RunBare: After Michael’s first near death accident left him with a titanium hip and femur, he struggled to find a way to run again without pain. While sitting in meditation he would see himself running barefoot through the open plains of Colorado. One day, out of frustration, a local running store owner who had tried repeatedly to fit Michael with orthodics suggested he simply run barefoot. That was the final straw. Michael stripped off his shoes and ran 100 yards barefoot. Progressing at an additional 100 yards every other day, by the 3rd month, he was up to running a 10K fully barefoot–and pain-free. Years later upon meeting Jessica, they coauthored Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth, followed by Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet to Minimize Impact, Maximize Efficiency, and Discover the Pleasure of Getting in Touch with the Earth.
Mindful Running: On book tour, we often described barefoot running as our “trojan rabbit”. For us the number one benefit of going barefoot wasn’t so you could simply run pain-free or score a new PR (personal best race), though those were certainly likely results. It was the new found connection to nature and the heightened awareness that you gain from stimulating the nerve endings on the bottom of your feet. As we often say, you can’t help but be more aware when you’re walking or running barefoot. It was this increased awareness, internally and externally, coupled with our longtime deepening meditation practice that spawned mindful running. (Not to mention, Michael’s second near accident which left him with a matching titanium hip and femur in the other leg.) Finally, we didn’t have to keep the rabbits in the closet any longer. We could finally talk openly about the connection between our spiritual practices and physical training.
The Creative Learning Institute: As a child, Michael was diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He struggled to excel in the traditional classroom setting, though he later went on to complete two accelerated masters degrees simultaneously (an MBA and Masters in Computer Information Systems). While experiencing incredible success in graduate school, he felt compelled to share the tools which helped him to succeed in school, business and life and began writing College Confidence with ADD: The Ultimate Success Manual for ADD Students, from Applying to Academics, Preparation to Social Success and Everything Else You Need to Know.