After writing my post about the GoRun Ultras, I began to wonder why I heel struck so much. I used to heel strike a lot, but stopped for a while. As I thought about it, I realized that I managed to stop this nasty little habit when I first started running in more minimal shoes. So, in a grand experiment, I pulled out my old New Balance Minimus. They are 2 years old and, at this point, have probably close to 500 miles on them. But, I thought, maybe I’m forgetting something about running in shoes like these.
So, I laced them up on Saturday and hit the roads. And I immediately remembered why these shoes helped me fall in love with running. Suddenly, I was totally aware of what was happening around me. I felt the ground and all its cracks and gravel. I became more aware of birds and cars. And, most importantly, I began immediately using correct form (or more correct form). I liked them so much, I took them out for another hour today on a few trails around town.
Yes, there is very little cushion left in them. But, it turns out, when you take away all the extra stuff, we find out how we really run.
I think the same is true of life. There are certain times when everything extra is stripped away. In those times, when we are forced to take stock in who we are, what we stand for, and how we are going to deal with this thing called life, we see ourselves with new perspectives. Sometimes, it hurts like my calves after Saturday’s “wake-up-call” run. It’s almost always inconvenient because it takes us back to where we started and forces us to rebuild.
Running, in yet another life lesson, is reflecting me to myself. It has a knack for keeping me focused and my priorities straight. Running is a mirror that helps me see the mess on my face and allows me to clean myself up.
So, this week, run (or walk or crawl or just be) connected to who you are. Take some time to find a mirror that helps you be the best possible version of yourself. No one can ask for anything more from you.