Running Barefoot

Started the day with a cancellation on a inspection, which hurt this time of year when I'm taking extra time off to help out with the junior high squad since it's a double whammy on the day for income. I substituted some construction inspections with a new bank and designed some forms that wowed them, then got a trail run in up on North Asotin Creek.

The run was nice but I was feeling a bit blue. One big disadvantage of owning your own micro-business and also being a writer is that you exist on a tiny little island with your own circular thoughts for long periods of time. It turns out to be a great way to host a pity party at a table for one.

Thank goodness for cross country practice.

One of our experienced girls asked if this was a Coach Paul "Weirdness" day. I denied the weirdness part of the description. The 8th graders swapped looks that said, "Pretty much." Thinking their getting to know me a little.

Since the kids had done speed work on Tuesday, with some longer easy, easy running yesterday, we (being the coaches) decided to take a break, go to the park, and play.

It was warn-up drills to start, and foot speed goofiness afterwards. We played follow the leader, which in junior high is very nearly a blood sport.

Then we went on to barefoot running on the grass at City Park.

Since we started doing this a few years ago, it has easily become the kids favorite activity. We didn't do anything fancy, just some jogging and a couple of accelerations. The kids tried skipping and a few other things. The grass provides a soft surface for them to experiment on and they took advantage of it.

Watching them, it amazes me how much their form cleans up when they get to run naturally. About half the gang ran taller, moving a bit more forward to the ball of their foot. All of them were springier off the ground. All of them were smiling.

We finished with some planks and, as a team, they decided that they want to have a contest to see who can hold a front plank the longest, so we have that coming up some time in the near future.

I suspect I'll get roped into it but it'll be fun. It's definitely a cure for pity parties.