First off, I would like to thank everyone for their love and support for my first event, “The Power of Uncondtional Love” at the Towson Athleta. Not only did it make my sponsorship officially “real,” but it also helped to raise over $500 for Baltimore Bully Crew. **Everyone clap their hands!** WOOHOO!! Thank you, thank you! Wiggle wiggle, shake shake.

Now, I would like to address a topic that has plagued me for a few years, in hopes that my journey and what I’ve learned may help you. It started with my feet and progressed to my shoulder. Here’s the spoiler: I realized that sitting all day on my bum da da dum really was just not good for my body. Shocker. Let’s talk about feet!

Do you have HAPPY FEET that make YOU dance!?!

Background

I began teaching kickboxing classes in 2006, and then running in 2008. I’ve always had to search high and low for “good” shoes that were just perfect for my feet and weirdly enough, would protect my knees. Stupid knees. Doctors initially diagnosed me with patellofemoral stress syndrome—aka, I had womanly hips. Gee, thanks.

Running was my icing on the cake–it was kind of liberating and motivating. I completed feats that I had never even thought of, and along with that I found a whole new love for my body and the health of it. Fast forward to summer of 2011 (when I was training for a half marathon since the winter) and discovered that something was going on with my body that just didn’t like running—my left knee! It was extremely painful and ultimately ended my love for running…for the time being.

Feet

Since 2008, I had orthotics in my running shoes. They worked great, and I didn’t have any knee discomfort while running or even teaching kickboxing classes. In fact, I was becoming faster and doing pretty well—at least I thought. Come to find out, the orthotics began to do horrible things for my feet: they caused my ankle and calcaneus (the back bone of my foot) to be unaligned.

Enter barefoot training research.

Did you know that you can strengthen your feet? It’s true. And, in fact, that is just what I discovered. From that day forward, I got rid of my super cushioned, supportive running shoes and pursued the barefoot movement. Who doesn’t love trudging around in their bare feet??! I even read, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall which I highly recommend. I learned a great deal about running in his adventures to locate the elusive Caballo Blanco. More importantly, he wanted to use this “White Horse” to locate the Tarahumara, possibly “…the healthiest and most serene people on the earth, and the greatest runners of all time.” Essentially, the Tarahumara reiterate that you do not need super fancy shoes to conquer running, nor do you need fancy goos and foods to fuel your body. They eat real food, run a lot—and I mean A LOT. Interesting, huh?

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