Two days ago I had the pleasure of working one on one with Karl Sterling. Karl is an old friend and an amazing guy. He is also one of the sponsors of this project with Sterling Fitness. He first built his career as a professional drummer and then in the middle of his life moved over into the fitness field. He is incredibly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including fitness, nutrition, and barefoot training. What do bare feet have to do with riding a mountain bike or playing percussion instruments? Everything, actually. It’s amazing how divorced we are from our bodies and our feet in this culture. Like most of you I was raised in shoes and my feet are very tender and very underdeveloped. That’s sad because we actually have more nerve endings on the bottom of our feet than almost anywhere else on our body. Our feet are as important as our hands. Can you imagine going through your whole life wearing mittens? That’s essentially what we’ve done with our shoes.
At any rate, I’ve had some issues with my IT band on my right leg over the years. I’m working with an incredible physical therapist named Heidi Quackenboss who is helping me deal with this, but I’m also working with Karl. Karl showed me some very simple but effective exercises that fire up my toes and help develop the “short foot” (click on his name above and check out his site for more info). Amazingly, this also straightens out my leg and makes my IT band work more smoothly.