As far as I can tell, there probably aren’t any barefoot
runners enjoying themselves quite as much as Michael Sandler has been lately.
You may recall that Sandler is the author of Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth - see my book review here - and is also a huge proponent of grounding theory, which enables us to fully connect and be at one with the Earth beneath our feet. You may also recall that I don’t fully subscribe to his entire doctrine, but in all my communication with Sandler (we’ve e-mailed and phoned several times), I haven’t encountered anyone more passionate about the multiple and literally life-altering benefits of being barefoot.
Much of his belief comes from personal experience – more on that soon. For today’s purposes, I’m happy to help promote Sandler’s latest project: Barefoot Running - The Movie, filmed completely on location in Hawaii. He and his wife (and fellow barefoot advocate) Jessica Lee spent the majority of the year filming and producing the documentary, and his most recent e-mail to me read, “We're on the road in Colorado right now, but looking forward to getting back to warmer Hawaii shortly. We'll be holding winter clinics there so others can enjoy the scenery with us. Perhaps you'd like to come on out?” It's hard to think of a place in the world that's better for a guy to enjoy being barefoot.
Unfortunately, I don’t have Hawaii in my future this winter, but I certainly had an eyeful of it in Barefoot Running - The Movie, which is essentially a visual companion to his excellent book. Much of the same material is covered, but in video format it is significantly more compelling. You get a better understanding of the exercises and form drills prescribed, a keener sense of the entire running sequence compared to seeing still photos – and most of all, you get a huge dose of mojo from the stunning scenery, which practically pulls you into the screen to invite you along.
One other noteworthy point is that Sandler’s back story is much better appreciated in video format. I knew that his discovery of barefoot running was born from the wreckage of a traumatic accident, but reading this on a page doesn’t have nearly the impact of actually seeing Sandler’s mangled body and watching him repeatedly struggle to pull himself upright from a hospital bed. Whether or not you believe everything Sandler says about the health benefits of being barefoot, you’ll never doubt his sincerity about the healing power it’s had on his own life. And however much fun Sandler is having nowadays, it’s entirely well-deserved.
Barefoot Running - The Movie is now available for purchase from Sandler’s RunBare website, and would make a great early holiday gift for the minimalist runner on your list. Sandler also gave me an additional copy of the movie to give away to one reader, so we’ll go ahead and make this the jumping off point for our contest. Leave a comment in the box below to enter, and I’ll announce the winner this weekend. In the meantime, check out the following trailer for a sampling of what’s up for grabs.
“Barefoot Running – The Movie” by RunBare (click to play):
Special thanks to Michael Sandler for providing this contest opportunity, and good luck to everybody!
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