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Dave Nelson Posts

Barefoot Shoes

Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVOI have been making the slow transition from overly padded, unstable, and heel drop shoes to zero-drop barefoot shoes. My knees have never felt so good.

I have never been an athlete and have never really enjoyed running. There was a short period while I was in the Navy that a group of us got into working out together and would regularly go for runs. But I was never very fast and never enjoyed the running.

I started with Altra Superior shoes that have some mid-sole padding and very little heel drop. I wore those for about 3 years off and on. When I first started wearing them I would get pain in the ball of my left foot. But by switching between different shoes and taking it easy when I needed to, I got used to them. Then I started wearing Converse All Star Chuck Taylor shoes which are zero-drop and don’t have much more padding than the Altra’s I was wearing.

Recently I have decided to take the plunge into full-on barefoot shoes. I now have a pair of Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO and a pair of Merrell Vapor Glove 5 shoes. The Vapors are good solid shoes, light weight, good fit, comfortable, and when on sale they are a great price. But I have fallen in love with the FiveFingers!

I’ve only been wearing the FiveFingers for a week, but I am already running in them and really enjoying it. My legs feel stronger, my balance is improving, my arches are strengthening, and feeling the ground beneath my feat wakes something up in me that I haven’t felt before.

If you decide to give barefoot shoes a try, take the advice that so many give. Take the transition slow, like really slow, like at least 6 months slow. Zero drop or low drop shoes like the Altras are a great starting point, then on to shoes with less and less padding and sole until the time feels right.

Happy

Inline Skating

Skating on the Silver Comet Trail
I made it to the 5.3 mile marker on the Silver Comet trail for a total skate of just over 11 miles.
I am having so much fun skating. I wrote an initial post that talked about my history with skating, all the different type of skating I have done and the skates I have owned, but wow was it a long-winded mess. So here is the short version.

I started skating when I was 4 years old taking lessons at a local rink in rural Ohio. Even though I didn’t enjoy it at first by the time I was 6 I loved it and looked forward to going to the rink and skating for hours. It was someplace I could be alone with a crowd of people, be independent, play pinball and video games, and once per day they had a session where I could skate as fast as I was able.

When we moved to Georgia, I didn’t skate anymore, I took up skateboarding, but it was never much more than transportation. So, no skating from 12 until in my twenties.

In the Navy I discovered inline skates while in Charleston South Carolina. I loved skating in Charleston, it was a very flat place with lots of pavement and back alleys to have fun in. I spent many days in my skates in the early morning and didn’t take them off until late at night. I tried to continue skating when I got to Guam, but the streets there are paved with seashells that destroy skate wheels and there was no place to buy replacements, so I didn’t skate much.

Once out of the Navy I had other things on my mind and didn’t try to get back into skating until I was 50 years old. I was overweight and out of shape, skating wasn’t the fun that I remembered.

Then life smacked me in the face, and I involuntarily lost 80 pounds and needed to find a way to exercise. I tried the skates that I had and was amazingly able to clumsily skate around a parking lot. I skated the flat parking lot a few times and then moved on to the roads of neighborhood. I still felt clumsy and fell down a few times, but it was getting to be fun.

Then I saw Bill Stoppard announce a new version of the Adapt GTB skates. I followed the instructions on the Adapt website for measuring my feet and discovered that my skates should be a size smaller than what I had, that was a surprise. I used to skate in Roller Blade size 11s, the Sebas are size 10, and the Adapts I bought are a size 9 and fit perfectly.

I now believe that skates should fit so that every part of your feet is cradled by the skates, your toes shouldn’t be crushed, but you also shouldn’t be able to freely wiggle them. That also means that your skate are going to have a painful break-in period even with heat molding. Once they are broken in the control and comfort you have will amaze you.

Now I am skating 3 plus miles 3 or 4 times a week with a 10 mile stretch here and there. I still feel clumsy and still fall every now and then, but with more time in the skates I get a bit better every time I skate.

Happy

The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin

book cover

I bought these books from Amazon and read them on my Kindle Paperwhite. Written by N. K. Jemisin the Broken Earth Trilogy includes the books The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky.

What caught my attention about these books and the author is that all 3 books won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Think about that for a second, all 3 books in the trilogy won Best Novel Hugo awards, 2016, 2017, and 2018. They also won a lot of other awards, but for one author to win 3 years in a row is amazing.

I read the first 2 books in about 6 days; I made all kinds of excuses not to do other things so that I could spend more time reading. They went very fast, and I loved every word. The third book, The Stone Sky, took a lot longer, maybe 10 days to read it. I didn’t want the story to end… and the last book is emotionally a lot heavier than the first 2.

I have also bought the books on Audible and look forward to listening to them in a couple of months, I plan on taking a long break from the story in the hopes that when I do listen to them, I discover some new bits I missed in the initial reading.

From the publisher:

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

If you like science fiction or fantasy stories I highly recommend The Broken Earth trilogy and rate them a 10 out of 10.

BooksFiction