Half a Footstrike Short Of A Full Load

John Berman, ABC reporter described in a sentence what I have known for sometime ... I am half of a footstrike short of a full load!

I was somewhat impressed but not really surprised that the reporter from Barefoot Ken Bob's ABC World News Tonight interview on 11/13/05 demonstrated that the unshod foot strike was HALF of the force as when running with shoes. Actually, he said that as his impact was analyzed that his shins took half the impact. That is considerable, I'm sure, when you break it down to impact, say for instance, on a 5 mile run. How about a marathon? Maybe that's why my legs feel so much better after a barefoot marathon than when I used to run with shoes. It seems like it took longer for me to recover from a thon with shoes, feeling all the aches and pains for several days.

I once argued with a runner regarding the G-force of barefoot footstrike versus shod running. This fellow is a retired aerospace engineer. He argued emphatically that there was no way there would be less G-force by running barefoot. I had only been running a few months barefoot at the time and really did not have a good comeback for him at the time, except that I once had leg pain, but now I don't. "Geez, don't know the how-comes, only know that I once was a cripple but now I can run with ease!" Of course, he was subscribing to the thought that a barefoot runner would land the same way a shod runner would land. Obviously, he had never ran barefoot. Ah, another Kool-Aid drinking shod runner that has believed all the hype that the running shoe companies have been dishing out ever since Bill Bowermann made his first pair of "waffle stompers" from his wife's electric griddle.

Mr. Berman's report regarding half the impact to one's legs running barefoot got me thinking. If I am only experiencing half the impact when I run, does that mean I am not getting all the enjoyment of the pain that I see written across the faces of so many shod runners I encounter. Is it really a truism when said "No pain, no gain? As Barefoot Ken Bob said in his interview, "... you can always recognize the barefoot runner by the smile on their face!" So true! But, should I feel guilty that I am not experiencing the pain that my shod counterparts must be experiencing when they lace up everyday and hit the streets? Does it make me half a runner since my impact is only half as much? It's just that running with shoes is so HARD, in the long run (pun intended) on my 50 year old bones, muscles, and sinews. Am I a coward because I have taken the easier, softer way?

Have I gone off half-cocked again in my pursuit of something that is enjoyable rather than feeling like a punishment?

Am I a half-hearted runner or am I pursuing my love of barefoot running in a half-assed way that will only lead to disappointment because I enjoy it so much?

Those with half a mind have told me that I am a half-wit and will continue to do so, I guess, in past and future occasions.

The truth be told: I am half a footstrike short of a full load and loving every minute of an injury free running experience!

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