My idea of being a “barefoot athlete” originated before the current barefoot running thing really got started, and was actually intended for surf fitness as I was really into that at the time. There was a dual idea behind the name - that our ultimate potential lies not in fancy technology or equipment but is buried deep in our primitive biology, and the second was a bit of a dig at the idea that being and athlete was a serious affair - actually the full engagement in sports is (and should be) a playful, curious and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
This idea has now grown into a set of principle that can be applied to any movement situation, with an emphasis on engaging and interacting with our environment and others. We’ve evolved over the course of millions of years for this very purpose, so it should be no surprise that our bodies and minds rapidly adapt and easily engage once we return to our roots.
I think much of the “will power” problem with fitness is because we’ve removed our natural context - the hills, trees, trails and other people - and transferred our practice to a sterile gym where the machines do the thinking leaving our minds bored and in need of distraction.
Our return to nature and full engagement immediately draws you in and puts a smile on your face - the activity becomes an intriguing problem to solve and you hardly notice that you’re getting “fit” at the same time….
The INNER & OUTER GAME. I came to believe that in fitness we seem to have settled in the grey middle so to speak - works are rarely very heard nor very technical, so we don’t drive physiological adaptation ass effectively s we could and we rarely address movement skills. This has lead me to create 2 distinct programmes with one - BAREFOOT FITNESS - representing our full and immediate engagement with the outside world (our OUTER GAME) whilst the other - CRITICAL STRENGTH - focuses inwards (our INNER GAME) developing the finer details of body function and proprioceptive awareness.
These complimentary approaches mesh to provide a complete performance package where we can develop our bodies ability to move responsively to the rapidly changing environmental challenges of sports and life.
"That activation worked a treat! Feeling much stronger. Thanks."Ceri, Runner
"I have run 10 miles both days and tonight I did it as a bit of a fartleck, and was 2 mins faster. It felt good without the gripping pain."Helen, Runner
"Got 36:56 in the 10k, 6th place in a strong field and over 3.5 mins off my PB on a hilly off road course. Maybe the eye activation did the trick!"Tom, Runner