A couple of years ago, I decided to quit coaching high school Cross Country. I felt like I was the only person who cared about the program. The students didn’t show up half the time. We finished perpetually last in every meet. I had lost the joy, so I quit.
Later that year, as Winter approached, I found myself with another nagging injury from my running routine. I started doing research online to find a miracle cure for what ailed me. In the process, I came across the POSE method of running. As I studied this new way to run, I discovered this funky shoe called the Vibram Five Fingers. I immediately knew I had to have a pair. I fell in love with them the first time I put them on my feet. Now, two years later, they’re riding the leading edge of a revolution in running. It seems a lot of research lately is showing that high tech running shoes are leading to more injuries than they are preventing. As a result, the running shoe companies are racing to market with a lower tech shoe designed to mimic running barefoot. Nike, the inventor of the high tech shoe, leads the pack with its Free line of shoes.
I completely changed my running form and have been running injury free for nearly two years — something I have not done for more than a decade prior. Along the way, I discovered that more people cared about the Cross Country program than just me. My runners stopped me in the hallway to tell me they missed me. I’ll be back on the sidelines this Fall, and I’ll be teaching a different running form, but my runners will still wear shoes.