Hugging your FEET

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SNAPSHOT

Hug, stretch, and strengthen your feet within your daily life.

DIGGING DEEPER

I know for sure you don't need one more task to add to your running routine.  However, no worries for this secret will shadow your normal business.

Are you ever at a playground, soccer field, swimming pool, football field, beach, stream, or even your backyard?  

The luscious green grass is calling for your feet.  Grains of sand beckon your toes.  You will be surprised of often you can succumb to your feet's desires for hugs, stretches, and strengthening.  

In July I said yes to my feet and they have loved me back. All around me were opportunities to take my shoes off.

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I come upon sand everywhere.  My neighborhood playground has a sand pit.  The water park as a volleyball court. The many beaches we visit through the summer, all sand filled. State parks with more volleyball courts. The tickly wrapping of the sand around my arch is so comforting.  The ground moves with me and guides my foot muscles.

Yesterday, I must have looked so happy since the woman with her dog commented that I must be dreaming of the summer days at the beach.

While I awaited my children's playground exploration, I walked through foot drills. They are a common exercise prescribed by physical therapists and described in running magazines. See this article by Russ Ebbets. The Army West Point Cross Country Coach, Mike Smith, in my USATF Level Two seminar highlighted that his talented runners will do their foot drills in the sand.  Hence why I find my toes in the sand.

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Then I found the walk through the soccer field grass to the park was amazingly soft and giving. My feet stretched with each push off the ground. I could feel each of my toes doing their part in my balance and movement. It was beauty.  I dreaded putting my shoes back on afterward.

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The fellow hikers followed our example in the Rocky Mountains National Park last August when my family and I threw our shoes to the side and rambled through the cold waterfall river of the Alluvial Fan. The challenge of wrapping the foot around the rocks in order not to douse our clothing proved delightful. Oh, how the cool water soothed our hot muscles.  It was love at first sight!  As my daughter declared her new love for cold river water. 

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Often our fear of hard objects keeps our protective shoes on.  However, if you look where you are walking you can avoid the danger 99% of the time. I must add paying attention to the blissful green below you is very calming.

SOLUTION

This love is simple, take your shoes and socks off and walk through all the grass, water, and sand you can find.  It is every where!

Shelly Binsfeld

Running Coach in Minnesota

Optimize your Hard Work in an Intelligent Way