Move and play with the barefoot brothers

Exuberant Animal seminar May 2009

In the company of the wise: Barefoot Ted is seated lower left. Dodge has white beard. Theresa stands in front of tree. Forencich is center, kneeling, with white shirt. McCredie is far right.

In May 2009, I joined a magical weekend workshop and met what I call my “barefoot heroes.” These guys are truly awake to the importance of movement, the feet and play.

It was a three-day Exuberan Animal seminar on Whidbey Island, WA led by Frank Forencich. Among the lessons of this seminar was that we don’t ever have to grow old. We can wake up and say, not yet, today I will be young still. Because the brain responds to the data I send it, it believes me what I tell it that today I am young.

This weekend changed me. I played and stretched my ability to move and do things. Every meal was a fascinating conversation with a great community. We moved our bodies in play, and took barefoot walks. Here are my three barefoot heroes.

Frank Forencich
Frank Forencich is the play master, someone who understands what it means to be human. He’s also a great writer who inspired me to write. I think of him as a male counterpart to my approach. His approach widened my perspective.

Forencich’s perspective goes beyond primal. He thinks about being a human in various environments, and how amazing it is. He is fascinated by the brain, and his logo is the bottom of a foot.

Mick Dodge
A man of ancient wisdom, Mick Dodge has the spirit of a medicine man. He is known as the Barefoot Sensei. I gave him a foot skeleton that he uses in his workshops. He calls me “Sister of the Foot.”

Barefoot Ted
Barefoot Ted has the spirit of a child. He wants to play in the world. Ted is admired by runners and appears in the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. For ideas and inspiration, read his great blog.

He popularizes the new/old concept of barefoot running and minimalist footwear. I don’t necessarily recommend long-distance running, and not everyone will find his approach useful. But he expands the boundaries of conventional thinking about feet and shoes. He has awesome enthusiasm and an adventurous spirit.

Scott McCredie
Also joining us was Scott McCredie, author of the good book Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense (2007). He conveys complex scientific data clearly.

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