As the years went by, we began to notice changes around us. “Progress” of mankind. I came to KL, leaving behind Borneo Island in 1975, already brainwashed about the "normal" way of life. In the University of Malaya, where I obtained my first degree, Bachelor of Economics (Business Admin), I was further indoctrinated on "progress". I climbed the corporate ladder and lived a corporate life from the 1970s to 1990s Nike Free Run
. I call it my corporate life period. I became a busy lawyer in the 1990s after having my second degree with cheap ray ban sunglasses
During my corporate/busy lawyer life period, plastic, aircon, electric/electronic nike free run 2
gadgets and four wheeled tin cans (car lah!) became essential parts of my life. Chasing luxuries became the aim of my life. Deep in my heart, the want to be in the cuddle of Mother Nature remained. Often, I felt disturbed and confused about the corporate life in the big cities. As an outdoor person, I was into ball games (badminton, squash, tennis, golf) and sailing. My running was only useful in my games/sports. In the early 80s I bought a pair of running shoes made in US. I wore once in a while and used it for a marathon. I can’t recall if I completed it (I did not train for it) but it was a gruelling experience of over 6 hours. I put away those shoes for good and was disinclined to run another marathon. I did not feel suited to run a marathon in modern running shoes on the tarmac.
In 1984, Zola Budd in the LA Olympic caught all runners’ full attention. She was a young and fast barefoot runner. She is now back running in marathons.
I was then reminded of Abebe Bikila from Ethiopia, the first black African gold medallist in the Olympic Games. He won the gold in the Rome Olympic marathon in 1960 running barefoot. I was 6 years old in 1960 and only heard about Abebe later as we did not have TV then. He won again in the Tokyo Olympic Marathon 4 years later, wearing ordinary looking shoes.
Modern running shoes came about in the 1970s when jogging boomed in USA. Running shoes elevate the heels and change the running gait. Common sense tells me that from the 1970s to now is too short a time for the body to evolve to a new running gait (as we know, evolution takes millions of years). Our body formed through evolution needs to re-evolve for a long time for this elevated running gait.
Related to this bare feet issue, the wearing of high heels concerns me too. Despite the risk and long term effect of high heal shoes, well-educated females still slip into high heels and wobble around on them. Women also don high heels to compete in a sport called Dancesport (ballroom dancing in competitions). It does not seem logical to me. However, ballerinas, in the ultimate dance, wear flat thin-soled shoes with reinforced tip for the pirouette. That is sensible. It is all very much “POWER OF THE MIND vs POWER OF MODERN MARKETING”, so it takes power of the mind to resist the prevailing fashion. The want for fashion and style is probably important for many beginners in the selection of good running shoes.