After a long winter I opened up my 2009 barefoot season at the beginning of May. and I hope to be able to stretch it till November, when low temperatures (and the stupid comments of my fellow citizens) are getting to hard to take.
From year to year the time gets shorter to get my feet used to training unshod, and I was able to run about 3 km in a row after only a few minutes walking. But, like every year, my first thought was: I have to start from scratch, press the reset button, all I had done through the winter was completely useless! Of course it was not, but training without shoes is so incredibly different. You´re much slower, you understand the meaning of "being aware", you are way much more "in" your surroundings, you are really connected, not only through being barefoot, it reflects on all your senses. You don´t feel like a bulldozer anymore, breaking through the forrest, no matter what is in your way.
This feeling is worth the few scratches and bruises on my soles. They will heal and leave behind thick leather-like skin, which is so sensitive that it´s like a new pair of eyes, which see things before your real eyes do and react, before your brain can think.
And thats where the training starts: Trust your feet, trust their sensetivity, trust their strenght. It´s not about getting used to sharp stones, that´ll happen either way. It´s about trust in your own body awareness.
Barefoot season has begun...