Saturday, April 23, 2011

The "ultra shuffle," Bonhoeffer and Easter

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Having a great mini vacation in Bethesda, MD have been back on the Rock Creek Trail.  Saw a cluster of small, underfed deer the past two days. Made me think about how we took their home and forced it to be our home.  That area is completely surrounded by urban sprawl; where can they go?

There's tons of buzz in the running world about body stance (ChiRunning) and minimalist running (Vibram FiveFingers shoes).  Most of the associated propaganda centers on footstrike.  The line of thinking is that beefed up running shoes have altered our natural stride.  We run erect, take an aggressive stride forward, impact on the heel and roll ahead.  The new modern approach is to lean the body forward, utilize gravity to pull the our mass ahead, and use short strides with fast turnover, landing on the forefoot.

We had a dog in the hunt for that philosophy decades ago - it's call the ultra shuffle. I acquired the technique by elder ultrarunners who understood how to conserve energy...a short stride shuffle, feet low the ground, body tipped forward moving methodically.  The mode is the same, it's a forefoot strike at an easy pace.  Seems that the ultra world knew a long time ago that we need to protect our bodies and feet, despite the fact we have employed beefy, cushioned footwear.

Started a a new audiobook, Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas.  It's a long read (listen) but interesting in that the bio weaves a tale of folklore, German Christianity and Bonhoeffer as not only a martyred theologian, but also a politico who was instrumental in the assassination attempt of Hitler.

It's also Easter eve.  I'm a Christian who embraces the metaphysical aspects of his faith.  God doesn't ping me often, but He came to me in the last sentence of this article from USA Today entitled, "How Easter and Christianity undermine atheism."  You can read it at:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2011-04-21-Easter-lesson-for-atheists.htm?loc=interstitialskip

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