Reflections of a Winter Barefoot Runner - Part 1

As the temps get colder here in the Heartland, people's responses to my barefoot running become more emphatic ... YOU'RE CRAZY, MAN! Hmmmm ... got to thinking about that a bit. I don't really think people think I am "crazy" for running barefoot in sub-freezing weather. Nor do I think their perceived insanity of yours truly is because I am dressed for summer from the waist down (just a pair of running shorts), but from the waist up I am wearing two long-sleeved shirts, a stocking cap, and gloves. Of course, we barefoot runners know that if you conserve heat in the upper torso a runner will pump that heat down toward exposed areas.

I really don't think they think I am "crazy". How inappropriate would that be to actually say that to someone who ACTUALLY is Looney Tunes! I mean, if there were no doubt that a person were insane or crazy, a person wouldn't go up to said person and just level them out with the news that they were bonkers. No indeed! That would not be the politically correct thing to do! A person might say in a sort of gentile way that said person is "mentally-challenged" or possibly that they have "mental growth opportunities".

So, I can only surmise from their blatant suggestions that I am a few bricks short of a load that they are actually implying something else. Hmmmm ... Maybe their mental capacity will not allow them to engage in a new concept regarding what running should look like in the wintertime. Of course, everyone has those pesky societal and parental mental tapes that play back at the most un-opportunistic times. Maybe these who cannot help but to blurt out generalities such as YOU'RE CRAZY, MAN! don't have the mental capacity to actually disengage their brain from these aforementioned tapes and acquiesce to possibly an original thought.

I don't judge these who seemingly judge me. I pity them because they are restricted in their mentalities and possibly a bit "challenged" to see otherwise. So, if their reactions to winter barefoot running is one of disquiet which leads to an automatic regurgitation of something they have been taught by mommy or the equivalent then what are they REALLY trying to say before they spout off? It is a human tendency to operate only in the sphere of one's respective knowledge. When that knowledge stream has been disrupted with a new concept or idea that runs contrary to said knowledge, then it causes a disruption that either will lead to reprocessing or denial that this new idea could hold merit. An extreme example of this is when someone takes hallucinogenic drugs. They have moved into new realms of their minds which process information in a variety of new ways. Some people embrace the hallucinations while others have more of a negative impact which manifests in sundry ways.

It all comes down to acceptance of new knowledge or possibly a new way to do something. I think the winter months further separate the two different types of casual observers -- those who WILL NOT under any circumstances accept that barefoot running in winter could be an alternative to regular shod running and those who will automatically move toward acceptance, or at least to an attitude of curiosity which will lead to further knowledge.

Crazy, they say? It is a shame these are so mentally-challenged!

Having a blustery blast!!

Barefoot Rick

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