Barefoot and Stupid

By Aleks Kashefi

My lungs burn, my muscles scream at me to stop and I feel like I’m fighting with gravity and the ground with each step. BEEP!

That’s my signal to stop. I double over, feeling sick, out of breath and head spinning from the exertion. “How on Earth am I going to do another 7 of these??”

Truth is, I’d jogged… I hate this term! I’d ran for no more than 30s and I was already feeling like death! “Why on Earth would anyone do this for fun?”

Fast forward....

I’ve handed in my notice at a secure and well paid job, I’ve reduced my belongings to the bare minimum and am training hard to set a world first by becoming the first person to run the length of Europe in one effort, travelling 4,750 miles self-supported in under 6 months. More than that, I am a barefoot (minimalist) runner, so I will be covering the 4,750 miles either in bare feet or in minimalist running sandals! So is it possible to do all this after starting running, less than 4 year ago, using a couch to 5k app on a mobile phone??

At 34 years of ageI was unfit, I was overweightwith an ever growing waistline andthe world I’d created for myself and the dreams I’d nurtured were falling apart around me and although I didn’t know it at the time, I was taking slow and deliberate step into the pit of depression. With my normality crumbling around me, I turnedto running to get me out of a hole. It started with a free couch to 5km app and early mornings of death. Then it seemed logical to get the 10km version of the app. This quickly became a half marathon and then marathon app, moving me to longer stints of running. And throughout the whole process finding out more and more about barefoot or minimalist running.

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