I rose, and looked from my balcony at the now familiar, always awe inspiring stunning orange sky as daylight arrived an hour earlier…
I made my way downstairs, stepped out of the front door and turned right, to run along the coast. When I reached the beach, I decided to keep going and climbed higher and higher out of the town up a winding road. I discovered I could loop back to Almuñecar… Some of the surfaces felt quite tough underfoot, and as I ran I kept in mind Bruce Tulloh – the original bare footer – an excellent British distance runner from the 1960’s – saying ‘barefoot is the lightest shoe’.
It helped me to repeat it as I ran, and kept my running action relaxed on more ouchie stretches… I thought too of Abebe Bikila winning the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome without shoes…
I take great inspiration from him.
Running barefoot has been such a gift to my body… The restrictive pain has left me and I feel free, my action similar to when I was a young runner…
I see that the energy of Bikila lives on and inspires me to keep taking the next step and the next… I recognise too that my own barefoot steps are inspiring others. It is therefore even more important my steps are true ones.
I see that the soles of my feet cannot be rushed, and that the road is one of building up not breaking down. I know the important thing is that I enjoy treading along the path that is opening up in front of me.
I finished my run after 19k had been covered and sat in front of a cafe with the song of Sunday breakfast chatter emanating from it… I relaxed in the warmth and remembered saying to my friend Angela, when we spent a week together in Club La Santa 16 years ago, that my only dream in life really and truly was to be able to run free of pain again… And then I added ‘in the sun’…
‘And here I am’, I acknowledged, ‘running in the sun, free of pain’.
I recalled the reams I wrote in my notebooks, when I was working to release my body from chronic pain. The hardest thing, I found about pain in the body is that we can get used to it. It can also bring great despair as the weeks and months pass and it is still there.
The pain in my body was always moving, but chronic and long term; It showed up in my hip, my back, my feet, my knee, my ankle… I could often keep running but it wasn’t very enjoyable. At times I did much more swimming because it hurt to run.
I saw the pain as a process… I didn’t know what exactly at times; but I was sure that unresolvedness and emotional hurt were shwoing up for me in this chronic restrictive pain – preventing me from doing the thing I felt I had come to earth to do…
To run free.
I found wonderful people to support me in my quest; Nick Webborn, the renowned sports doctor, never seemed to doubt I could be free. His confidence helped me… Paul Hide a gifted hypnotherapist, understood the deeper levels I needed to plumb, so that I could access where I was holding on…
And so be able to let go
And now I am running free.
We can all support one another as we journey back to ourselves; as we let go of all that is holding us; keeping us from our truest expression. The ego’s ideas can keep us locked in away from the authentic self. The more we are able to connect to ourselves with love and acceptance; the more we are kind to ourselves, so it becomes easier to let the edifice crumble and to be brave enough to reveal who we truly are.
Being barefoot has asked that I acknowledge and honour who I am. I spent much of my life trying to hide my difference and now paradoxically by wandering the globe shoeless – I feel more connected to the planet, to myself and to everyone else..
In validating my difference and honouring the choices I am making, I find myself more validated and understood and any barriers arising from rejecting myself have melted away and I feel free to run joyously in the sun.
Wends and I walked to the naked beach… There were many more today than when I took my solitary dip yesterday. It was like being on another land – suddenly surrounded by naked bodies as brown as nuts.
Wends and I stripped off, and went to the water’s edge and then enjoyed the utter bliss of the ocean embracing and healing and oh so sparkling blue…
As we lay in the sun, drying off I said to Wendy… ‘We are re living our youth, we have come full circle’
‘We knew who we were in our essence then Ju’, she said, ‘and now we are returning to that place’.