Barefoot Running

Today did not turn out the way I thought, but in a good way…and I’d say that’s quite rare.

THE ORIGINAL PLAN
The original plan was for my boyfriend to come down to the City (from the Bronx) and we would double date with his old college roommate and his girlfriend. She’s also good friends with my boyfriend, and is visiting from San Francisco for the weekend.

SIDE NOTE: It’s just occurred to me that I often hear of the girlfriend flying back to NYC to visit, but not the other way around. It’s possible I just never hear about when the boyfriend flies to the West Coast to see her. But it’s also possible that he doesn’t do that.

We were supposed to go eat at this really great Japanese tea house called Cha-An, which I was really looking forward to! The tea tastes great and so do the desserts, which they pick to match the type of tea you’re drinking. I wanted to have that 3 course dessert menu. Ah well. There will be other times! Perhaps I’ll just go on my own, or see if I can get some girl friends to come.

WHAT ENDED UP HAPPENING
… is that they cancelled on us. Various reasons…including a severe hangover. それに、彼は彼女と別れたいって。 2年前からあの二人はもういっぱい喧嘩していた。 I don’t know how they can drink so much…haha, we’re not in college anymore! Ah well, it’s not my life :) Anyway, my boyfriend texted me that he would stay in the Bronx at around 11am. Usually if I’m headed up there, that is the time I leave my house! So I went up pretty late, but thank GOD we have so much daylight now!!! SPRING IS AWESOME! It still felt worth it to head up. Despite the trains all going local, and my uncle further delaying me by saying I was dressed like a prostitute. I don’t think it was. It’s kinda interesting. He hates short skirts and thigh-high socks, but is totally fine with the same length on shorts. My mom is the opposite – she actively encourages me to wear short dresses and short skirts, even dresses that look like lingerie (haha). Along with thigh-high socks. However, if it’s shorts it’s absolutely disgraceful to wear. My mom once saw me wearing mid-thigh denim shorts over my black leggings. She gave me a huge lecture about how it’s very inappropriate, that I better not be wearing that to work, and that I didn’t know how to dress myself.

Okay, it’s true I don’t really know how to dress! But I don’t think it’s that inappropriate, no skin is showing! Also, I wasn’t going to work…it was the weekend! And I had a white cardigan on top, over a grey tanktop. Black military boots for my feet. Really, it wasn’t “inappropriate” in the sense too much skin was showing, I thought it was quite on the conservative side. But there’s just something about shorts that pisses her off. She has even thrown away my old pair of denim shorts in secret, because she hates it so much.

Getting back to the Bronx….I changed out of the “slutty” black dress and socks and in to this black plaid beach dress I got from Billabong. My uncle approved. Ironically, this is a dress that I (sadly) did see a porn actress wearing in a video, before the guy ripped it off her. Why do I own clothes that porn stars also wear? I have no idea, but this has happened with 2 other articles of clothing I own as well. It’s a little annoying, actually.

Once I got up to the Bronx, we just relaxed and talked a lot. My boyfriend speed through this book I recommended to him, called Born to Run, which expounds on the health benefits of running. And not just running, but barefoot running. I gotta say, after that HORRIBLE job with Nike, it felt SO GOOD to read that chapter where the author bashes Nike to the ground! What an awful company. “We are in the business of making money,” – this completely sums up everything about that place. Everytime I see someone wearing Nike Free sneakers, I cringe. This happens every day, because Nike Free’s are so damn popular. Their mesh running shoe is comfy to be sure, but I just hate their philosophy and everything they represent. Basically, I do not want to give money to the evil empire.

There happens to be an outdoor track right above the parking lot at his school, so my boyfriend and I went up to it. It was chilly when we kicked off our flip flops and pressed skin to pavement. I’m not sure if “pavement” is really the correct term. It’s the type of pavement that is made of rough stones…if you rubbed against it, you would surely bleed from many little gashes. Old style pavement. The kind my middle school had, before the dawn of astroturf. The kind that gave everyone horrendously bloody knees if they ever so much as knelt on it. Love that stuff. Nostalgic about that stuff. I bled a lot on this stuff growing up. Okay, I’m being weird. But there was a track painted on it in green. Arm in arm, the two of us stalked forward slowly.

“It hurts!” Squealed my boyfriend, in his faux-child voice. “Augh! Why are you not in pain too??”

I smiled and rubbed his back, hoping that’s the thing you do to make people feel better. I’m new at this being human stuff! :D My feet did prickle a little, but it wasn’t terrible. I go barefoot in my apartment all the time, and my shoes are usually El Cheapos with no cushioning. So perhaps I’m just more accustomed to feeling the ground than he is. Either that, or we women truly DO have higher pain tolerances. This was only a mild irritation, nothing I couldn’t get over. I don’t have princess feet ;D

Since it was a little cold, I broke off for a light run around the track. My feet stayed under my hips more easily than when I run with shoes on, my heels kicked up at my butt. My back straightened with zero effort. There were cracks and splinters and moist patches of ground all over the place, but it wasn’t too difficult to avoid all of that and the stray pebbles. Compared to walking, the jog actually felt better on my feet. Once I was 10 yards behind my boyfriend, I slowed down to a brisk walk, then linked arms with him once again. We circled the track together like that for about half an hour, chatting about game design and programming.

To some, that might sound really lame. It’s not a fireworks kind of moment. But I so thoroughly enjoyed it as if it were.

When the walk was over, my flip flops felt like pure silk wrapped around my toes. Amazing sensation…amazing enough it sent shivers through my body. Too bad that only lasted until we got down the one flight of stairs to street level.

BAREFOOT RUNNING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT: Minimal, hopefully. My left foot’s ankle is extremely fatigued; if I rotate my foot, it’s pained. This is supposedly since I’m engaging my non-existant arches while traversing barefoot. As to why it’s my left foot only? My boyfriend’s right ankle was similarly sore, but that’s his dominant foot. That’s probably what he mostly utilizes to push his body forward through Space. Me? I don’t know, I guess I’m left foot dominant! Funny how we always assume the side who’s hand you write with has dominant everything…dominant eye, dominant hand, dominant leg…the more sports I do (including archery), the more I realize our personal strengths are ALL OVER THE PLACE and make no sense! :) But that’s no biggie, life is about adjustments. Adapt to survive. It’s what humans do best, if you let us. Or if we let ourselves.

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