direct effect on her positive attitude, sheer joy of living and a level of activity that even tires out her Great Uncle Jeff. As she continues to go barefoot on different surfaces and experiments with different modalities of motion (walking and running backwards, jumping up and down and forward, twisting side to side, balancing on 1 leg and doing leg crossovers), her risk of avoidable ‘growth’ injuries, aches and pains decreases dramatically.

In a video clip that my sister (and Esme’s grandmother) sent me (and that I haven’t been able to figure out how to insert into my blog post yet), Esme regales us with a few yoga moves (the dog pose, the sitting leg crossover, the 1-legged stance), backward walking, high double leg jumps and hopping and a wild rendition of the ‘twist’! She interjects with “Namaste” for all of my yoga blog followers.

My wish is that by the time Emse enters full time school, she’ll be allowed to attend barefoot. If not, I will make sure she has the patented Barefoot-Science progressive domed inserts in any of the footwear she is forced to wear. Further, I implore all parents of young ones to get AND keep them barefoot. Buck the standard North American ‘way’ of putting kids in ‘coffins’ (shoes) and crippling their ability to activate from their feet thus balancing their body, protecting themselves from needless injury and pain and developing the ability to run safely with power and efficiency. This would be the greatest gift of all for your children.

As Esme says…“NAMASTE!”

coach Jeff


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