Luke the Couchsurfer came to me from the East coast…on bike.
Let me say that again: he was bicycling across the United States by himself.
(Another person who inspired my very own adventures).
I felt terrible then, that the event I had planned that evening was a 20 mile Taco Tuesday bike ride with friends. As if he hadn’t gotten enough of the road already, I was dragging him along for several more hours of pedaling. He didn’t seem phased by this at all, though, and hopped right in.
From the very second we met up at the trial head, Luke became one of the group. He was instantly a sensation with the other cyclists and the stories and drinks flowed easily as the night wore on.
As I asked him about his background, inspiration and life on the road, inspiration I began to admire Luke and journey with each passing moment. Then, I found out this was his first ‘real’ trip.
He wasn’t a hardcore global trotter – someone who gave up all of his belongings to be a worldwide vagabond – he hadn’t studied abroad and he wasn’t on a gap year. He was just a normal, college guy who was sick of academia/corporate world and who wanted “to do something epic with my life.” So, come summer break, he hopped on a bike and started pedaling.
I’d say he nailed it.
As for how he passed his time on the road? Books. Lots and lots of audio books. We’re both readers and dreamers, so we swapped recommendations, and his was an eye-opener:
If you haven’t picked this one up yet (most people already have – it was a bestseller), you need to. It gives some insight on a running tribe in the secluded Mexican desert. They are essentially super-human: disease free, happy, extremely healthy, oh, and they run 50-100 miles at a time injury free. It also sparked the phenomenon of barefoot running.
I’ll admit, it took me two more weeks, until another surfer Tim showed up in the Vibrams Fivefingers, before I started reading it. Now? I own my own pair.
Because I never just read one book on a subject, I proceeded to dive in and create an entire barefoot running reading list for anyone interested in learning more about this running style. If you want to be healthy, happy and enjoy running, check out these books and websites:
Barefoot Running Books
The Cool Impossible: A book brought to you by Eric Orton, the trainer featured in ‘Born To Run.’ I’m currently on Chapter 3, but the book shows great promise. It picks up where McDougall left off and gives you a step by step guide to being your best self.
Finding Ultra: Written by Rich Roll. First wrap your mind around the idea that there are people out there who run 100 miles at a time. Got it? Ok, read.
Eat & Run: by Scott Jurek, ultra-marathoner extraordinaire.
Becoming a Supple Leopard: Who doesn’t want that? It’s written by K. Starrett, who also wrote Ready to Run (another book recommended by yet another CS barefoot runner).
Ruin Your Knees: I love this site. Their slogan says “Don’t take the couch,” but they aren’t referring to us, dear Couchsurfers.
Runners World: A great site for all runners & an article they posted about the origins and ideology of Barefoot running.
Barefoot Ted: This guy also make an appearance in McDougall’s ‘Born to Run.’ He’s essentially the pioneer of barefoot running in ultra marathons and the first sponsored athlete of Vibrams.
Please tell me your favorite and don’t be afraid to share your own barefoot running story.