Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ill Equipped


My friends The M’s, of the Altadena M’s, know many things, but music isn’t one of them. Still, that didn’t stop The M’s from installing a wall of sound across half their living room -- or a potential wall of sound, since they never use it.

I told Mrs. M to, you know, actually play some music one day, and she and her husband did their best. They made several tries, and lights blinked, and jets roared, but no liftoff. By then dinner was getting cold, so we just gave up. All the CD’s were still in cellophane anyway. Really, anything more than a clock-radio is overkill for these two.

Funny how often people confuse having with doing, owning with knowing. You see it on the tennis court all the time. Those in the cute little Italian Lotto outfits and two-toned shoes, going through a series of warm up exercises. They’re guaranteed moon-ballers, bound to disturb your game with their “Ball please!” “Sorry, ball again please!” Then they’ll go mucking around in your court, looking for the ones with seven dots, when all they have to do is find the ones that still have fuzz.

In any discipline, you should earn your way up the equipment ladder. Prove you can serve with a Sear’s racket, as it were, before snapping on the Federer bandana. And please, the spandex clamdiggers? Do you really think we’re saying, “Honey, over there -- Is that Herbert Bumblechook or Raphael Nadal?”

I practice what I preach. For example, at yoga class, I still bring my beach towel instead of a regulation mat. One day, when people stop asking whether this is my first time, I might upgrade.

On the other hand, M -– of the Clock-Radio M’s -- has a different explanation. She believes I’m just really, really cheap.

Is that why I’m so smitten with the idea of barefoot running? Barefoot running is sweeping the nation. Or it’s sweeping California. Or maybe it has only swept a little part of L.A. At any rate, current theory has it, those incredibly expensive running shoes were nothing but a scam, and a dangerous one at that. Putting weight here when it should be there, responsible for back, hip and leg injuries.

I’ll buy that, since it costs nothing at all. I’ve been out there running nude, totally nude, from the ankles down for the past week. And for the most part, it feels nice. I’ve yelped and shrieked a few times along the way, but I think it’s pretty cool. Who counts your miles, measures your speed when you look impressive? I think people are saying, “Is that Karin Bugge or a really pale marathoner from Kenya?”

51 comments:

  1. Gee, KB, of the Altadena Bugges, if you're still using a beach towel for yoga and running au naturel you have padding to die for. Thanks for the funniest thing I've read today.

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  2. I agree, funniest thing today! You capture several good moments here. Thanks.

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  3. You're Friday to Crusoe, then? That photo put me in mind of it.

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  5. Barefoot, huh? This verse from Zombie Jamboree may ring a bell:

    I goin’ talk to Miss Brigitte Bardot
    And tell her Miss Bardot take it slow
    All the men think they're Casanova
    When they see that she’s barefoot all over
    Even old men out in Topeka
    Find their hearts getting weaker and weaker
    So I goin’ to ask her for your sake and mine
    At least to wear her earrings part at the time

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  6. I see by the two parallel lines under the ball of your foot that you've written several very funny posts for your blog.

    Am I right?

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  7. My mother tells me I was barefoot until the age of 4. Running on the sand barefoot sounds great :)

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  8. this looks like Mayan artwork. It's nice to be back here. hi Karin!

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  9. Never heard of your feather banana, but it's things like this why you're the most popular loco girl on the net. I'm ill equipped & confused to understand much else you typed today. I need to get a good nite of rest 2nite to refuel my brain.

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  10. Keep running barefoot and your foot bottoms will turn to leather.
    You'll never need shoes! Think of how cheap it'll be.

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  11. I enjoy the mention of your minimal equipment requirements. So very admirable.

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  12. I was in Boston on the weekend where there was a Women's 10K Run. There were hundreds (thousands more likely) of women participating. I wasn't watching for long but I saw one barefoot runner.

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  13. OK, I"m laughing so hard I don't think I can blather! HOW can you run barefooted??? Where do you run KB? If it's my walking trail, you'll be at the ER in minutes. I tripped over a tree root a week ago and went down like the TItanic ( yes, again). Or on pavement? For the love!! And I thought I had bloody nubs from walking the streets of Paris in some halfway decent ( cute) shoes. I don't get it . I need more information here.

    And I understand the M's predicament. I have a plethora of things electronic I can't figure out. Perhaps we're in the same age bracket???Hummm?


    PS The photo is trés cool and Mr. E's verse is hilarious.

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  14. I'll try it, but I have to start with walking, from the front door to the driveway. See how it feels. Build up some calluses.

    How about hiking barefoot? What do you think?

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  15. See, you competent people can get away with bare bones (or feet) equipment because you actually know how to do things. But the clueless among us think that if we throw money at the problem then maybe we'll be able to buy competence. It doesn't usually work, but, like I said, we're clueless.

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  16. Think about it. If you run in the dark, like I do, your feet feel dips and bumps which shoes wouldn't until it's too late. And balance is much better. I met a barefoot runner who goes 20 miles from Altadena to Tujunga. He admits the last three miles are a problem.

    Want to try a 1 mile hike up Echo way with me P? We can report back. (Don't tell J, he'll talk you out of it.)

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  17. Earl, give us a link. I can't find it but love the lyric

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  18. Sure, I'll try anything once. (Almost anything.) And you're right about J.

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  19. Oh man, that last line killed me. You do know how to crack me up.

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  20. Are you giving up shoes for all occasions or solely for running?

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  21. You must have hobbit feet! You know, with the sturdy soles - not so much covered in long hair.

    *hopes you are a Lord of the Rings fan or that comment is completely useless*

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  22. Really?? I run a lot and see gross stuff on the ground . . . you're brave. But, I agree about cheap equipment until you're worthy. I'm still riding my husband's hand me down bike and 2 size too big bike shoes.

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  23. This is the best version of Zombie Jamboree by Belafonte. Just ignore the photo. There are other versions by other artists, but I think this is the best.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u51NFe-j70o

    If you want all the written lyrics, just holler.

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  24. M, of the clock radio M'sOctober 15, 2009 at 10:29 PM

    Meet at my house, I think a brief talk is in order. Wear shoes.

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  25. Class warfare. Thank you. Always relevant, and always entertaining...

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  26. I'm not surprised. This from the gal who walked all over Hollywood in her bare feet.

    Love this, KB. Now, if you really want to earn our respect, what about barefoot skiing?

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  28. But please don't try that thing where they fly in winged suits.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
    Wingsuit_flying

    WV: (honest, and sorry Laurie) SKINAG

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  29. Ack. I shouldn't have read all this barefoot talk just before going to bed. I like it in theory ~ seems a natural thing to do ~ but I couldn't. Ack. But good on you for giving it a darn good whirl, Hiker.

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  30. A great post, Karin. I like good equipment for things I pursue--like cooking, for instance--but I don't want it to be better than I am. I somehow feel like a fraud if I can't get decent results with decent but not stellar tools. Sounds like you may be in trouble with your clock radio friends, though. Don't just wear shoes when you go see them, make sure you shine them.

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  31. I tried running in a light pair of "leather socks" I made for a couple of months and it sure changed me from a heel runner:)

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  32. Feet. How I love to draw and paint feet! They are, in fact, my favorite subject other than skies.

    Maybe I could do a whole blog here - just Feet.
    Anyone want to model for me? Nude from the ankle down.

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  33. You're hilarious. I'm not sure my tender tootsies could handle a barefoot run. As for the yoga mat, on the extremely rare occasions that I actually do more than think about yoga, I like the added cushion of a yoga mat. Plus it doesn't slip around while I'm grappling for a body pose that seems just plain wrong.

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  34. Did you run into naked guy? Was he the inspiration for this post? I've run into him several times on the Eaton Canyon trail up to Henniger flats. He carries his black running shorts with him. I've never looked at his feet so I can't say whether he's barefoot or not.

    I have a story about my dealings with the company Lotto. Kind of funny.

    Off to bed. Long day.

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  35. I'll meet you at the end of a trail with a double pair of athletic, cushioned socks that I generally wear in my Wilson Pro shoes when I play tennis in my latest Lotto or Nike tennis wear. I know my tennis is mediocre, but if you can't be really good, it's OK to look OK. OK?

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  36. Not to be vulgar, but I like the naked thoughts. Running barefoot is spicy.

    As always, have a nice DAY! (....or should I say run.)

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  37. hi Karin, thanks for thinking of me. Not to beat my health thing to, er, to something, but I am doing great!
    Whose footprint is that? Fred Flintstone me thinks.

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  38. That is the footprint left by the 20 mile barefoot runner. Really.

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  39. I've been thinking about this barefoot vs. equipment thing. I woke up thinking about it, because I know you're going to show me up (meaning you'll make it to the ruins on Echo mountain, leaving me behind at the signpost that says "Echo Mntn., 2.7 mi.")

    Our bodies were made for running barefoot. But they were made for running on land and in the forests as opposed to asphalt. They were also made to expire at about age 35. Isn't it possible that some things humans have come up with, perhaps even running shoes, have helped us live healthier, longer lives (with stronger skeletons)?

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  40. Check this out P http://barefootjulian.com/Beginners/why.php

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  41. Pretty interesting. So it sounds like the shoe companies are making shoes that simulate the barefoot experience, which would be a good thing for city runners (protection from nails, lit cigarettes, pebbles, etc.)

    Okay. Now I can tell you I spent yesterday afternoon barefoot. Mostly in the house, but for a person who hasn't been barefoot for more than five minutes in the last ten years it's a start.

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  42. Funny thing, ya’ kno’. When I see pictures of people running barefoot across the velt, or hidden in the brush, pearched tiptoe, skin to earth; when I see reruns of the 1984 Olympics with Zola Budd, tiptoeing on the well heeled heel of Mary Decker Smith, there is this little tingle above my right (or is it left) eye. Are the DNA residuals from somewhere in the distant past straining for recognition. Must I doff my Wilson Pros and make my peace. Earth to nude foot to mutter erde afrika? Is it polite to have tea after a run in the nude state? Please advise.

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  43. Oh KB, I've read all this and I just think I've walked my poor dogs to death all over Paris and here as well. They are barkin' and I just don't think I can get much more mileage out of 'em unless they are in something comfy when I do the miles. Pardon mon amie. No barefoot walking pour moi unless it's right here in home sweet home and that happens the minute I walk in the door.
    V

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  44. And tell Mr. E that I at least wear my earrings part of the time!:)

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  45. What is this, footfetish.com? Harrumph.

    And on another puritanical note, your third paragraph makes a very nice serious comment . . . . Then you toss in the word "naked" and everyone goes giggledy libertine-- orgies, laughter, wine, yoga . . . Westerners!

    But I admit, certainly 4-star comedy again.

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  46. I think you are just going back to the comfort of walking barefoot on Sunset. Any fat ladies yelling at you yet?

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  47. PS - you enjoying puzzling everyone on the trail with a barefoot footprint (very nicely photographed too). I was on a trail last Sunday and noticed dog, jogging shoe, bike, horseshoes but NOT one bare foot.

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