Saturday, January 30, 2010

Barefoot parkour

Cold today but sunny, temperature has risen above 1 degree centigrade, but despite that we all had a bowl. we played 5 wickets and you can go back in the warm with me as the wicket keeper. Ben hit the stumps 5 times within about 20 balls and it took Joe around about 40. I tried it myself afterwards and bowled a pile of absolute rubbish and came in before I'd completed the 5. Weirdly the wrong uns were turning phenomenally well and the leg breaks were weak and sporadic e.g. crap. I'm going to put it down to the cold and hope for better on Monday night at nets.

I've not mentioned the Plantar Faciitis for a while, but it's still there. It seems to be going away slowly and seems to be affected by the wearing of Croc's. I've been wearing my Croc's as much as possible indoors and they seem to help. Getting out of bed recently - the pain has been less so maybe things are getting better? Today I've played table tennis with the kids and Michelle and it feels fairly painful now - but I didn't warm up, so it does seem the warming up and warming down is essential. Additionally today I've been walking differently to see if that helps with an emphasis on most of the weight being on the front of the foot rather than the back, this came about from a story in the news a couple of days ago where scientists are now suggesting that research is showing that running in barefeet a la Zola Budd may be better for you then wearing those ridiculous looking trainers that most sports types wear believing that they are offering your feet some kind of protection. There seems to be a growing number of people that believe this is true and there's some good examples of evidence to suggest it's not that bad an idea...........

"Come race day, the Tarahumara don't train. They don't stretch or warm up. They just stroll to the starting line, laughing and bantering, and then go for it, ultra-running for two full days, sometimes covering over 300 miles, non-stop. For the fun of it. One of them recently came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing nothing but a toga and sandals. He was 57 years old".


I've even got my own story which has a link to free - running as I tell my kids "I invented and was practicing free-running back in 1987". When I was a surfer I lived in a tent from May through to October at the Top of Gwenva beach and the nearest shops were a mile or so away over Tregiffian cliffs and across Sennens Whitesands Bay see picture..... (This shot is from the Top of Tregiffian Cliff). I used to hang out at Gwenva and surf there most days, but walk back and forwards to Sennen either along a coastal path scattered with granite rocks and gravel in bare feet or along the smooth ocean worn rocks at the back of the beach. The rocks here though meant that your were up and down, left and right like a mountain goat and over the weeks and months my feet toughened up and I devised a technique of getting across these rocks that utilised the balancing techniques used in Skateboarding - compression... absorbing the difference in size and angle of the rocks as you moved amongst them. It mean that you were able to move in a smooth organic manner sustaining little damage and impact to your feet ankles and legs, you absorbed the transitions from one rock to another and made good progress through and over the rocks. I was free running. I never gave it any thought until Parkour hit the headlines in 2003 with Jump London and I remember seeing this documentary and thinking - this isn't new - I know this, this has got elements of skateboarding in it and I feel like I've already done this. Initially I couldn't put my finger on where I'd experienced it and why a lot of the moves looked familiar and then it dawned on me - back in 86 and 87 across the rocks between Gwenva and Sennen - that how I used to move and negotiate the rocks and it was all done in bare feet!!!! No trainers, no nothing runnning and jumping across and between giant granite rocks in bare feet.

So I've spent months before now running and walking on the front of my foot rather than the heel and this was when it was and I didn't suffer any ill effects. The fact that the surface was so rough it just made me walk differently and I remember being aware of it at the time. So walking on the front of my foot may be the way to go?