Barefoot Running…Challenge and Triumph

by Glen Depke

I wanted to share a personal story about a 29 year challenge that was overcome, when hope was not apparent. As you read this, look within yourself for the personal challenge that seems insurmountable for you to overcome and realize that your triumph is possibly just a moment away.

When I was 17, I hurt my knee playing football. Of course, I tried to get back in the game right away, but to no avail, I could not put any pressure on that right leg. Back in 1981 the only option was a completely invasive surgery and opening my knee for exploration and to potentially fix the problem. I chose not to do this and unfortunately, I had given up and also chose not to do any rehabilitation.

By the time I was 24 and living in a condo on the third floor, the pain was too much and I then looked at a new option to me which was arthroscopic surgery. The surgery was claimed a success and I agreed to rehab at this point.

Well, to make the long story short, I still had knee pain and when I would push myself on any level, my knee would instantly become inflamed and put me out of commission. One movement that would instantly put me down was running. I was resigned to the fact that I may not have hope for ever regaining my ability to move freely.

Move forward 21 more years to meeting Manny Aragon at The Rolf Workshop. Manny helped me work through the multiple soft tissue imbalances that I had created as an adaption to my original injury. He exposed me to the fact that my gate was completely off and even my bones had grown improperly as a part of this adaptation. I went through a series of sessions and had to learn how to walk again. Sounds funny but true.

Interesting to me at this point is that my gate was changing and my discomfort was significantly less. At this point I wanted more.

Somewhere in my conversations with Manny he mentioned the challenges potentially created by heal/toe running that we have been taught and shared stories of others with severe knee challenges that were able to run barefoot. Barefoot, are you crazy?

Well, here I am at 46 years old and just started barefoot running. I have only been doing this for a short time but I can tell you that for the first time in 29 years, I am running pain free and free of inflammation. I am not an expert in bare foot running and I am not going to say it is for everyone, but it is definitely for me.

I was resigned to a life of knee pain and inflammation but through persistence of always creating new questions, looking for new answers, exploring options and trying something new; I am looking forward to a life of FREE movement. Wow!

I first want to thank Manny Aragon for his assistance and I also want to supply you with an article that addresses the pros and cons of barefoot running. This is a decision for you and your health care provider to make together as a team.

The real reason I wanted to share this story though, is to understand that even when you have a personal challenge that seems insurmountable for you to overcome, realize that your triumph is possibly just a moment away. Remember to form new questions, find new answers, explore your options and try something new. Heck, even if it does not work at least you can check something else off your list.

Depke Wellness is all about new questions, answers, exploration and trying something new. If you would like to talk to me personally about our protocols, feel free to click here to register for a complimentary 20 minute phone or in office visit with me.

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