The quest for silence…


I might have been a weird child that read too many books… (Actually scrap that, it is impossible to read too much!) However reading and what I read has lead to some interesting side effects, for instance one of the first books I read multiple times in English was Lord of the Rings (yeah I like bricks, the longer the better…). As a young easily impressionable non-native English speaker this lead to a somewhat interesting vocabulary for a while…

Ooops went off on a tangent, yet again, although I will return to Lord of the Rings again (and again probably). What I wanted to speak about in this post is my fascination for moving without creating a sound. I am not claiming that I at any point have been any good at this, actually I suspect that I have at times been fantastically crap at it.

Looking back I think the allure of this skill stems back to two things. First; a doctor or nurse at some point told me that I had the potential to develop flat feet, so I should walk on my tip toes as often as I could to train my arches, I did and it must have worked as my feet are normal now. Secondly, and more important, is my long standing interest in Native American culture in particular and indigenous people in general. My introduction to this was through books that were probably more idealistic than real (I have since read the other kind of books) however what I took away was the idea of a “hunter” that could move noiselessly through nature. Which of course led to me wanting to do this, needless to say I failed miserably. Have you ever tried to walk noiselessly through dry leaves? It is not a piece of cake I’m telling you!


Later I found this concept of moving quietly again in books and characters I love, for instance in (can you guess what is coming???) Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien even mentions this particular skill of the hobbits in the introduction, clearly this book had me at word go! (Yeah I read the introduction before I read the books, I also prefer to have my CDs in alphabetical order and chronologically please…) I also re-encountered this theme to an even more pronounced degree in Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts.

So why am I talking about this right now? It is pretty simple really… I have found that running really is very similar to my attempts at moving noiselessly as a child. When I run I try to achieve as light a footfall as possible to minimise stress on the body and generally improve running form. What I have noticed so far is that the times I feel at my best when running are the times when I manage to do this intuitively, also, and this should come as no surprise, this is a lot easier to maintain when I am not really tired. This is also where my vibrams really shine, my feet feel featherlight and my footfall naturally ends up lighter. I have a feeling that skipping the shoes altogether might be even more freeing, I never was a big fan of wearing shoes anyways…

So basically when I run I strive to make as little noise as possible, this is not to sneak up on you, promise! However it helps me focus on form in an organic way and allows me to please the little child in me that still wants to be a great hunter, or something like that…



About Mari

Norwegian living in Malta, loves colours and cooking, running and taking pictures and generally rambling, both the in the wordy sense and the walking about kind...
This entry was posted in Barefoot running, books, Lord of the Rings, Random, Vibrams. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The quest for silence…

  1. Donna says:

    Know how you feel about the CDs in alphabetical order and chronological! I can be pretty good at move very quietly managed to scare the shit out of a co-worker today as she didn’t actually realise I was stood in her office (not the first time its happened either).

  2. JonS says:

    Flott tekst!!

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