… and then its head came right off.

To satisfy my need for writing (and sharing) I’m going to widen the span of my blog just a tiny bit. There are stories I want to share. Let’s start with this one.

It was a spring-day in April when I found myself wandering through a neighbourhood of small family houses in the west outskirts of Lund. It was a sunny day, and the wind constantly changed from warm and caressing to cold and penetrating. I would have preferred to be running but a minor cough and a general sick feeling led me to the decision not to.

As I’m walking down an avenue, lined with small town-houses and tall trees, I spot three persons standing in the middle of the street next to a white car, talking among themselves. I let my imagination wander about each of their characters and roles in the small company.

I take my feet to the side-walk and when I’m parallel to the group of people I notice two things that completely changes the context of the situation. One of the men is holding a golf club over his right shoulder and the woman next to him is holding a pigeon in here hands. -“Åhå”, I though to my self. This looks intriguing.

As I approach the group, the third man turns around and leaves in his car, leaving the two others looking like an odd couple in the middle of the street.

– “What has happened?”, I ask.
– “The pigeon got hit by a car, and has broken one of its wings”, the woman replies.

I look at the bird. It has some blood on its beak and I can tell that it’s stressed.

The woman asks me if I know what to do. I honestly answer “No”, but that I might have somebody that I can call. I call up my parents in hope for guidance.

Through a very bad connection that just as well could have been heard over a walkie-talkie my parents tell me that there is a certain organization that specializes in bird rehabilitation and that it’s illegal to kill a bird, even hurt, without a permit.

It turns out that the woman has tried to call this organization already without getting any response. For a short moment we stand in silence. I kneel down, feeling hopeless in front of the decision we’re facing. Then I rise and we consider among ourselves that the best thing for us to do is to kill the pigeon.

I reach for the bird and it starts flapping its wings and eventually flies from the woman. She follows. So do I and the man with the golf club. The man then says, “I don’t think I could do it”. The bird can’t fly and starts walking away from us into a hedge.

The woman catches the pigeon and holds it tight. I kneel down beside her and we go over in short what is going to happen next.

I take my left hand and lay it on the bird, and with my right I grasp around it’s head and I start to twist.

– “Is it dead?”. I’m not sure. I twist again.
– “Now?”. Beak and eyes are moving. It might be reflexes. Or? I twist again and again in a slight panic.

This time I hear bones breaking, and then its head came right off.

We sit quiet with our hands still on the bird. The woman, who is quite shaken up, asks me how I’m doing. I answer that I’m fine.

– “But I can still feels its heart!”, she says.
– “That’s all right, it will stop in a while”, I answer.

After a few beats we felt it no more.

Although I had imagined my self killing a bird sometime in my life I didn’t see it coming when exiting the front door going on my walk this very day.

We bury the pigeon in the bushes and say goodbye to each other. I felt rather strange when walking home to clean the blood from my hands.

First long run on asphalt

Yesterday came with a lot of insight, emotion and my eyes where somewhat opened to the possibilities for me to run barefoot.

Peeking out the kitchen window in the afternoon, the signs of spring where calling me to leave the house.  I grabbed my Vibram Fivefingers for backup and stuck a water bottle down my pants.

I did a couple of push-ups outside the house and then I shot away. I felt light and completely free. At first I thought I would run around the neighbourhood and just toughen up my soles a little bit.

But it didn’t take long before my plans grew in size. I wanted to go far. So I ran west and sat my sights on the road to leading to Bjärred.

I was passing farms with horses and fields with scarecrows. Everything felt good. Straight posture. Arms high. High cadence. Bent knees. Little bobbing. No shortness of breath.

After I while my right calf started acting up a bit, feeling like a part of the muscles was tight and not very flexible. I mended this with stretch pauses and walking. The feeling went away shortly.

I reached my turning point (between old Bjärred and Haboljung). I have never liked the idea of turning around, running the same stretch again. So I continued south, towards Lomma.

My mood was high and I pulled my earplugs out every now and then just to say “Hi!” to the people I was passing in the street. After passing Lomma my mood darkened. This was due to an extensive use of pebbles and salt on the cycling path towards Lund. I was now swearing loudly because I couldn’t continue in the way I wanted to. Instead of putting my Fives on I decided to switch to the grass next to the path. I mean, it looked all nice and soft. Might even be nice for a change. Big mistake!

sad-sole

14 kilometres of asphalt went smooth as baby skin. 5 meters of grass and I was bleeding. I had taken a small leap (stupidly) and impaled my foot on a particularly hard piece of grass. Leaving the sole of my foot punctured and bloody.

Well this was inconvenient, I thought. Now it seamed like a good idea to put my Fives on. So I did. Then I ran towards the intersecting road up ahead where a car was waiting to pull out. I knocked on the window of the car and asked the driver if he could take me back to Lund. “Get in!” – he said.

The guy turned out to be a former runner, and was much interested in my footwear. I told him a was going barefoot and our conversation drifted in to the structures of the foot (the guy was a doctor) and what running style was the better for the body.

He dropped me off on the side of the highway in the north-west of Lund and I ran home. Not feeling my injury at all (the pain came later though).

This was one of the best runs I’ve had in a long time (In spite of me injuring myself).

This adventure left me wanting more. Suddenly barefoot running seams more limited by my endurance than the toughness of my soles.

The horizon is the limit.