Anvil + foot == Ouch!

Oct 18th, 2010 by aragorn in personal

I haven’t updated in a while as I’ve been busy being unmotivated… and getting out the first issue of The Anvil! This link get’s you a free (but for the postage) copy of the paper. This link is to the editorial of the first issue. Here is a quote from the editorial that I’d like to expand on.

In our unreal world, it is hard not to be overwhelmed by the invisible things that are easily confused with reality: fake controversies, confused priorities, hyperbolic rhetoric about inconsequential things. We become disengaged with the torrents that pass us by. Paper slows us down enough to engage in the ideas that we are talking about.

Many readers are likely to know that as much as I valorize print, in my daily life I also spend 12+ hours a day in front of a screen. My criticisms of the Internet generation are criticisms that I know all too well. They are criticisms of me and the person that I have become since I started spending all of my time in front of a screen. I spend my waking hours switching from fake controversy to stupid priorities pausing long enough to dissect something useful, if possible, out of the rhetoric on the screen.

I don’t sit in the sun for hours. I rarely spend more than 15 minutes a day reading a book that I can touch with my hands. I recently bought a kindle and am rereading old, readily available SF on it. I am a brain in a bottle, stacked in a row. Can you tell I’ve been working in the cubicle farm for too long?

Outside of the torrent of screen life is the pace of publishing. I love it. We tend to line our titles up for a once a year (hopefully twice next year) launch around the San Francisco Anarchist Book Fair in March. This means that we are discussing manuscripts with authors now to finish in the next two months, to finalize in December, layout in January, and print in February to have on hand in March. Compared to blog-o-reality where the couple dozen people who check this regularly get a chunk of my thoughts a couple of hours after I start to have this this cycle is excruciatingly slow. Many of the people in my daily data flow sincerely believe that this aspect of life (print) is worthless. They extract no value out of the slow moving, muddy stream. They live in the rush (and the push and the land that we stand on is ours), the data rush, the drama rush, and the rush of the gaze.

I’ll wrap up my thinking about The Anvil other than to ask interested writers of review essays to get in touch with us. We would like to publish you. Interested readers we would like you to consider subscribing to the paper. If you do you will be helping support the project and make it easier to go to print more often.


I have been experimenting a bit with barefoot walking (with minimalist shoes). While I can’t imagine walking around the city in them, when I am at home, or hiking I am entirely in love with them. I think that the arguments about shoes being casts for our feet and weakening/atrophying our foot and lower leg muscles is entirely on point.

I started dialing into this because I tore some ligament in my knee (probably the ACL) a couple of years ago and haven’t been able to run with traditional running shoes ever since. I can still do cardio in the gym (which is basically an exercise cast for your whole body), I can still do everyday activities (including walking) but as soon as I add the extra motion of running in a couple blocks I am done.

Running as been the one kind of exercising that I have ever loved and I mean love L-U-V. As a teenager I was part of the cross country team and got into the whole package. Long runs, country runs, the competition, the solitude, endorphins, the whole package appealed to me. That was 25 years ago. Now I sit in front of a screen, motionless but for my fingers. I debate whether to watch one more hour of a program rather than be in my body. I need to run.

For a couple weeks I tried to run barefoot. It was fucking fantastic. For a couple of the runs I was reminded of the endorphin rush I used to get back in the day. I was reminded that I actually have more going on that just being a brain-in-a-bottle… so of course I injured myself. It has been two weeks since then waiting for my foot to heal (no break, just something that feels like a bruise). I realize that my hope to jump up to 10 miles a week isn’t going to happen quickly. I am fragile and fat. This thing that I know is going to nourish me in exactly the way that I want to be nourished right now is just out of reach.

Couple that with the misery of a routine I am tired of and I am not in a great place right now. I am just watching the days go by… waiting.

5 Comments

  • After reading Paul Shepard and learning about Pleistocene life-ways, I’ve also been running a lot more. I’ve been an off and on runner for a few years now, but no matter how long I stretched I always ended up hurting my ankles and knees. I discovered that hunter-gatherers run toe-heel and walk heel-toe, I tried it out and it’s fucking awesome. I can run for much longer and feel less tired afterward. One problem I did run into however was the question of shoes. Most running shoes out there are designed to help you run heel-toe and since I’m not ready to run shoeless, I’m trying to figure out what shoes will help me do that, but won’t cost me hell of money. Any suggestions?

  • http://parkourpedia.com/other/shoes-for-parkour

    these shoes will also have a lot of the same characteristics that you are looking for in a shoe-transitioning-to-barefeet. I found this webpage actually because I heard about and started to do a lot of research online about parkour and barefoot living seperately. If you don’t know about parkour, it’s a practiced, learned technique of running from one place to another as efficiently as possible – specifically in an urban landscape which entails fences, walls, stairs, and buildings. You become so knoweledgable about your own neighborhood in a way the cops will never know themselves! Please check it out if you haven’t already – it is really inspiring! But so one day it dawned on me that I could attempt to combine the two disciplines into barefoot parkour! It even talks about it at the end of the article! parkour requires that you have flexibility in the feet, so I’m assuming that these kinds of shoes would really be good for toe to heel running as opposed to vice versa. They are a bit more thick than Vibram 5 fingers and all those pseudo-barefoot simulators. So if you need a little bit more of that thickness but still want the flexibility, definitely check this out. But I personally would push myself, if I wasn’t ready like you, to have the thinnest possible medium between my feet and the bare ground. I hope too that you’re really taking a whole lot of walks to get your feet conditioned to run on! Tell me what you think :)

  • I am using Vibram 5 fingers and am totally satisfied with them. I am not sure I would wear them in public at this point but I used to say that I would never wear sandals in public and now I wear my Keens everywhere.

    DW: I run in the Vibrams. I use the KSO version for running and the classics for around the house. They are pricier than Payless shoes but cheaper than the other minimalist shoes I have seen.

  • Running is great. I’ve always been a fan, but this past summer I really kicked it up a notch in terms of trying to run once a day or so, and for quite some time. It makes you feel so good! I never gave too much thought to bare foot walking/running, but I was talking with someone about running a while back and they mentioned that bare foot running is a lot better for the body. I never knew…

    It just so happens that there is a rubber track right down the street. I haven’t tried it yet and winter is setting in here… but it seems like this would be the perfect spot to start running / walking real barefoot because the rubber is sooo soft on the feet.

    On the note about winter – I love it, but this is when things get tough, you know – no longer running in the sunshine, and it makes it tougher to want to go outside all the time.

    On a rather funny note, I just found out that marathon runners sometimes poop themselves, because it is hard to control your body functions when you run for so long. Hence, people having poop shorts running… I believe there are some youtube videos / internet photos of this that a certain someone named Saint Schmidt may appreciate…

    ;-)

  • Were you stretching out beforehand? http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/126.shtml They also recommend stretching again afterward.