The first participant introduced himself and explained that he had seen this really wonderful article in the Los Angeles Times about Ken Bob’s Running Barefoot Play-Fun-Shops, and thought he would check it out.
I was really happy that he mentioned how much he liked the article, since the guy standing next to him was Roy Wallack, the author of the article.
There were a couple of skeptics… I could tell, because they were wearing skeptic sandals, even while standing on the grass.
Documentary filmmaker, John Logsdon brought his camera. I gave John a special dispensation to wear shoes … this time … so he could focus (literally) on shooting video. John promised he would be barefoot at the next Ken Bob’s Running Barefoot Play-Fun-Shop. I think he realized he was missing something, that he just couldn’t catch with his camera.
Finally, we got around the entire crowd of 24 people (and 2 dogs – Herman was happy that Marta brought, Mambo, her large black puppy, so Herman could play), and we started the walk/run portion of Ken Bob’s Running Barefoot Play-Fun-Shop.
This isn’t Just Desserts
I had been discussing the hazards of running barefoot only on “dessert”, that is, soft, comfy, clean surfaces, like groomed golf courses, and cleanly swept beach sand – how running barefoot, for example, on rough asphalt will teach more about how to run gently, not scuffing your feet along as if you’re trying to grate cheese, etc., than running barefoot on comfortable surfaces.
When I had the group turn left, onto a dirt trail, one of the runners asked, “Dessert, already?”
I turned around and said, “This isn’t desert!”
Then I heard Art (one of the professors from my work) exclaim, “Hey, there’s stones here!”
“I told you it wasn’t dessert.”
“Bent knees, bent knees,” I reminded the crowd. “lift those feet, quickly, before they – or so they don’t – crash into the stones!”
Use your Whole Sole, Especially Uphill
We ran up a short, but steep hill, where I reminded people to use their entire sole, rather than trying to push themselves up on the balls, or toes of their feet, “while your foot is on the ground, keep your entire sole on the ground. When you lift, lift your entire foot, not just the heel.”
John interviewed Todd and myself on camera, after Ken Bob’s Running Barefoot Play-Fun-Shop, and asked how many people attended today’s event… “I’m not sure I can count that high”, But, Barefoot Todd was standing behind the camera and held up 2 fingers on his right hand and 4 on his left. I was pretty sure there were more than 6 people there, so I guessed he meant, twenty-four… “My teleprompter just told me there were 24 people at today’s Ken Bob’s Running Barefoot Play-Fun-Shop.” Again, the biggest crowd yet!
If this keeps up, we’re gonna need a bigger park!
Later that afternoon, I gave a talk at my friend, Brian MacKenzie’s crossfit gym, and took a spin on his “manual” (non-motorized) treadmill.