I did my first talk on barefoot running this week.

My audience was somewhat forced because it was for class and there was only one other runner there (not barefoot). I was presenting on the first chakra for my Body Mind course, and the body parts related to that chakra include feet and legs.

The way our presentation topics were chosen was unusual. Our instructor decided to assign our topics intuitively. So she went around the class and one by one she assigned the chakra she felt would most apply to each person.

For the most part she just quickly named each chakra off (there are seven of them). But when she got to me she paused and stared me down until I got goosebumps. Then she gave me the first chakra.

The first chakra is known as the base chakra and it has to do with tribal power. So a group identity, group willpower, group belief patterns, etc. It originates in the family unit and feeds our need for logic, order, and structure. In other words, it’s a sense of belonging to a group, and the associated body parts are the legs, bones, and feet.

Barefoot running is something I started for health and fitness reasons, and only discovered all the emotional and psycho-spiritual connections by accident. So I talked about those connections during my presentation.

I printed off this post and handed it out for my class to read. But first I made everyone take off their shoes, which they reluctantly did. I was aiming for a completely barefoot class but some people refused to take off their socks, and one girl was deeply concerned about the cleanliness of the carpet. But in the end everyone at least had their shoes off.

It was interesting for me to watch the reaction of my class as they read my write up. I never get to do that, and unless people leave comments I never know what they’re thinking. When everyone started reading they looked serious and tired and a little bored. After they were done, literally every single person in my class had an ENORMOUS smile on their faces, which frankly was shocking to me because – they’re not runners.

I hate making presentations so I was a little nervous to begin with, but as I started describing barefoot running as it relates to the grounding of the soul and a connection to the earth, I could feel myself getting emotional. This took me by total surprise and I cut my presentation short a bit because I didn’t really feel in control. There are only a small amount of topics that I get emotional talking about, and I had no idea barefoot running was one of them.

I decided not to talk about VFFs, because to me it’s not the same psycho-spiritual experience. But at the end of my presentation my instructor asked about them (she has two pairs). I had mine in my bag so I pulled them out for people to see what we were talking about and there was a huge response. Everyone wanted to see and touch them, and they passed them around the class, which was weird for me. (Thankfully, I had JUST washed them!)

I don’t think I “converted” anyone to barefoot running, but I felt good about my presentation. It was my first time verbally talking about being barefoot, and it felt much more personal that I expected it to.