Next best thing to running on air, actual air. Seriously best & lightest running shoes I ever owned. So far, I have to say, NB has always treated my trotters better than those other brands. I suppose you can imagine which. But this one here, to blow the clarion loud and clear, is primus inter pares. There’s not even an insole so you can feel the ground, uneven patches, how it might have been for that first guy/gal stepping out onto the savannah. And the ground feels good. The next best thing would be barefoot, which I have many reservations about. There’s no real heel-area either, so you automatically employ the mid-foot stride, which is what I’ve been working on anyway. Haile uses it, can’t be that wrong. Too bad we’re still stuck in Jan [at least a recognizable simulacra of it] but come March I’ll take them for a spin outside. For now the dreadmill must do.
Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind (Michael W. Austin and Amby Burfoot) – Highlight Loc. 2458-62 | Added on Saturday, October 22, 2011, 02:26 PM
Repetitive activities in general are conducive to musement. Thoreau spent hours hoeing beans in the summer sun, and found that “labor of the hands, even when pursued to the verge of drudgery, is perhaps never the worst form of idleness” (Thoreau, p. 406). Treadmills, like forms of manual, repetitive labor, would appear to hold the same potential for reflection and musement. Prison reformers introduced treadmills in nineteenth-century British penitentiaries hoping that prisoners would have plenty of time on the wheel to dwell on their transgressions and possibly repent.
Ha! Haha! As a self-committed prisoner of the dreadmill I can say that this works only in theory. What the Sisyphean machinery specifically makes one muse about it the subjective elasticity of time and how, when running in place, it begins stretching out towards infinity. This at least has been my experience: 30 minutes become a vast, indivisible stream of time. And even as I search for distraction, everything is instead drawn into becoming a hyper-focused consideration of the passage of moments: I can literally count how many times the cross-country-skier up on the plasma lifts his aluminum-sticks to ram them down into the run, my own strides become the metronome of the machine below it and strange ideas of time-accounting start to infiltrate my thoughts. Though perhaps none as strange as Momo’s Grey Men. But then, as a consciousness counter-manoeuver so to speak, I try to instead not think of anything much specific at all. Which I’m admittedly terrible at. In theory however, running on the mill would be perfect for meditation rather than musement.
The crucial point to observe is that significant physical exertion and free-roaming theorizing do not go well together, one performs the best when entirely given over to the moment and its exigencies. Neither should it be forgotten that what concentration one, I, can muster, is habitually directed to the spinning of the mill as the total periodicity of the motion remains forever unnatural and thus in need of one’s close attention. Ultimately, it is the mill that rotates rather than one’s shanks that run.
p.s.: Minimus is a whole new approach to footwear, a place on the spectrum from barefoot running to the traditional maximum-cushioning running shoe. Inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. With only a 4mm drop from heel to toe, as little as a third of that of a traditional running shoe, the Minimus collection holds a world of discovery for neutral runners as well as those with gait issues or chronic injury to conquer by learning better form.