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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rambling On About Common Sense After 18 mi, and Art Classes


Well that was fun. Feet are a little tender, but in good shape. Feeling quite luxurious in my fuzzy socks right now. I was able to keep up with Dena and Thad for 18 miles. There was a stretch with, shall we say, "advanced level" gravel where I put on the vffs for 3.5 miles. Longest barefoot run to date!

I've been thinking about the phrase, "common sense" lately. I think I've decided I'm against it.

Hear me out.

First there's common. I'm an individualist type of, well, individual, so words like "common" sound presumptuous and rub me the wrong way. But the word I take real issue with is "sense." Sense is feeling. Feelings are fine and all, but if I'm expected to believe an argument (or pay for something), I want research. Not sense. I don't trust my feelings, or my instincts, because they are so frequently wrong. And so is everybody else's. So no offense, but I don't trust your common sense either.

It's common sense to wear running shoes when running. Why? Not because of scientific research indicates wearing shoes will protect you from running injuries of foot infections (does anyone know if such a study exists?). But it makes "sense." It feels like truth. "Truthiness" is the word (thanks, Colbert Report writers).

My presumptions (instincts, "common sense") are wrong all the time. I'm familiar with the taste of humble pie. I've come to accept it. This means, however, I'm going to be skeptical of everything. I want double blind tests. Send it it to Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t! and The Amazing Randi.

My experience so far running barefoot (107ish miles) contradicts common sense. This pleases my contrarian little heart immensely. A friend asked if my enjoyment of shoelessness is a placebo effect. It's certainly possible, but I'm not a tough guy. I'm a quitter. Too much misery and I'm out. So I quit shoes (I imagine a shod runner, looking down at his/her shoes, exclaiming in heartrending frustration, "I just can't quit you!").

Common sense is nothing without evidence. I am my own barefoot lab rat, procuring evidence that will test the barefoot theory.

Anyway, hope you like my sketch at the beginning of the post (that's as much of a segue you're going to get). I fancy myself a bit of an art teacher, and thankfully so do the good folks over at the Art Alliance. What? Promote the classes I'm teaching this Fall? Well, if you insist...

Artist Trading Cards
Instructor: Josh Sutcliffe
ages 10-13
Session 1: August 31-October 5
Session 2: October 26-November 30
Mondays, 4:30-6:00

Instructor: Josh Sutcliffe
Session 1: ages 8-10,
September 2-October 7
Session 2: ages 6-8,
October 28-December 2
Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30

sign up here.

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