Inspired by Tell and the Run Tellman Run experience, I figured over the next couple of weeks I would give barefoot running a try. I was going to order some Vibram KSOs, but being a bit tight on cash for now, I’ll probably just throw on a pair of socks and go for it. They’ll do. I was a little put off by the whole idea of running without shoes, but this morning I happened to remember something – I’m actually no stranger at all to barefoot running.
In approximately 1995, I was seeing a certain girl who lived in a certain rural town. She drove me out to her house, and I can’t remember exactly why I wasn’t supposed to be there, but I wasn’t supposed to be. Her mom would have been batsh*t crazy pissed if she knew I was there. And of course, her mom unexpectedly comes home. I ended up hiding somewhere in the house, and then after patiently holding out for the right moment, I somehow made my way out without getting caught.
I get outside, and it’s completely dark, and I’m wearing jeans and Dexter boat shoes, and I have no car. Way to go. I know it’s a pretty good haul back to the center of the next town where I could make a phone call, but I wasn’t sure exactly how far. Pretty far is about all I knew.
I again channel my inner James Bond to get off the property, I get to the end of her dirt road where the main road picks up, and I’ve positively had enough of the boat shoes. These things suck. I know it’s decent pavement all the way back to town, so off they come. I roll up my pants, and there it was – that night, in the dark, I ran barefoot for the first time. I ran barefoot for 8 miles. All the way back to the gas station at the center of town. It was pretty damn cool. Also I might again mention it was completely dark so it was scary as hell.
And of all people to be there at the gas station – it’s my cross country coach. PLUMMER WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE. I can’t remember what I told him. But I think, me standing there shoes in hand, he had some idea.
So anyhow, barefoot running – yeah I’m in. It will all come back to me.