Don't Give a Shit & Brief Video Update

Running out at the lake
I have a knack for getting myself into trouble. Most of the time its totally unintentional and it seems it gets worse the older I get. In fact, as I get older my attitude about life in general has gotten pretty relaxed. I can honestly say that the older I get the more I don't give a rat's ass. Proof of this is my recent reprimand at my local gym. Yeah. I got in trouble for taking my tank top off. I was feeling hot and smothered. I had a modest bra on and I just didn't care about stripping one stupid layer off. I don't have much to "show off" so I had no idea it would cause an issue. Apparently there's a "dress code" in the gym AND they enforce it. Who knew?

I have this completely unfounded and non-objective theory that as we get older we fall into one of two camps. We either get crochety, crabby and conservative or we get chill relaxed and medicinal. Maybe, in both cases, life jades us a little. In the first camp we become haters. Haters of people younger than ourselves. Haters of anything outside our norm. Haters of the system, social or otherwise.  In the second, we learn acceptance or maybe we just give up. We relax our values a bit. We stop caring so much about unimportant things. We give in to the things we have no control over. We learn that its OK to just not give a shit.

Take barefoot running for instance. If I had any notion whatsoever twenty years ago that barefoot running was a viable option I don't know that I would have tried it. Its a risky endeavor not so much in the sense of physical risk, but more in that you are taking a chance with a non-mainstream idea which may or may not prove to be the right path. You risk being different. You stand out. You place yourself outside of your comfort zone. Not to mention that twenty years ago running barefoot would have been more loony than it is now. At least now we are starting to see studies cropping up here and there.

I love the barefoot running community. And now that I've had a chance to meet a lot of these people in person at the NYC Barefoot Run, I can honestly say they are of my ilk. I don't know what makes these people so cool. It seems that much like the mountain biking culture (which I have some experience with since my husband is an MTBer) barefoot runners tend to be very laid back. Or maybe that was just the seven of us in the back row of the NYC BFR seminars. Yeah. We didn't pay much attention. We were there to chat and socialize. Can you blame us? Seriously, though. What I noticed at the NYC Barefoot Run was that people were more into having a good time than beating their PRs. Or maybe that was instigated by the NYC race format. A race where there is no set length or distance eliminates most of the competition. What happens when you eliminate the competition? People run for the pure joy of running.

Maybe the sport itself attracts a certain mentality or maybe those who try it find themselves more liberated and begin to open themselves up to other ideas. I wonder if this could be why many barefoot runners experiment with diet like Paleo and other forms of training like Crossfit. If you had told me two years ago that I would become a paleo eating, barefoot running, crossfit-like training athlete I would have pointed and laughed at you. Loudly.

And if you had told me two years ago that I would be running a trail marathon I would have seriously questioned your sanity. I wrote off running at the ripe old age of twenty-five figuring my knees and hips were done. And now, I sit here, getting ready to run my first ever marathon next Saturday. On trails. On BEAUTIFUL trails. I'm determined to embrace the joy in every step. I don't know how my body will hang for 27 miles, but I promise to listen and take care of it.

My last two runs have been out at the lake. The last one was a 90 minute trail run in the rain. It was supersonic!!! I'm not a fan of cold, windy, stinging-my-face rain, but give me a warm rainy day with little wind and I would even be tempted to run it naked. Awwwyeah. It feels good to live the "don't give a shit" dream. It seems that's where my head is these days. Maybe that's a good thing.

Comments

  1. Great post. I so agree with you about two types of people. At 47, I don't give a shit either. I run barefoot, wear bright colours because they're fun and just do what makes me happy. I feel sorry for people who grow old and crotchety. With two pre-teen daughters, I try and model how to live life to the fullest and not worry about others. My daughters run in the bare feet with me on occasion and I think that's awesome. Like you, I'd given up on running longer distances due to knee surgery. Tomorrow I'm heading out on a 10 mile trail race. Beautiful single track with a view of Georgian Bay. I'd probably run naked too, under the right conditions:)

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  2. Fantastic! As a parent and a high school teacher, I try to both live and teach that being responsible, leading a good life, and not giving a rat's ass about what other people think and having fun are not just compatible but important. Have a blast at your run next weekend!

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  3. Janice - Good luck on your trail race! Enjoy the beauty. Knuckles to you, girl!

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  4. Another one that agrees with you about the two different types. I reckon I'm also in the "couldn't give a rat's a$$" crowd :-)
    Very best of luck in the trail marathon next week, looking forward to the race review post!

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  5. Very cool post. You really have to give up on giving a crap in order to run barefoot. It has been a big help for me in finally living without concern for the opinions of others. Isn't it funny that a simple thing like taking your shoes off can have such an effect on your life!

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  6. I think I'm going the crochety, crabby, and conservative route, but eh...I don't care...I'm good with that.

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  7. Vaudiophile - Hahaha! And I guess that's OK too. Whatever makes you happy...er... whatever. Ha!

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  8. Being somewhat conservative by nature, I have slowly evolved into a "who gives a shit" type of person. I feel better because of it too.

    Good luck on that trail marathon next week. The area looks nice from your video clip. I also enjoy warm light rainy runs. I sort of feel it flushes/cleanses those bad things that creep into your life and skin out.

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  9. I had a struggle this morning with my son over what he was wearing. He doesn't give a rat's ass. In hindsight, I'm actually proud of him for already knowing what the rest of us are just now learning.

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  10. barefootrose - My oldest is exactly the same way. He has NO PROBLEM wearing his shirt on backwards or his shorts inside out. He's seven, so he totally knows better. He just doesn't care what others say about him. He's got a really strong personality which is so hard for me to deal with at times, but I know when he's 20 he will be a strong person and his own man. I love that.

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  11. Ha, well if girls wanted to take their tops off in my gym I would allow it.

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  12. Seth - Which is why I will be joining your gym when you open it. I know you guys will be totally cool about that. ;-)

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