Barefoot and competitive

So I think I’ve found my barefoot running schtick. Most (all?) barefooters seem to be motivated by a variety of aspirational and inspirational things. There is a definite undercurrent of a wish to improve humanity and such. Apparently, however, I’m the only one who gives a rat’s ass about winning.

That’s not an indictment on my fellow fungus-and-fancy-free footers. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into a Greed-Is-Good-esque diatribe. Some barefooters can run faster and farther than me, too, so it’s not about me suffering delusions of grandeur. Well, not in this particular case, anyway. My athleticism is what it is, until I get faster, which I have every intention of doing. Because, as much as I love to run, and as much as I truly and dearly love my fellow runners, I want to see how fast I can go. And, perhaps more accurately, I want to be faster than everyone I race.

I’m not evangelical about this barefoot yahoolery. I’ve got opinions that I’m more than happy to share, sure, and I’m right and everyone else is wrong, of course, but I strongly feel one’s footwear decisions are none of my business. What is my business is catching runners in races and not letting anyone catch me.

Anyway, I said it. My competitiveness does not in any way diminish the joy and comaraderie I feel at running get-togethers. I just want to get to the post-race food before any of you do.

Man, that fartlek must have pumped me up a bit. Excuse me while I go stuff a nerd in a locker.

10 thoughts on “Barefoot and competitive

  1. Hey, I’m barefoot too (hiked up to Clingman’s dome today barefoot – got some strange looks and the ol “you’re braver than me” comment), and I think I give a rat’s ass about winning, err, well at least not getting passed so much. But alas I have much weight to lose to compete toe to toe with Barefoot Josh. Maybe when I get to 160 or so, it’ll be a fight.

    Speaking of competition, here’s a clip that my brother Jeff edited of my son’s soccer team winning the sectional match that got them to the Tennessee state tourney. It was the most exciting double overtime game I’ve seen in person.

  2. Pingback: Barefoot Running University » Am I Really a Hobby Jogga?

  3. Oh, good. I’m glad somebody broke the whole “smiles are the new running gear” meme that has plagued our sport. Can’t you love to run and still kick the crap out of your competition? (Or, in my case, while getting the crap kicked of out of you.) I don’t enter races to hold hands and sing Kumbaya with my fellow runners; I enter to compete with and those around me — and my former race times. I’ll smile when I’m done running.

  4. @Neil:
    Yeah, might as well.

    I knew you’d appreciate the value of bling.

    But then I won’t be special. O, how a man doth sow the seeds of his own destruction.

    Added to my playlist. Thanks!

    That’s right, we’re a contrarian duo. Great clip! I could totally get into soccer in that format.

    Oh, smiles have their purpose: the act of smiling sends signals to the brain that, in spite of the overwhelming sensation of exhaustion felt when running, things are “ok.” The brain then loosens it’s death grip on the lungs, allowing the smiling runner to accelerate past their frowning competition.

  5. Alas, Cookeville lost in the quarterfinals at state – no inspiring vids from that one. Back to Gatlinburg (Hill Billy Vegas) to finish our vacation.

  6. @BRU HJ: Here’s a suggestion, don’t run ultras. If you really like the atmosphere, then just volunteer, or become a race director (like Mitch Harper up in Ft. Wayne). Personally, I’ve come to value competitions at the half distance or below. It doesn’t have to be an organized event, my juices really get pumping when I run group intervals, like 800 or 1 mile repeats.

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