Sir Edgar with his new mama in Seattle's Volunteer Park
Sir Edgar Earl Grey, also know as Eddie, came into my life this month. He is a Siberian Husky. He spent the first week with me in Los Angeles before moving up to Seattle. More about him as time permits.
This (see photo above) is what I typically collect each day along the horse trail leading into Hansen Dam from Shadow Hills.
Everyday, beer cans and beer bottles thrown on the ground.
Do some of these riders think that this is a kind of offering to the poor or something? I mean really. Trash is NOT charity. Carry it out and deposit in trash can. Do NOT throw it on the ground or in the bushes...please.
Perhaps some shared space understanding and training is necessary here. I am working on it.
Why barefooting? I believe it makes one more aware of one's surroundings. You are part of the world, grounded and connected to it. Barefoot, you feel the connection to the earth, and therefore want the earth to be healthy and beautiful and pure...
There is a connection.
PS. BFT's Challenge: pick a place in the world, a public place, and become its caregiver. Your care will carry over to those who use that space. All will benefit. Encourage others to do the same. Smile.
While I start my personal training business and am introducing folks to the beautiful Hansen Dam Recreational Area that we in Shadow Hills are so fortunate to live next to, I am also making a commitment to having NO TRASH anywhere on the trails that I use as my outdoor gym.
There is nothing quite like the beauty of pure nature...untouched by man. Nothing destroys that beauty more quickly than trash. Living so close to an urban environment makes it difficult to keep trash from collecting. Many people need to be educated about litter. It does seem to make it harder to litter if the area is kept clean. That is my goal.
I want to be able to make my way through the Hansen Dam without seeing a single piece of trash. If more of us make this commitment, the Dam area will start looking more and more like that gem that many of us have already fallen in love with.
My location at Weathertop Farms puts me in the perfect location to act as a mini-caretaker for our entrance to Hansen Dam. I have been doing it for years, but now feel like pushing it to the next level and integrate trash clean-up into my regular exercise routine.
Chase Chen's latest oil painting (large) is of me pulling my daughter Ona in a pony cart (Sulky) over in Hansen Dam in Shadow Hills. I modified this cart adding the rattan seat and used it to train a lot last year, preparing for a self-assisted Badwater attempt that was not meant to be.
I am moving back to Shadow Hills to be closer to my daughter. More reports to follow.
Polar Bear Swims 2008 - Hansen Dam & Cabrillo Beach
Mom and Me 2008
My family's tradition continues: Polar Bear swims at both the Hansen Dam Swim Lake at 8am (48 degrees) and then at Cabrillo Beach at noon (52 degrees).
This year was especially fantastic because my mom made my Grandma's old recipe for black-eyed peas and corn bread. Oh my GAWD was that good.
Here are some more photos:
The Family, 2008 here we come! What I want to be when I grow up.
PS. A BIG! thank you to Green Foods. I have been using Green Magma everyday before lunch for the past 3 months. Doing that along with drastically cutting animal products has brought me down to a much lighter 160lbs. from a previous constant of 175lbs. Happy.
I un-retired Hercules. We have been doing trail work at the entrance to Hansen Dam East. For us, trail work mostly means picking up any and all trash we might find on our strolls.
Today we collected more boulders for our garden. The VW bumper works great as a boulder collector. We've got a lot of beautiful river rocks around here. My aunt Maylee would love them. She used to paint faces on boulders. I would love to see those again.
Lesson: Keep your trails clean. Walk your dog. Take a picture.
PS. Hercules has been with my family for 8 years now. We got him for Ona's 4th birthday. He spent his first two years on a ranch in Oregon. He is a Lab/Newfoundland mix and is already beyond his prime. I retired him a couple years back because he is so unfriendly to other dogs, especially off-leash dogs. He would attack'em when they'd run up to him. Problem. So, now that he has lost a little more steam, I am taking him out again, and it is already improving his overall health.
Having fun learning how to balance. Taking full advantage of my environment. The horse trail rails are perfect for balancing. The FiveFingers help me feel a little better about falling off into rocks and cactus.
I use the environs of Hansen Dam and the Verdugo Mountains (both are one mile away from my front door, one North the other South) as my testing grounds. I have learned to run barefoot on all the surfaces that nature provides in this area, and that ends up being a lot of different surfaces.
The log board workout is one of my favorites. It can be done barefoot, but it is not nearly as much fun when you have to worry about splinters. With my FiveFingers on, I can surf the logs, i.e., log-boarding!
PS. I hope to soon get some video footage of another throwback to early skateboarding. Remember skateboarding in washes? Stay tuned.
A couple more mini-videos of me running in the FiveFingers Sprints yesterday at Hansen Dam. I really like the new Sprints. The ability to micro-adjust them helps a lot in making the shoe fit snug, but not tight. Perfect for balance sports and for helping you FEEL the trail, but not FEEL the pokes.
You ask, "what can I do in those FiveFingers that I can't do in my regular running shoes?"
My answer: "This!"
The FiveFingers let your feet do what feet do, i.e., really flex, really feel, and still get the bonus of a little protection which goes a long way in some environments...like jumping down onto rocks, or if you go the wrong way, onto yucca and cactus!
Just wanted to make it perfectly clear that even though I am wearing Tarahumara huarache sandals these days, I am still able to barefoot in extreme situations. It is all about being light on your feet and focused.
As a matter of fact, until you are able to barefoot on hardcore trails, you will not have mastered the technique required to run in low profile, minimal shoes or sandals off-road, in my humble opinion.
PS. There is some sound at the very end of the video...for effect.
Again today I took my huaraches out to Hansen Dam and put them through some more testing. I ran several miles through a sand filled, dried-out riverbed. My 5mm thick, four ounce Vibram-rubber soled sandals handled the situation flawlessly. The sand does not stay trapped under the sandal.
For the second part of my test, I headed to the dam structure. The backside of Hansen Dam is a giant broken granite boulder field. It is a great place to build strength and balance while running. I tested the Tarahumara huarache sandals on this terrain and they passed. No room for mistakes here. No forgiveness. But, great for learning how to stay focused and balanced.
Tarahumara Huarache Sandal Rocky Trail Running Test
I took my huaraches out to Hansen Dam in Los Angeles and put them through some thorough testing today. I ran about 10 miles on some of the rockiest trails I could find. My 5mm thick, four ounce Vibram-rubber soled sandals worked perfectly.
You can usually trust indigenous design when it comes to active footwear. These sandals and others similar have been around for 1000s of years, and I know why. They have no frills, just exactly what you need and not a bit more. Elegant design.
What I am also finding is that nothing gets trapped under the foot. The strapping system is the very minimum, and with no straps and other excess, the stones, sand, etc., don' t stay in.
I will be wearing these sandals in the upcoming Copper Canyon Ultramarathon on March 4th in Mexico.
PS. By the way, I am able to run barefoot in all places you see me running in the video. It is just a lot easier to do with the huaraches. The point is that wearing huaraches does not mean you can plod your way down rocky hills safely. The real trick is learning how to be LIGHT on your feet.
I sure hope to see some of you barefooters come out to my area for a visit. I have some really fantastic trails and areas near my house, especially when you consider I live 15 minutes away from downtown Los Angeles!
Barefoot Ted's Adventures
817 5TH AVE N
Seattle, Washington 98109
Barefoot Ted from "Born to Run" is an independent athlete committed to re-discovering primal human capacities and encouraging others to do the same. (bio)(contact)