Hi everyone, this is P, from Adventures of an Average Athlete. AJH handed me the reins to Age Groups Rock today as part of the Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange - a fun way to meet new (or maybe just new-to-you) bloggers.
Things I've Learned from Wearing Minimalist Shoes
I've been running for almost five years now, and I've spent my fair share of time on the DL list with what felt at times like one injury after another - stress fractures, shin splints, IT band troubles, sciatica, back problems, you name it, I've probably had it. A few months ago, while taking some time off of running completely, it occured to me that maybe I should make some changes in my running style (ya think?), so I went out and bought a pair of Vibrams.
Now, okay, maybe this would not be the first thing you would think to do, but at the time it made sense to me and so far, it's been working out wonderfully. I've taken the time to ease into them really, really, REALLY slowly and I'm enjoying one of my longest stretches of injury-free running to date.
Over the course of the last few months, I've noticed that when I wear the Vibrams in public everybody - I'm going to take a moment and type that out again in all caps, with spaces between the letters so you know that I mean E V E R Y B O D Y - has an opinion about my shoes. Everybody.
- When I was trying them on in the store, a lady next to me looked at them and said, "Are those shoes?!?"
- I have overheard people variously referring to the Vibrams as "duck shoes," "bear claws," and "dog feet." The consensus seems to be that I look like some sort of animal when I wear them.
- People frequently remark that I am ruining my feet because I'm not supporting my arches. And they don't seem to believe me when I tell them it's actually strengthening my arches with that whole lack-of-arch support thing. Unsurprisingly, these are the same people who cluck their tongues because of course I am going to blow out my knees from running. Yep.
- When I told one woman (who asked) that I wear them to run, she replied, "No you don't." And she didn't say it in an oh-honey-I-don't-believe-you way, but rather she was telling me that I do not run in these shoes.
- Once I had a group of people at work asking me how long it takes me to put them on. They kept pushing and poking at me, insisting that it must be ridiculously hard to get my toes into individual compartments. Finally, I sat my butt down on the floor, took off the Vibrams and put them back on. Maybe it wasn't super professional, but a girl has to prove her point once in awhile, right?
When I wear my Vibrams, I sort of feel like a spokesmodel - hahahahahahahahahahahaha! whooooowheeee, I almost said that one with a straight face! - um, okay, just a spokesperson. I'm certainly not an expert, and my research has been pretty much limited to reading Born to Run and the Vibrams website (http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/about_vibram_fivefingers/health_wellness.htm, if you're interested). But these shoes have brought joy back to my running and kept me pain-free so far. What more could I ask for?
Oh, yeah. And they totally make me feel like a ninja.
Many, many thanks to AJH for being the hostess with the mostest - did you catch her post over on Jesse's blog (http://www.journeythrulifeblog.com/2011/08/great-big-bloggy-post-exchange.html)?? Good stuff, as always. Happy running, everyone!