Showing posts with label barefoot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barefoot. Show all posts

Thursday 9 July 2015

The 3 Rs - Reading, Writing and Running

I previously wrote about what it takes to be a professional writer. Now I’d like to talk about how it feels. What follows is a metaphor, a big one but I think it will make sense to many of you.

I read, I write and I run. Running is something that I began some years ago and now it is an integral part of my life. Before I started running, I always said that I wouldn't even run for the bus, which is a metaphor on its own, but very true.

22k of Blair Witch Horror

Running is hard, the hardest part of running, irrespective of distance is before I start. Making that decision to finish my coffee, stop reading and slip into my sweats is the tough part. There are always so many reasons not to, an article relevant to what I’m writing, the wife needing an ear to bend, social media, the rain. There are so many reasons not to and only ever one to do it.

But once I’m out the door it doesn't get any easier. Any of you who run distances will know, the first 2k is the worst. It’s when your body is truly awakening and your lungs resist the effort, colluding with your mind to find credible arguments for turning back and trying again later.

Once you've found your stride it does get decidedly easier, one step leads to another and the miles begin to flow (yes, I know I mix my metric and imperial distances, I’m British! Another metaphor, maybe?) After around 4k continuing becomes easier than stopping.

Now a personal message; I run trail. It makes running much more difficult, my routes take me into the mountain where I live, up steep loose tracks where six-minute kms are hard to achieve, fording streams, climbing rocks, risking sprains and wild animals. But that is how I like it. I find peace in the mountain, far from the madding crowd and traffic. The same goes for my writing; I don’t do romance or vampires. I do satire and sometimes it’s cold and sometimes so hot my sweat glands begin to pant. The challenge does not abate, each corner brings a call to push harder and I try to tell myself that at the brow of the next hill is a rolling decline. But as any trail runner will point out running downhill can be a s perilous as a climb, the impact on joints and the concentration to stay upright is exhausting.

If masochism is your game forget 50 shades of Grey, you can add another factor to trail running;
Barefoot running;
Brains and feet in harmony
barefoot. I began running (metaphor alert!) in cheap supermarket shoes. They had thin soles and I felt every stone and crevice, my nipple also get very sore (nothing to do with the metaphor but I had to tell someone) as a result I learned to use my foot to absorb the impact then I discovered that this was an entire philosophy; barefoot and minimalist running. I spent a bit of money on a pair of barefoot shoes (yes, an oxymoron) but they are like your most comfy socks with a little protection from the harshest surfaces. Many runners swear by shoes that do all the work, impact absorption, arch support and traction so that their feet become passive and, in my view, lazy.

Running has taught me so much about perseverance, setting and achieving goals and focusing on the brow of the hill. The euphoria I feel when I've pulled off a half marathon off-road or cut my time down is unbeatable.


We love writing but sometimes it doesn’t love us back, get used to it and take what you can from the experience. You may never earn a living from it or win any competitions but taking part is the only way to be sure of that.

Be sure to share and comment below or maybe you have your own writer's metaphor.

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