A Barefoot Rose By Any Other Name was not the first title of my blog. After being consumed with obsessions in barefoot running and blogging, I decided to take the big plunge into barefoot fortune and fame declaring myself to be Barefoot Rose! The Barefoot Runner and best undiscovered blogger in which that undiscovered status would soon change from the droves of barefoot runners flocking to my page just because I was a barefoot runner.
That declaration went over like two ships passing in the night. The only thing to note the change in my user name and blog title was an automated computer reply from WordPress saying, “Welcome, Barefoot Rose”. All six of my readers are relatives or nearly-tives.
Can I still be Barefoot Rose if I’m not barefoot running and wear shoes 50-60% of the time?
Well, despite your answer, I’m not taking it back. That’s where the By Any Other Name comes into play. Runner or not. Blogger or not. I am the Barefoot Rose.
I’ve committing myself to barefoot walking in the morning. I will build up to barefoot running, some day, but for now I run in shoes (Altra zero drop, light cushion).
I still mostly hate shoes. Too big, too small, too narrow, too floppy, too slippery, too stiff, too hot…too smelly.
Susan, my New Jersey intern turned friend from Port Huron, and I sat around a summer back yard fire catching up on life and parenthood.
“Are you still running?” she inquired.
A month earlier, I was at a conference networking with your standard R&D introverts. It would have been a slow conversation if it hadn’t been for the free beer and wine at the happy hour. We were discussing the challenges of getting up at 5 am to run in the scholarship fundraiser 5K. Not one of us was planning on running it. The woman next to me admitted that she used to run but she’d gotten injured and never got back into running. I nodded my head knowing what she meant.
I used to fear getting injured so bad that I wouldn’t be able to run while I waited to heal. Three running styles, five pairs of shoes, a set of bare feet, months of early morning walks, turning 40 and two missed Girls On The Run events later, I realize my fear was misplaced. I should have feared losing my desire to run.
I run sporadically. Often, I’ll run in the middle of my morning walk. But, am I running? ie., Am I a Runner?
I have never defined being a “Runner” by speed or distance. To me, being a runner has to do with attitude, desire and a runner’s high. Susan’s inquiry put me in a position where I had to face what had happened. I changed and I no longer feel like I am a runner.
Ever since Susan’s inquiry, I’ve pondered who am I, what am I doing and what do I want? I suppose this is another side affect of going over-the-hill. It’s hard to define a goal when you’ve already taken life’s major stepping stones, run a 5K, win a 5K, run a half, run a sub-25 5K, PR in the half, get injured and run a return 5K. What’s left? Maybe it’s time I did something crazy?