I’m reading that book that every runner should read. Or every one who has feet should read. Or even people without feet should read. Born to Run was recommended to me by a friend and I ordered it from The Book Depository. Free shipping worldwide? Was it too good to be true? Almost. I waited one month until finally a knock at the door one sunny morning in Obregon and voila! It appeared! My book!
So first of all you need to know a couple things about me: I have awful feet. Or so I have been told my entire life. I started playing basketball when I was 8. My brother and I were in a mixed under 10s league and our mum was the coach. It was awesome. We won the B division and I still remember the game as though it was the ultimate underdog story with someone in our team scoring the winning basket just seconds before the buzzer.
I continued to play basketball all throughout my middle and high school years. At one point when I was about 13 I was playing/practicing about 14 times a week for 3 different teams. My feet hurt. They hurt so badly that after practice I’d take off my shoes and cry. When I woke up in the mornings I wouldn’t be able to stand because of the pain so I would crawl down the stairs and complain during breakfast until my feet warmed up and felt a bit better. I have no idea why I didn’t tell my coach. I think I was scared of her, so I just kept going. One day after practice my Dad had had enough so he took me to the A&E. And so it began…
It turned out I had a double stress fracture in my foot. One near my big toe and one near the fourth toe. I was passed from podiatrist to podiatrist to orthopedic surgeon and back to podiatrist. I heard the word ‘pronated’ so many times it just became a normal part of my vocabulary. I wore moon boots, I had moulds made of my feet, I was trialled in many a running shoe. They begged me to get off my feet: just swim instead! they told me. But anyone who runs or plays a sport, knows what it’s like to be told to stop. I needed more opinions and every opinion said the same thing: get good orthodics, get better running shoes, and run less. I actually did eventually stop playing basketball. But I took up running (go figure) and have run many half marathons, 5 & 10kms and a few adventure races.
We were a bit geeky…:P
So I’ve been reading this book born to run and it is so captivating. Even more so when I discovered that a lot of the book takes place roughly eight hours away from where we’ve been living in Obregon. There’s so much to talk about – the whole book is just mind blowing – but what really grabbed my attention was the whole ‘barefoot running’ debate. Prior to reading this book I thought that anyone who ran barefoot was crazy, because every foot doctor I’ve ever seen has told me that we NEED SHOES. But really? When you really think about it, it sounds mental. I read somewhere that it’s like putting a cast around your neck and then taking it off and wondering why you have no strength. Apparently ALL running injuries are modern injuries, ie. have only existed since the invention of the running shoe!
From the author of Born to Run:
I began drilling into running-shoe research, and the further I went, the less I found. There’s nothing there. Nothing. No evidence whatsoever that running shoes do anything. Know why you’ve never seen an ad for a running shoe that actually tells you what the shoe will do? Because there is no evidence that running shoes do anything to prevent injuries. None. In fact, research currently in progress indicates that runners in shoes experience far more impact than runners in bare feet.
I feel a bit silly really. Why didn’t I question the whole running shoe thing earlier? Well duh, because the doctors told me it was the best thing for me. And as a 14 year old, you don’t really question the professionals. But the older I get, the more and more I realise the importance of questioning everything. The importance of keeping an open mind and reading lots and asking lots of questions and testing things out for myself as much as I can and never just accepting one answer from one person or even one answer from lots of people. Because theories are constantly being disproved, new solutions are always being discovered and curiosity is what drives us forward.
So I’m most definitely going to give this barefoot running thing a try. My feet can’t get much worse (way to jinx it though) and I’m so curious.
There’s plenty of places to read more if this kind of thing interests you. I did some googling so you don’t have to:
- Read Born to Run
- Check out the author talking about the Barefoot Running debate
- How to start barefoot running
- So you want to run barefoot?
- An interview with Barefoot Ted (a modern day barefoot running pioneer)
- The barefoot philosophy
- And the complete guide to barefoot running
If you’re a barefoot runner or have tried it out, I’d love to hear your stories!
Today is the anniversary of the day she was due. March 14. I wonder if I’ll ever forget that day. Her first birthday is in 9 days and I was pretty chill about it all until I read this. And now I’m an emotional mess. Not really, but it definitely got me thinking about how easy it is to obsess over the things that do.not.matter in the grand scheme of things. So thank you Karen Maezen Miller for reminding me about what matters.
Here’s some more cool stuff on our internets that I’ve enjoyed lately:
Ivan wants to get better at filming, so he started a little personal project for himself. He’s going to film a little clip every single day and upload it to a website for other people to use if they like. The site is called a daily take and he is on day 5.
As we explore new neighbourhoods (virtually) for our new home, we’ve really enjoyed this website that helps you live the most walkable lifestyle possible.
I haven’t really talked about this too much but Ivan and I have stopped eating meat, dairy and eggs. It sounds outrageous! I know. But it’s been a process, a process of finding balance and a process of trying to make the best decisions for our bodies and this is where we’ve ended up.
It started with my sugar-free experiment. I stopped eating all sugars (including fruits/honey etc) for an entire month. But to compensate for the no sugar, we were consuming a lot of meat, eggs, milk and cheese. It was gross. Mika’s eczema was awful, Ivan’s eczema was awful, I felt tired and my skin was breaking out.
A very long visit with a doctor was the catalyst to cutting these things out. He said that whilst we couldn’t confirm Mika had a food allergy (they won’t test her here because we’re ‘travelling’) it would be best to avoid all allergy trigger foods in her diet as well as mine (while I’m still breastfeeding) until she’s at least 2.
My parents were trialling a ‘vegan’ diet because my Dad has high cholesterol and type 1 diabetes and this is from him after 2 months of their diet:
“I have been on a ‘whole foods, plant based’ diet for two months now and have achieved a 25% reduction in my cholesterol level. What this diet means is ‘don’t eat animal protein’. It seems there is much research that shows a link between ANY animal protein (dairy, eggs, meat) and many ‘diseases of affluence’ including heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. I cannot speak for anyone else, but my risk of CVD went down by about a third in a very short time.”
Like woah. And so Ivan and I came to the agreement that it couldn’t hurt. We agreed to eat more plants, more whole foods and less of everything else. We also agreed that we’d do this at 95%, meaning that if we were out at a friend’s house or at an event then we wouldn’t be too picky. We’d make the best choices we could, but we would still ‘live it up’ rather than ‘pass it up’ when dining with friends. Eating is, after all, a hugely social occasion.
So there you have it. It’s been 3 weeks or so already and we feel great. I started a new blog to document our journey, it’s called the Cruz Family Kitchen. Check it out and like us on Facebook. Hopefully you can get some inspiration for your own meal plans and if you have a wee one with allergies, I’m planning on posting what we’re feeding Mika too.
Last night we tried ‘phase one’ of Dr Gordon’s ‘Changing Sleep Patterns‘ plan, which seemed to work awesome for this wee family. It sucked for about 45 minutes and then the next time I heard Mika start whining, I checked the time and it was 6am! I leaped out of bed, kissed her a million times and happily sat with her on the play mat for an hour or so while she chatted away to me, pretending to feed me from her play bowls and practicing her sweet standing moves. She started yawning again around 8am so I whisked her away in the pram for a beautiful morning jog. How can morning jogs be beautiful? When they’re crisp and fresh and leave your skin feeling tingly and alive and your lungs feeling strong and ginormous.
Did I mention we are going to Mexico City this week? I am impossibly excited. Mexico City is huge. According to Wikipedia, the Mexico City metropolitan area population is 21.2 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere. That’s massive. (New York apparently has 22.2 million, just to compare.)
The list is long, but here’s a quick rundown of the things that I am most excited for:
- Bikram Yoga!
- Swimming pools
- Organic health shops
- Searching for great coffee
- The Anthropology museum
- The library (!)
- Bosque de Chapultepec (the largest city park in Latin America, measuring in total just over 686 hectares!)
- Zara (kid’s clothing)
- Cheap and amazing food
- Our sweet accommodation (found through Airbnb)
- Hair cuts
- Wandering the streets
- Sitting in cafes
I’m also excited because I’ll be running a 10km race! Remember how I said I was going to look for one? Well, I did – and as a result – we planned an entire week’s holiday around it. I’m not sure about running it in under 45 minutes….for now I’m just going to be happy with 50 minutes. We’ll see how it goes!
A few things I’ve been loving lately:
- The Shins have a new album. ‘Simple Song’ is available today!
- I’ve been thinking about weaning Mika. (Thinking about.) This very honest post by Joanna Goddard is a great read for anyone who has weaned or is thinking about weaning.
- A city decides to adopt a type-face. (This video just makes me think that Chattanooga would be a fun place to live!)
- Have you been following the Food Matters Project? This week’s roasted red pepper pesto is making me drooool.
- Ivan’s finally had a bit of time to work on his short film these last few days. Check out his progress.
- You have to read this. It’s long, but incredible.
- Have you heard of the humble brag? Until a few days ago I hadn’t either, but they.are.hilarious. Check out these 50 funny ones.
I need to tell you more about Braden. Or rather, Braden needs to tell us all more about himself.
In a nutshell, he’s a very talented photographer, he has terrific taste in music and he’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. I wanted to show you guys some of his amazing photography. This dude is like 22 or something. Seriously he’s got an awesome road ahead of him:
I’m totally inspired by Braden and so I wanted to bug him with a few questions that I could share with y’all. He was super kind enough to respond:
I take photos because… i take photos very simply because photography is my passion and my dream. i am an extremely visual person and so the way i tell stories and really express myself is through my photography. art is life and it is equally true the other way round, life is art. my dream is to make my living through my passion and expression.. my art.
A photographer who inspires me is…oh wow there are so many amazing photographers who inspire me. well my mum really started my love of photography as she was always shooting as i was growing up and we have albums and albums of pictures she’s taken. so yeah my mum was the reason i gave photog a try but then i guess the most inspiring to me after i learned to love photography would be Steve McCurry. His story telling through his images is next to none and the images always draw such strong emotion and attention to the image.
I find inspiration in…everyday life and emotion, thoughts and ideas. i think any artist can tell you that major mood swings are a constant in our lives haha it sucks sometimes but some of our best work comes in the emotional lows.
The best piece of photography related advice i’ve been given so far is…well being a music photographer at live events and doing a lot of personal work in street photography the best advice i have been given/give its easy to say sorry after the fact. do what you have to in order to get the shot and then say sorry after.. it wouldn’t be lying saying i’ve snuck/broken into my fair share of places and events and pushed and shoved my way to get to a shooting location.. just don’t tell anyone that haha. push the limits.
If i wasn’t taking photographs i’d probably be…some boring business man in a suit working a 9-5 desk job with a drinking problem and hating my life haha no probably not.. i’d probably be doing something else artistic.
My usual breakfast is…OATMEAL CRISP! best cereal ever hands down. and if thats not in the house probably just porridge or rice krispies… for the most part i’m still to tired to make something good.
My favourite camera and lens to shoot with is…well it really depends on what i’m shooting but if you see a camera around my neck on a typical day it would be my 5dmkII with a 50mm f/1.8.. although i’m gonna buy a finepix x100 which would be my typical carry around camera. if i’m at a concert you will probably see my 5dmkII with a 24-70 f/2.8 and my 40d with a 10-22 f/3.5.. but if im willing to spend some money on film and developing you will see me with my mamiya rz67 pro II with a 120 back and a 90mm f/3.5.. oh and of course i swear by battery grips on all my dslr’s.