Ta-da! Introducing my beautiful Bikila VFFs!
"I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but reading Born to Run changed my life," I said to my physiotherapist, a seasoned Ironman about to perform a running assessment on me.
"At the very least, it has completely revolutionized the way I run."
In fact, it's changed my running so much I can hardly remember what it was like before, only three short weeks ago. My treadmill test showed me as a healthy forefoot striker with a cadence of 185 and little bounce, shoes or no shoes, short legs or not.
Gone was my rushing, over-striding, heel-striking former self. And the best way I can think of to describe the essence of how I run today is mindfulness. I'm not lost in the scenery or my iPod. I'm as appreciative of each footfall as I am of a lovely tree or a fun song.
I picked up my new kicks just before leaving for California. I officially began running with them this week.
And I love them. I love the heightened awareness of my toes and skin and even the ground I have with them on. I love how light and free they make my runs. I love using them as an excuse to spend time in the park. I love that they make me giggle with glee every time I wiggle my toes into their little pockets, and heck, I even love the double takes other people do at them. They are definitely a conversation starter!
I am introducing them very slowly into my running routine, being careful about doing too much with them too soon. Will I race in them? Absolutely, once I've worked up my milage. Will I do a marathon in them? I think so. But as awesome as my new shoes are, what has been even better for me is the realization that it is within my power to heal myself and prevent further injury. I am thrilled that a change in form can really feel so, so good.
I love that my own body has been the architect of my running success - not something artificial, like orthotics. Despite only learning to run in my twenties and despite having hip surgeries growing up, I now really believe that I too was born to run.