Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
First, I’d like to say welcome to dozens of new subscribers to our monthly newsletter. This past week I was featured in an article in the newspaper. The response has been awesome!
This month’s JIM letter has two parts, so let’s get started!
One of my students sent me a link to some information about running technique she found on the REI website. Of course, remember that being a minimalist shoe runner or fitness walker still requires that you understand HOW to move properly and that you use common sense. I’ve written about this many times, so if you still have questions please let me know.
Below are some tips from the REI articles. The words in italics are my words.
1. Start at the beginning. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a weekend warrior, barefoot training should start with the fundamentals. Build on them step by step to get the most out of your barefoot experience.
2. Practice good form. Proper foot strike and other factors can optimize barefoot performance. Learning correct training techniques is essential.
3. Build endurance gradually. Barefoot running uses muscles in your feet and legs that you may not be accustomed to using. Take it slow and easy for better results.
4. Pay attention to your body’s signals. With any new training regimen, some soreness is to be expected. However, if soreness persists or worsens, take a break……seek out a coach!
5. Choose familiar terrain first. Different types of terrain can affect your training. Steep ups and downs and areas filled with obstacles, like roots or rocks, should be avoided until you’ve built up greater endurance and strength.
6. Set achievable goals. If you’re struggling with soreness, blisters or other limitations, don’t hesitate to shorten your training times or modify your activities.
7. Raise your game. The more you put into barefoot training, the more you can get out of it. Barefoot running helps develop greater strength in your feet and legs and may increase your agility and balance—benefits you can put into play for your favorite sport or adventure.
8. Be smart. Going barefoot frees your feet to develop natural strengths and a closer connection to your environment. It can be an awesome feeling. In the beginning of your training, you can avoid the temptation to push too hard, for too long, by sticking to a set training regimen.
9. Find the right shoe. Try one of Merrell’s low-profile designs OR OTHER BRANDS like Nike Frees and Vibrams and see for yourself how the 0 mm heel drops, flexible designs, and mapped cushioning make for a great ride.
10. Have fun! Develop greater strength. Get connected to the terrain. Experience new adventure. It all starts with barefoot. Free your feet!
For the next part of this month’s newsletter, here’s a story for you.
Recently I was reminded of the “Bamboo Story.” If you’ve kept up on the world of motivational and success thinking, you’re probably familiar with it.
The story goes something like this.
“The Bamboo plant is amazing. You water it and wait. You wait an entire year and nothing appears. No bud, no twig, nothing.
So you keep watering and protecting the area and taking care of the future plant. You wait another year. Still, nothing happens.
Another year passes, and still no sign of growth. It has been three years. Should you give up? Someone told you that it might take a while to really see the fruits of your efforts, so you keep on keeping on.
Another year passes. No plant.
You begin year number five with the same passion as day number one. You keep watering and keep waiting. Finally, after five years, the Bamboo starts growing and in six weeks, it grows to over 80 feet tall! Yes, 80 feet in six weeks! Well, not really. It is 80 feet in five years.”
I’m not sure how you’d interpret the Bamboo story, but here’s my simple interpretation.
If you had given up, there would be no Bamboo. It took almost impossible persistence. The plant is there only because you never gave up on it.
I think the story is supposed to illustrate the power of persistence and never giving up. But I think there’s more to it than that.
You watered the plant for FIVE years, you did the SAME THING and got the SAME RESULT.
That means you spent more than 1,825 days doing the SAME THING, getting the SAME RESULT, and expecting something DIFFERENT.
Some people use this as the definition of insanity!
Do you keep doing the SAME THING, getting the SAME RESULT, and expecting something DIFFERENT?
If so, I wonder HOW and IF that’s working out for you!
I’m not being difficult. I get the point of the story. The Bamboo suddenly shoots up from the ground after long, persistent years of sacrifice and patience. That shows the benefit of keeping the faith and persistence.
HOWEVER, and this is a big BUT that makes me take exception to the Bamboo story, I want results and I want my students and clients to get results too! Too many people will use the Bamboo Story to feel better when they’re getting lousy results in their lives.
Don’t use the story to make yourself feel better when you’re getting lousy results in your life.
Things MAY turn around eventually but MAYBE not! Subscribing to the “it just takes time” theory may not be the best course of action.
More often than not, following a better strategy, one that works for you so that results come your way, is better than allowing for time.
I believe that:
Time is RELATIVE when it comes to success.
The only thing that’s relevant is following a BETTER STRATEGY.
Let’s say you are doing the WRONG things for the WRONG reasons. And you keep doing the WRONG things for the WRONG reasons.
Is doing that longer going to get you better results?
Of course not.
You’d be amazed, though, by how many people succumb to the Bamboo story. We’ve probably all done it at some time in our lives.
So keep this in mind.
Nature can make a Bamboo plant grow because Nature has a hidden SYSTEM that works.
Nature also has hidden systems for healing your body, digesting your food, making babies, and millions of other things we experience every day.
But we don’t necessarily know how those hidden systems work.
When we give in to cliches like the Bamboo Story, we’re perpetuating the belief that “things will somehow work out” without taking responsibility for our own ACTIONS and RESULTS.
I’m all for persistence. I’m all for believing that things will work out for the best. I’m all for having faith.
What I’m NOT for is telling people that continuing to do the wrong things will somehow make things work out.
You have more power than you think.
Don’t succumb to the belief that spending more TIME doing the wrong things will somehow create the RESULTS you want.
Take control. Take action.
And if you’re not getting the results you want, try something different.
It’s only by following a better STRATEGY, not “hoping” for something different, that you’ll see improved results, and experience a real change for the better in your life.
Have a great movement month, and remember that no step is too small when it’s a step in the right direction!