Why I run pt.5

Post run muddy feet

Wet feet

I’m sure some runners don’t like having wet feet, I love it, especially in the summer. I have a vivid memory of being on a walk with my cousins in the Lakes and running ahead through stream after stream. I looked forward to every stream expectant for the relief of the cold chill to awaken my toes.

My feet get hot when running in pretty much any weather and cool water resets the balance. There’s also the feeling of immediate restoration as the cold water rushes away and the warmth comes back. It’s comparable to eating an ice cream on the beach or downing a cold beer on a balmy evening. The feeling takes me right back to childhood times with my brothers and cousins, an imprinted memory that I can access by dipping my feet in a stream. I will actively go out of my way to get wet feet on a summers day. It’s odd because going beyond my feet seems like mild madness, I love the idea of wild swimming but thinking about it just makes me feel cold. It’s all linked to memories, I spent so many hours as a kid being cold in and out of swimming pools, I have no thermostat or extra layer to moderate the feeling.

It’s not just wet feet. Walking on pebbles or through meadows or any kind of texture helps me relive barefoot times outside in the wild. Running with a minimal trainer allows feet to react and understand the surface and it’s a close comparison to childhood days exploring river banks and woodland paths. There are many trainers and products that aim to protect your feet with cushioning or robust materials. My alternative is to prepare my feet for the elements so that they can toughen up and protect themselves. It helps balance and endurance and hopefully, over time, my joints.

Give Born to Run a read as an introduction to barefoot running. Everyone should run how they feel, I like to let my body feel how it wants to run starting with my wet feet.

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