Eternal beauty

I am just off to meet Maggie, who with Jack, her husband are my support team to run barefoot across Spain…

Maggie and I are going to make a vlog over coffee – always good – I am looking forward to hearing what she has to say about the adventure we have embarked on…

It all began with me sending her a whatsapp, saying that this idea had come upon me… That I hadn’t 100 percent decided, but were I to go for it, would she in principle be up for being my support  team…?

She responded immediately in the affirmative and I immediately knew that the decision had already been made….

Decisions have a way of making themselves.

I am always one for encouraging people not to try and ‘work things out’ too much, but to let the decisions evolve and emerge of themselves. There is no need to think too hard about anything. The path always reveals itself if we allow it to.

The best practise is to allow ourselves to drop between the thoughts, to find the gaps between them and enjoy the huge space that then opens up… All that is needed is to simply trust that this is where the answers we are looking for will arise from…

If there is a big decision to be made, walking or running can be a meditation on the move and a helpful way to access the inner answers… Running is renowned for allowing a different thought mechanism to kick in – answers, ideas, insights can all be found on the running path….

Walking is the same… I remember speaking with a composer of music, who told me that his creative process came about through spending every morning walking by the Thames for hours – whatever the weather – with a notebook in his pocket, and as he walked the music emerged… All he had to do was to write it down.

There was no thinking or trying too hard involved, simply a commitement to be available each day for the ‘download’.

I remember being inspired by William Wordsworth… I absolutely loved ‘The Prelude’, it spoke to me of me and it communicated to me that the only purpose in life is to be, to be with the sun and the moon and the stars and the land and to immerse ourselves in the step.

To journey always without needing to arrive… Wordsworth is said to acknowledge that nine tenths of his verses had poured out of him in the open air…

Yes, I remember, when the changeful earth,
And twice five seasons on my mind had stamp’d
The faces of the moving year, even then,
A Child, I held unconscious intercourse
With the eternal Beauty, drinking in
A pure organic pleasure from the lines
Of curling mist, or from the level plain
Of waters colour’d by the steady clouds. ( from The Prelude)

I was reminded of Jack who has plotted my route across Spain saying that he loved to travel, he loved geography and that the moment he could drive he loved to explore the Yorkshire dales and that he liked to travel even better than to arrive…

The actual journey is not as important as the creativity that emerges from it, the experiences, the growth, the relationships, the letting go, the embracing of our truth – the appreciation of the moment…

The absolute connection to our inner landscape through experiencing and being in the ever changing seasons… Feeling the earth beneath our feet, the rain on our faces, hearing the sounds of the sea, the wind and the soaring birds as they swoop across the expanse…

Where we can find the reflection of  our deepest silence, as we travel the path of life; from birth to death and let go of all that is blocking us from love.

 

Surya namaskar

I found myself locked in the hotel, when I went to leave for my run this morning!

The stairs I usually take led today to a locked side gate, and the door to the reception of the hotel was also locked – and the lifts weren’t working either.

I went back up to my room, and looked out over my balcony to see if there was a way down…! No obvious climbing route, and far too high…!

So I retraced my steps back down to the side door, in order to look about to see where I could climb over the wall… Having sussed out a possible, if precarious route, I decided I would try knocking on the door…

No response at first; I knocked louder. There was movement the other side, and then it was then flung wide open and Emeliano the owner of the hotel exclaimed ‘Ahhhh, mi amiga…’

‘Peudo voy a correr por favor…’

I followed him along the hallway and he let me out of the front door, it rather felt like I was a little dog being let out for my run about…

I stood in the soft balmy early morning air… Grateful for an extra hour of daylight, I jogged a long the prom for half a mile of so, when I spotted the orange lip of the sun peeking above the line of the sea.

I stopped to watch it’s rapid emergence.

I will never tire of this; and was reminded again that it feels  purpose enough for my time on earth…. To witness each day the sun’s glory as it rises rapidly into the sky.

I remember a time when I practised surya namaskar or sun salutation – the dynamic yoga asana sequence – every single day. Perhaps I am being reminded to start this practise again!

It is a series of twelve yoga asanas, showing gratitude to the sun, which bring our body, breath and mind together. It energises the body and asks that our breath and spirit reach out into the infinity of the universe, allowing us to feel that the universe is within us, in our bodies…

The Gayatri mantra, which I also practise daily on occasions, echoes this, honouring the sun within and without… And as I write this I recognise that of course this is our only purpose here… That we honour the universe within and without, the sun within and without, and its unfolding through our lives.

Watching the sun rise and the sun set is the perfect meditation to remind us that we are the sun, we are the universe and everything within it.

By honouring the sun, we are honouring ourselves and one another…

The word surya namaskar (from surya namaskar)  stems from namas, which means ‘to bow to’ or ‘to adore’…  And namaste, ‘I honour the spirit in you which is the spirit in me’ Also comes from this root…

So as my sojourn in the mountains draws to an end, I find myself more connected than ever to the simplicity and grandeur,  the meditation, the practise of simply watching the sun rise and the sun set and in its glory remind us to always remain still, to listen to the silence and to remember that we are one.

The question now of course is…

Will I bring this wonderful series of asanas back into my life…?  ?

 

 

 

‘Barefoot, the lightest shoe…’

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.

Later:

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’.

‘Let me take the speck out…’

I started and finished the day in the water, swimming into the sunlight…

It felt tonight when I was clambering out of the sea, up the steep stony bank, to sit down next to Wends,  as if I had completed a special magic ritual.

This morning I had run along to the naked beach – all day today, when explaining to my Spanish friends where I swam, I have been describing it in Spanish as ‘La playa sin la ropa’, because I don’t know the word for naked…

Desnudo… I have just looked it up! I like that word….

So today I was descalza y despues denudo.

But until now I didn’t know the word, so I ran to ‘the beach without clothes’, thinking as I ran that maybe I would swim… On arriving there, a naked man fresh out of the sea was standing drying himself with his towel – I was immediately inspired to follow suit, and take my skinny dip

I ran and walked on the stones to the end of the cove, stripped off my shorts and vest, and trod quickly down to the water’s edge… I was immersed in the limpid, turquoise blue giant swimming pool, in a matter of seconds.

The sun was shining on the water making a pathway of golden light which I swam in, as if they were tram lines. I bathed my body and soul in the sea and the sun, and emerged onto the beach feeling like an ethereal naked nymph.

The beach was deserted except for two or three others, and a man fished in his boat off the shore… The sky was heavy with cloud and I felt transparent, naked, wild, free, me – alone on a stony grey beach in Spain, lit by sunny bright, translucent light filtering through.

The day unfolded with ease… My friend Wendy and I passed it much as we did when we were at school together; wandering about, sitting, talking, eating, sharing…

On the way back from lunch, Wends trod on a little shard of glass… I picked it from her foot, after a rather painful process… But as she said, it hasn’t made her want to wear shoes.

She saw it as part of the barefoot journey…

To watch our tread with more care; to take notice of each footfall, to be aware – to be conscious… To make each step one of meditation and presence..

But also to work through the times that the foot treads on something we cannot foresee…

As I was concentratedly working on Wends foot – my iphone torch as a bright light – as gently as possible working to remove the shard , I was reminded of the gospels and the importance of always working to clear whatever is blocking our own tread  – whatever we are not looking at within ourselves…

If we are to help another, the first place to look is within ourselves always… To be as clear as possible when we offer care, give advice, move to look after another…

In the gospels the reference is to the eye, rather than the foot, but it is simply a metaphor…

‘How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye?’

The words are relevant for every aspect of care. True love, true healing comes from a place of clarity within us, from a place of self love and a place of clear vision…

And so as I worked to get the shard of glass out of my friend’s foot, I reflected again on the commitment to always keep looking for any shards within myself that need to be removed…

And then when the operation was successfully  completed, we both went to the beach to sit and stretch and be…

After awhile I dived once more into the special watery magic and swam this time into the rays of the setting sun; feeling joyous in body and spirit.

 

 

A time for every purpose under heaven

I am once again in a hotel room in Almuñecar, lying on my bed writing my blog…

My friend of many years – most of my life – Wends is lying on a bed opposite me reading. We are both of course without shoes… And I am strongly reminded of us as teenagers in the holidays… hours spent lying about in each others bedrooms, reading Jackie magazine which then ‘progressed’ to Cosmopolitan / ‘Cosmo’!

don’t remember putting shoes on very often, and in the very hot summers of 75 and 76 we were often lying by the river, not only without shoes, but without any clothes at all…

Long hot sunny summer days… We would cycle to the river, hide our bikes under the hedge and then carrying a blanket, food supplies and a pile of books, and then set up ‘camp for the day’ and lie about reading on the grass instead of our beds… Occasionally taking a dip in the river  with the fish and the reeds.

I spoke in a vlog recently of the powerful negative charge from the earth which when we are barefooted, means that we can receive and benefit from the electrons which produce antioxidants for our body. This, of course can contribute to good health on emotional and physical levels…

Wends and I clearly knew this as young people, intuitively… Many of us do; feeling the ground beneath our feet, the sun and the rain on our bodies can keep us very much here in this moment; in tune with the natural rhythms of nature… If we are in step with the rising and setting of the sun, if we cycle naturally with the seasons, then we are like the flowers that bloom when they are ready…

We no longer hold back trying to stay in the chrysalis or the bud,which of course is an impossible task – but instead we can open in the natural time in a way that is more fluid and flowing without push or pull back…

To everything there is a season and this is true of our own opening, our own remembering of who we are, from whence we came.

We cannot rush this process. Things of the spirit happen in their own time and if we try to take short cuts or try to be somewhere we are not, or push another to open – or to see something before they are ready – then it simply doesn’t work.

It cannot be any other way… ‘

To everything there is a season

A time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born
and a time to die
A time to plant
and a time to pluck what is planted

A time to kill
and a time to heal
A time to break down
and a time to build up

A time to cast away stones
and a time to gather stones
A time to embrace
and a time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain
and a time to lose
A time to keep
and a time to cast away

A time to tear
and a time to sew
A time to keep silence
and a time to speak

A time of love
and a time of hate
A time of war
and a time of peace

by Ivy Schex

I have quoted this poem before – but in essence it simply reminds us that we live in a universe of polarity… That while we are journeying and experiencing ourselves through the illusion of separateness as human beings, if we stay silent, if we learn to stay in the gaps between thoughts… If we live life as a meditation; if we find the silence in the turn of the breath, then we will know ourselves and one another through the polarity…

To return to know ourselves completely as love, as silence – first we must experience the push to the pull, the challenge, the heart break, the pain, the sorrow, the joy, the connection the winning and the losing, the yin to the yang…

And through travelling through lifetimes and experiencing that to everything there is a season, we will in time return to that place of pure love…

Today I rose with the sun…

Last night Ange and I wandered along the street, with the warmth of the day still in the air… We had planned to eat in a tiny local restaurant, but when we arrived at its door – was closed…

Plan B… ‘There is a restaurant run by an English guy who plays his guitar on a Saturday night… Would you like to go there? The food is great’… Which is how Ange and came to be singing along to sounds of the 60’s and 70’s we know so well, as well as needing to shout above the music to have any sort of dinner table conversation…

And it was such fun, an impromptu night of live music surrounded by mainly Ingles… We laughed a lot, as well as being transfixed watching the two musicians. They were fully engaged, playing their guitars and singing with all their hearts…

As I watched, I reflected that it doesn’t matter where we practise our art, whether it is on a huge stage at Wembley – if that is where our energy leads us – or a small restaurant in a Spanish town on the coast… What matters is that we practise –  that we express ourselves fully – trusting that the stage we are on is absolutely the perfect one for us at this time…

Today I rose with the sun and decided to follow the road out of town and into the hills… It was mainly smooth and wound gently through the land, following the old river bed. As I ran I had a surge of recognition and joy of treading
on this land that feels so familiar.

A huge group of cyclists sped past in a whirr of colour and male voices; some surprise at my bare feet and they were gone into the distance… A car drew beside me, and enquired in Spanish… ‘Was I alright…?’ ‘Yes, I’m out for a run… ‘And on I went on a road that looks to go on forever…

But this time I executed my  plan to run half my run and then go back to Casa Blanca to meet Ange, and together we ran along the seafront, watching the sun sparkle on the water.

The colours and the light seeming to reflect something in my soul that I see in the mirror of this Spanish land…

The energy I bask in is of beauty, peace, soft expansive possibility, no expectation, stillness and silence to simply enjoy the space of tranquility… There is an ambience here that is indescribable, except to say that it resonates with the beat of my heart, my breath and with every bare footfall.

It is no wonder that I have chosen here as the destination when I run right through the middle of Spain, from the North to the South coast…

Or that it has chosen me.

So within so without… The one who chooses and and the chosen one are one and the same; each reflecting the other. Each one a mirror by which to look deeper to investigate the inner map.

And so Almuñecar sees herself, feels herself, knows herself within every step I take…

And I see myself in so many multifaceted shafts of strobe light dancing on the water, flickering through the curtains. Immersion in the turquoise azure blur of the magical mediterranean balm…Warmth beating down onto my shoulders and the sound of Spanish voices… The Spanish tongue which as I wander about I notice that I am very slowly remembering.

Ange and I finished our day on the beach again… Stretching on the sand before taking a healing dip in the limpid crystal pool of liquid love…

 

Rediscovering our lightness…

I drove down from my mountain retreat to sunny Malaga airport… It was like driving to another land…

The sun shone bright orange warm… I parked my car and raced to arrivals as my friend Ange’s plane landed… And then there she was, having arrived in another place, so far away from an England now in so many ways, a landscape and climate so different as storm Brian started to make the announcement of his arrival in the UK …

We chatted as we drove along the open road, towards a vista of mountains, blue sky and sun… Before we knew it Almuñecar welcomed us into her now familiar bosom, enclosing us both in Friday night Spanish chatter, warmth and the sound of the lapping sea…

This morning we ran along the promenade, and it was hard to imagine just a few days ago I had been wrapped up in a shawl feeling the cold, while a mountain  thunder storm danced, played and crashed around my rocky scenes with insistent and enthusiastic energy.

Once again, I stepped into the barefoot step and almost forgot my mountain retreat; my croaky voice a reminder, but the day here the only one… The time with Ange immediate and as if we only had a coffee together last week…

A few of my things are still in my little white house, and I am aware that my energy however is very slightly in two places. I  said to Ange that every so often I have a sense of ‘having forgotten something’… A slightly strange Alice in wonderland like dream state and a ‘mad’ feeling of  – ‘did I remember to organise for someone to feed the (non- existent!) cat…’

It demonstrates to me, how much the nomadic life works for me, to be walking barefoot on the planet and living exactly where I am; completely here and now. And how so often as human beings we are ‘two places at once’ without being aware of it… In fact probably many places!

It is the practise of being fully here that allows us to experience our human journey at a far more profound level… Because nothing else actually exists except the reflection of our energy, and if it isn’t in our reflection then it isn’t there… So the more we are present to where we are, the more we have the experience of connection and a deep relaxation, because the connection is to our deepest selves. Not our conscious illusionary self, but the eternal truth of who we are…

As we set off to run along the seafront today, I briefly wondered what my body would feel like with all the change of location, climate, altitude… But I felt so good. I felt light, my legs felt light… This has been my increasing experience since I have been barefoot. There is a lightness in my body, in my footfall and in my legs…

After breakfast Ange was reading from her Scaravelli yoga book, and she found this paragraph that summed up exactly for me the experience I am having as I tread the planet…

‘Locking our legs in positions disturbs the dynamic connections through the legs and feetWe can learn how to use our legs better from cultures where walking barefoot and sitting on the ground are a way of life.
With intelligent use of the body, the legs can rediscover their lightness.

Many of us may not have experienced this since we were infants…’

Feeling light in our bodies and in our legs is the natural state; being able to move with agility and ease, flexibility and the joyous delight of experiencing ourselves through our bodies…

Pain is the aberration; ease the natural state – but pain is also a communicator and if we follow its messages and resist not listening to it through with denial, because we become ‘used to it’ – or distraction with stories that this is ‘natural’ in the ageing process, or blocking it with pain killers… Then with time and patience we can explore a re discovery or discovery of a greater lightness within our body – as if it were for the first time because we may have forgotten the feeling…

The feeling of lightness in the legs, in all of the body and so enjoy a freer journey on planet earth; and even if the shifts are only fractional it is worth the process and practise…

Ange and I swam later and we enjoyed again the magical healing properties of the mediterranean sea… We sat chatting on the sand about the journey ahead that emerged from within me… To run barefoot right through the middle of Spain and about Ange’s pledge with her daughter Pru and Ruby to support the cause to raise money for FSH – Friends of Sussex Hospices – by doubling every penny that is raised… She spoke of how the hospices supported her family at the end of her father’s life 7 years ago –  and how she now wants to support me raising money for the cause.

And so it is… We all have our gifts emerging through our unique vibration, we are all completely different in our own energetic make up, and if we  trust in our own expression then the way is clear for us all to support and love one another as we adventure on this unknown life path….

Barefoot Across Spain! Update on the preparations…

My journey will start in March 2018 on the Northern Coast of Spain in Suances. I will journey, running barefoot, down through Spain arriving in Almuñecar on the South Coast. I aim to arrive on my 59th birthday in May!
Being barefoot connects me to the earth and to myself and to the awareness of each moment as I tread my own life journey.
I have always worked deeply in the lives of others, helping them to face themselves in life and death. Therefore it feels natural for me to be raising money to aid the transition of adults and children in their journey from life to death.

You are a child of the universe…

Cream teas are becoming a thing of magic for me… In the last month I believe I have enjoyed more delicious scones laden with ‘extra cream please’ and jam, than in the last few years!

They seem to have a celebratory quality, and ooze generosity of spirit and fun with each extra dollop of clotted cream… Yesterday was a cream tea day as Jane and I were meeting for  an early barefoot birthday tea… It was delightful to be served our pots of tea and scones cream and jam in the huge – all to ourselves – sumptuous, ‘Coat of arms’ room at Buxted park…

We had a wonderful time, and it seems her birthday is set to run and run, there didn’t seem to be an end date… Hurrah for that, for celebrating ourselves and our time here on earth…

Life a celebration!

It is important that we join together in celebration of one another; and birthdays are a chance to welcome anew, to support one another on this earthly journey, to affirm our presence is appreciated, that we are loved, that – as is written in ‘Desiderata’, ‘we have a right to be here’…

‘…You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should….’

I had spent the morning in the ‘Coat of arms room’ too, catching up with my friend Ange… She has generously pledged, through her charity Espoire – which she runs with her daughters Pru and Ruby – to match any monies raised for my ‘Barefoot Across Spain’ run… She was saying that she is keen to train to run one section with me… How brilliant!

‘I keep having flashes of seeing me running into Almuñecar ‘ I said… ‘Yes…’ she smiled ‘I can see it too…’

And I can see it, the image comes in unbidden, because it is happening now; but the fun of this journey is that in the now, we plan for an imagined future, and we learn how to do this from a past that never happened… And when we do this consciously in the here and now, the steps reveal themselves like a painting being drawn by an artist or a book being written by its author…

The two collude and collaborate; the characters in the book decide their own path; and the painting paints itself in each brush stroke… We are all a hologram – we are both the encoded material and the resulting image – we are all parts, the painter, the writer, and the characters in the book… The figures on the canvas…

And so we breathe and find the still point at the bottom of the breath, we notice the turn at the top and in that space we find ourselves; and all that is….

Barefoot for a year…

Following on my my blog yesterday, here is my story of being  barefoot for a year, in a page…

 I was walking along Famara beach in Lanzarote with my husband Anadi… I love that beach. It is sandy and expansive, with a backdrop of volcanic cliffs, magical in their colour and stature.
The beach is 5k long when the tide is low, and very popular with surfers and kite surfers…

I was watching the surfers warming up… I loved watching them carrying out all their exercises and then they started to jog along the beach in a pack…

‘I wonder…’ I thought…

‘I wonder’, I said to Anadi ‘whether running barefoot would work for me…’

I started with just over a mile on the beach… Nothing in my body hurt.

It was September 9th and we were staying on Lanzarote Island until the end of September. I kept going back to the beach because when I tried to run on the road in my shoes, my legs still hurt with nerve pain from the injury I had sustained 6 weeks earlier in the Alpujarra mountains …

But barefoot I was free…

On the last day of our time there, I was trying to run around the running track in my shoes; but it hurt… A woman and her child appeared and lapped the blue asphalt track barefoot.
I took my shoes off and ran free…
I left my running shoes in the apartment, and travelled home with only my vivobarefoot shoes that I liked to walk around in…
I recognized that I barefoot was finding me; but I still ordered some Nike frees as I felt I would need them to transition…

The shoes never arrived and so as I was only in the UK for a short time I started to run in the vivobarefoot shoes…

I only ran ten times in October as my legs were very tired after each run in the very light shoes… I went to the gym a lot and my body and feet started to thrive…

Through November and December I got used to running in my barefoot shoes, and my completely bare feet when there was sand to run on…

I then read about beach socks….

So in January I ordered the socks and gave all my vivobarefoot shoes to my friend Jane…  Since then I have owned no shoes, and by February I had shed the socks too; made easier by my nomadic lifestyle and often being in sunny climes!

I listened to my feet…

I had let go of any goals in terms of mileage or running races… Before I was injured in July 2016 a lot of our travels had been to places where I could run a race… I was often winning the over 55 age group, and having a lot of fun…

My feet let all this go as they set off to run barefoot again…

I set myself no mileage aims, and I exercised my body with stretching and some strength and conditioning too, and noticed it aligning more and more… Long term pain and stiffness in my left hip left; long term knee pain faded and is till fading. My left arch that had dropped started to lift again and is still gaining in strength…

My feet lead me; when the left foot needed to do less we did all did less; when my body and my feet needed to walk we walked…

I started to love my running in a new way – it was like the childhood joy had returned; I went ‘playing’ rather than ‘training’ and once again I felt more like a conduit for the run rather than trying to chase something…

Ten weeks ago I noticed that my feet had run 40 miles in a week, unbidded by me…

I was starting to feel fit again and at the same time my friend Katie contacted me to say she was running a race in Valencia in November… I entered the 10k and committed to ten more weeks on 40 miles, to build some race fitness – which has built to 50 in the last three weeks; my feet are loving it – my body too…!

During that time, the idea came to run for ‘Friends of sussex Hospices’ from the North coast of Spain next spring, planning to arrive on the South coast in Almuñecar on my 59th birthday…

The idea came from my feet!
It certainly wasn’t from me ?