Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 Reasons You Should Start Running Barefoot

  1. Connectedness. Running barefoot adds a new dimension to the running experience. You feel a whole level of connectedness to the ground, and as a corollary, the environment you are in.

  1. Lighter strides. With barefoot running, you will definitely be running much lighter than before. You will not be pounding on your knees/ankles/feet anymore.

  1. Right landing. People who wear running shoes typically land heel first (a.k.a hard heel strikes), which places more stress on the foot. The correct running form should be to land on the front or middle of the foot. With running shoes, you would land on your heels and it caused a lot of impact. When you run barefoot, you automatically adjust and land on yout forefeet/midfeet. Since you can feel my foot on the ground, I can immediately tell if I am landing incorrectly with each stride.

  1. Better posture. Everything is very instinctual and it takes no more than just a few steps for you to get into a comfortable running posture. The contact between the foot and the ground is like an instant feedback if your posture needs correcting and if so, how.

  1. Freedom & Liberty. When running barefoot, you can feel your heel, mid-sole, forefeet and your toes against the ground and brushing against the cooling air with each stride. It’s a liberating experience.

  1. Mindfulness. Every step you take, you’re aware. Every time your foot touches the ground, you can feel both the ground and your foot. During your run, you are present, of yourself, your posture, your surroundings, your environment.

  1. Less stress for your knees/feet/joints. Studies have shown running barefoot brings less stress for your feet, even when compared with expensive running shoes (Nike, Adidas and Reebok included). A new study suggests running shoes may cause damage to knees, hips and ankles. With running shoes, we tend to shift our weight down to our ankles, which lead to higher possibility of ankle sprains. You might have heard how prolonged running causes knee cap pain. By running barefoot, that’s less likely to happen since you get a better running posture (Reason #4) and lighter strides (Reason #2), which means lesser weight on your knees/ankles/feet.

  1. Gives you stronger feet. All the shoe wearing has made our feet weak and soft. In fact, some of us wear poor-fitted shoes that cramp our toes/feet. Going barefoot builds up our foot muscles and makes them stronger, the way they should be.

  1. It’s Fun! Do you remember the times when you were young and ran around barefooted? How did that feel? Walking/Running barefooted brought a sense of child-like wonder that was lost since long ago, like dancing in the rain. It made running fun, more fun than it normally is.

  1. Saves money. Sports apparel have become more fashion accessories and cost more than they should. If you add up all the money you have spent on sport shoes over the years you will be surprised. That is a lot of money that could have been saved and used for better purposes.

(I found this on Tumblr and do not know who wrote it. I take no credit.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back into Perspective

Probably, if you follow my Twitter or have me on Facebook, you'll already know that yesterday morning was the worst morning I have ever had. 

It started out perfectly; warm, sunny, freshly showered, and excited about a hike to the Grotto in Tobermory with Josh, his brother (Tyler) and his wife (Danielle). Usually I go to church on Sunday mornings, but since it was the only day Danielle had off, we decided we would skip. 

I watched my mom and sisters pile into the van and get ready to go to church while I waited for Josh to pick me up. As mom was closing the car door, she yelled "Taylor, can you feed the goats? I ran out of time." So I quickly booked it up to the barn, grabbed the pitch fork, and began to stab the hay bale in an attempt to collect their food.

Then it happened. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the van bounce as if it had rolled over a log. All of a sudden, I heard the most awful, terrified animal screams coming from under the vehicle. Then I heard my sisters and my mom screaming, and the car door fly open, and my mom wailing and running around the car- the animal screams getting louder and more terrified by the second. I knew it was Hampton, our 110lb golden retriever, pinned. 

Taylor Rebecca | BlackBerry
I can't even describe how horrifc that feeling was. Hampton has been my best friend for the past nine years. We spend every day together, he climbs into bed with me every night because I have an irrational fear of ghosts/murderers and don't feel safe without him. He's like my security blanket. I know I sound weird, but I have this special bond with him. We understand each other. He sticks extra close to me with a concerned look on his face when I'm upset, hurt, or sick. I know exactly what he wants or needs just by his facial expression. He's more of a human than a dog. He's so smart. And funny. He loves my camera and knows to pose whenever I point it at him. When I lived in Hamilton this year, I missed him more than I missed my family (haha, sorry guys. I do love you). The thought of losing him to old age in a few years is devastating to me. No dog will ever replace him. No human will ever replace him. 

So you can imagine how I felt knowing that we had just crushed him with the van and he was lying on the gravel dying. I wanted to throw up. I couldn't bring myself to leave the barn so I sat there and sobbed with my fingers in my ears so I wouldn't hear the screaming. I've never felt so hopeless in my entire life. 

BUT. The story gets better. After seriously contemplating whether I should end my life with the pitch fork lying beside me, I heard my mom and sisters yelling that nothing was under the van. With wobbly legs I ran outside the barn to see Hampton jump into the open door of the van and collapse.  

The relief of knowing that he was alive and able to move was incredible. But confusing.  He lay there on the van floor panting and shaking, and looking at us expectantly, all of us still crying. We knew that something was still terribly wrong with him and I remember screaming that I was going to put all my life savings into doing whatever surgery was required to save him. Then I tried calling 911… apparently they don't do animal emergencies. So I called Josh and gasped in broken english to call Danielle (who is a vet tech) and ask her to get here RIGHT AWAY. (I'm an emotional wreck in stressful situations and my brain literally shuts down. When I had to call the ambulance for my mom last year, I couldn't remember her name OR where we lived.) 

All of a sudden, Hampton gets up from the van floor, jumps onto the drive way and starts running around happily. Sorry, come again? MIRACLE. We all started bawling with joy and hugging Hammy like mad and screaming HOW ARE YOU ALIVE?!?!?! over and over again. I have never been happier in my entire life.
We got him checked out, and he didn't even break a bone! He's just a little stiff and sore! I stayed up with him most of last night because he couldn't sleep, but by morning he was much better. He's eating and drinking properly, and today I even took him on a little walk through the forest and he did so well! 

We have no clue how he survived a 5000 pound van rolling slowly over his entire back end, but he did. And I can't tell you how thankful I am. I don't know what I'd do without the little rascal in my life. 

Yesterday was a huge reminder of how fortunate I am to have what I do. I've only been to one funeral in my lifetime. All of my family and friends are alive and well. Although I have had bad things happen to me in the past, I've been able to get through them and move on. I have so many things to be thankful for. 

When the little things in life go wrong, I need to remember this. I am so blessed.

The accident yesterday put everything back into perspective and gave me a huge wake up call. It's funny how things work out.

Taylor Rebecca

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Favourites

It's that time again! A favourites blog, for May. :) And I'm just going to get right in to it because I'm heading out to the lake in a bit.

The best movie I saw all month (I watch a lot of movies. Probably almost every night. It's an addiction.) was Tangled. Everything about this movie was adorable, and Rapunzel is my new favourite princess. You're probably thinking that you will never love a cartoon movie, but that's what I thought too until I watched this one.

For music, I've been loving Christina Perri's new album called Lovestrong. It's a little sad, but the music is haunting and beautiful. She's great, I've loved her since last summer when Jar of Hearts came out.

Summer is the perfect time for country music. Nothing beats driving around Bruce County/South Bruce Peninsula with the country beats blaring. Some good ones are;

Country Girl - Luke Bryan
Summer Nights - Rascal Flatts
Smoke a Little Smoke - Eric Church
Anything by my girl Gretchen Wilson
Colder Weather - Zac Brown Band
Dirt Road Anthem - Jason Aldean
She's Country - Jason Aldean 
Are You Gonna Kiss me or Not - Thompson Square
Barton Hollow - The Civil Wars

Best dancing song of the month: Neon Black - AWOLNATION

And we can't forget Jack Sparrow- The Lonely Island. Hilarious.

For food, and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I've eaten a lot of A&W teen burgers. Best burger that any fast food restaurant can produce, hands down. It's so thick, with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and then there's this garlic-y mayonnaise sauce that I can't get enough of. Tryyy it.
My favourite outfit this month has been ripped denim shorts and old Value Village t-shirts. I've spent a lot of time at my computer editing, and this is the comfiest outfit I can think of. So if you haven't yet, go rip yourselves some shorts out of an old pair of jeans, and head on down to your local thrift store for some soft, loose shirts. 

This is all I have for now, if I think of anything else, I'll add it in.

Hope you guys had a great month. Congratulations to Kelly & Jacob again on their marriage, and to the awesome grade 12's who looked fantastic at their prom.

Taylor Rebecca