When I first started running barefoot, I was amused and slightly surprised at the number of guys (nameless to protect the innocent) who would bitch about their unsupportive wives. They complained their wives thought barefoot running was stupid and dangerous. These women were embarrassed, humiliated, and/or angry. One barefoot runner even turned to me once and demanded, “What IS it with you women??”
I didn’t know what to say.
To be honest, the whole issue was news to me at the time. Why would anyone’s wife have a problem with it? I was naïve in my barefoot bliss and I hadn’t yet learned one of Jason’s cold hard truths about running barefoot – Not everyone will be supportive.
But I still get the sense that more often than not, it is usually women who seem be the strongest opposers. And maybe I’m imagining things, but I get the feeling that the happiest and most successful barefoot runners are either single men, or men who are married to women who also run barefoot, and they run together. Which for me begs the question – What do you do if your partner is unsupportive? What are your options? Is there any hope?
I wish I had some answers. I also wish I could say something to ease the minds of women everywhere and dispel their fears around barefoot running. It would probably be something like this:
1. If your partner is passionate about something, you need to support him. Regardless of whether it’s barefoot running or anything else. Be glad he has a passion, not every guy does. If he’s a real man, he’ll keep running despite your nagging. And if he’s not, that sucks even more. You want a guy with a backbone. So don’t make his life impossible every time he stands up.
2. Nobody is looking at you. When he’s out running, your neighbours aren’t calling each other to talk about you. Nobody cares. People are too busy living their lives to worry about yours. And even if they talk, a wise woman named Cat Hurd once said: Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.
3. Barefoot running is hot. It makes your feet sexy and your legs even sexier. Not only will it make him hotter, it will make him happier. It makes him a hero at races. It makes him look brave and strong and manly. People want to take his picture and give him high fives. These are all direct benefits for you.
Yesterday I stumbled across this great site dedicated to celebrating women who run barefoot.
There are too few of us. But the ones I know are amazing quality women. That can’t be a coincidence. Here’s what they all have in common:
1. They are beautiful. They’re runners. Their legs are hot and their eyes are bright.
2. They are confident. They don’t care what other people think of them. And confidence combined with beauty is a powerful combination in a woman.
3. They are grounded. They don’t sweat the small stuff. They have their priorities straight. They are down to earth and approachable and humble.
4. They run smiley. This means that they have fun when they run and they enjoy the journey, not just the destination. They are funny and they can laugh at themselves.
Caity McCardell is the woman behind Run Barefoot Girl. I will have the privilege of speaking with her next week when she interviews me for a podcast. I’m excited because I find Caity so inspiring. I feel like I should be the one interviewing her. This is her amazing video:
(Direct Youtube link HERE)
See what I mean about smiley? Caity is JOYFUL. She laughs when she runs. Who doesn’t want to be around a woman like that?
Women have the unique ability to make the people around them either insanely happy or insanely miserable. Don’t misuse the power of your gender, ladies.