As many of you who follow the blog know, I’m a big exercise fan and last summer while starting to see the other side of my PND I embarked on a whole new exercise journey. I was chatting away to an old friend (75 to be precise) and he was telling me how he wanted to run a half marathon in the next year. Instantly I gave him a high five and said sign me up, I’m joining you. He told me absolutely no way, the only way you’re running with me is if you learn to run properly.
Run properly? WTF? I can already run properly, I’ve got all the kit, the trainers the lot and I regularly run 5k, I’ve done a few 10kms and a half was certainly not out of reach. No he told me, you don’t know how to run. I accepted defeat, the 75 year old must know better. I was sent away under instruction to meet Tony and to learn how to run….barefoot.
Yep! Barefoot. On a hot August lunchtime, 6 month old in tow I turned up at Tony’s place in Camden, I felt like I’d gone to the wrong place. I walked in, his class for the day was cancelled, bummer, what the hell am I going to do now? Walk away with my baby and end of. He kindly invited me in and we had a chat, the next week I had a 1:1 session with him and he was telling me all about foot drills, squats and natural movement. It was eye opening to say the least. I left excited about my adventure and having noted down Vivobarefoot the maker of the best barefoot shoes (I had to get some if I was for real).
Lucky for me they had a sale and after ordering three different coloured pairs of Primus trainers I decided on the black ones. I did my toe drills, I squatted and I gently walked in my new ‘shoes’. After about a month I felt ready to try a short jog. It was a little hard under foot no more padded trainers for me but I gradually adapted and so did my muscles. I waved goodbye to my trusty 10 year old orthotics and haven’t looked back since!
Along the way I’ve been learning to lift as in Olympic lift while perfecting my squat, to hang and on more natural movements working and toning my body. My fitness reached a peak in January with regular 35kg lifts, squats and the works but bummer, I found out I was pregnant.
My initial thought was that I’d have to stop lifting, hanging and squatting but they are all part of my routine workout and I’ve cut down the weights to the 20kg bar so I keep the technique throughout my pregnancy. I’m barefoot all the way, I’ve changed my shoes, my work shoes, everything and incredibly, my back problems ease out with some gentle squats and walks, my arches are stronger and i’m feeling much more grounded and energised by the whole routine.
So ok, i’m not a massive weightlifting mama but barefoot and pregnancy are certainly two things that go hand in hand and i’m hoping all of the deep squat prep will stand me in good stead come September strengthening my muscles ready for B-day!!
Definitely worth taking a look @tonyriddle and @vivobarefoot if you have time. Eye opening stuff but the results I can’t fault. Thank’s guys for revolutionising my feet and my life!!