Rather than making me become semiconscious, as listening to music does, it actually heightens my awareness and engagement with the task at hand. Anytime you can use technology to improve your connection to yourself and your surroundings, do it. The Equipment Compromise The equipment we rely on every time we train can feel indispensable. But the truth is, sometimes it's not only unhelpful but actually harmful. Using advanced gear too much or the wrong kind of equipment can end up compromising our technique and lead to injury. It also doesn't prepare us for performing without it, as we may need to in nature or in competition. And finally, total reliance on technology doesn't account for changes in conditions that should influence how we plan and assess our training when the numbers don't tell the full story. What's my goal here? I said it in the Introduction and I'll likely say it 137 more times. I would love for you and anyone who reads this article to understand that too many people suffer from cognitive dissonance. Are you tracking with me? You know that situation where someone says they will do something, but they don't? When someone believes something in one instant and then goes the opposite direction in another situation? When you get pumped up about a cool activity today, but you then think it's the worst activity ever the next day? These are all situations that cause cognitive dissonance. After so many instances of cognitive dissonance, we become apathetic. Apathy is, simply put, a lack of interest or concern. I accepted his emotional abandonment through drug abuse and his traumatizing through his fits of rage. Physically I worked with frenzy in everything I did.

Emotionally and spiritually everything was mechanized. There was no emotional connection. Buried anger and exhaustion eventually sent me into such a depressed state of being that I was unable to function, even at the most minimal level. At that time, about sixteen years into our marriage, I went through two severe depressions and a nervous breakdown. These rendered me completely unable to do anything. My ability to hide behind accomplishment and being capable vanished. I became a mental midget. Even the simplest task of looking up a phone number would send me into fits of tears. Born to Run Was Right After Chris McDougall released his article Born to Run in 2009, thousands of runners realized that overly cushioned shoes were doing them more harm than good, and manufacturers responded to their demands for more flexible, minimal footwear. Soon enough, almost every one of them had low- or zero-drop offerings in their product lineups, while Vibram could barely keep up with demand for its separated-toe, socklike FiveFingers shoe. McDougall was right on point in calling out the false impression that a piece of technology can massively improve your performance. Yet despite his warnings to slowly transition from overly cushioned, inflexible shoes to minimal models and then to zero-drop ones--all while keeping mileage low--many people ignored this advice and tried to quit their fat-soled shoes cold turkey. This led to an orthopedic disaster. I had people showing up to my seminars who were just trashed and couldn't understand why. They'd tell me things like, I don't get it . I thought my feet would be healthier if I went barefoot. Once I dug a little deeper into their stories, I found that not only had they gone from a ten-millimeter or greater heel-to-toe differential to zero drop in one fell swoop, but they'd also kept the same program as they had before they made the switch. This isn't necessarily a negative attribute, but it becomes negative when people are always apathetic. Once it becomes a consistent character trait, it becomes terribly difficult to make any changes in your life.

Instead of having a lack of interest in golf or accounting, you have a lack of interest in everything, and that leaves you pathetically failing to try and accomplish anything. With one bad apple, this doesn't destroy the world. There's always going to be one lazy bum in your neighborhood. When more and more people share the same stories of cognitive dissonance and apathy through we collectively become apathetic. This is why you can find so many solvable issues, that, if enough people just cared to live better or act more appropriately, wouldn't be issues anymore. Because we're all apathetic, we are all very understanding of each other's apathy. If you're late for a party and you blame the traffic, we understand. If you didn't get something done that you planned to get done because today you were super busy, we can relate. Balancing a checkarticle or even writing a check was no longer possible for me. I couldn't think, concentrate, or handle pressure or responsibility of any kind. My husband began to drink heavily, and rages were the norm. I had lost the ability to cope. It was at this point that I turned to a power greater than myself. I asked Jesus into my heart and told him I couldn't do this alone. That started my spiritual healing. I prayed that Jesus would change my husband, change my circumstances, but it was not until I asked him to change me that things started to change. This is when I began to address the trauma that had permeated this marriage. Jenny began her journey by reaching out to her faith community and seeking guidance; Plus, their pampered feet had become weak while cruising around on a couple of inches of midsole foam or air and needed both mobilizing and strengthening through a gradual transition to the way nature intended their feet to function. Yet they didn't know this or glossed over the advice that McDougall and others tried to give, with dire results.

In the wake of a lawsuit against Vibram, all those foot injuries, and other signs that the tide was turning against running barefoot and in minimal shoes, the main manufacturers did what they often do and swung the technology pendulum hard in the other direction. Several new start-ups also entered the market, touting the benefits of their ultrathick, ubercushioned soles, which would supposedly right all the podiatry wrongs. Suddenly, shoes were even fatter and less flexible than they'd been before Born to Run and the revolution that it birthed. Even those shoemakers who had seemed fully committed to minimalist running began reintroducing arch supports and increasing the drop of their models. While those who had steadily transitioned to barefoot or zero-drop running protested, the mass market embraced the bulky cushioning that was suddenly fashionable again. It wasn't just the midsoles that got bigger--so did the claims that the shoe companies started making. Now they promised not only to protect your feet from impact but also to track your stride length, cadence, and speed with embedded sensors connected to an app or wearable. Add spongy cushioning to quantification and you get a double dose of desensitization and distraction. If you forgot to call back your friend about some trip you wanted to plan, no worries, I'm sure you were thinking about other, more important things. Nobody's perfect right? So let's not get so serious and just do the best that we can. Do we really want people to start getting anal about everything and expect perfection out of everyone? Our culture is very understanding of people's shortcomings. We live with it. Well, because we don't want to be that dude that's always pointing out someone being three minutes late. We don't want to be the hardass who calls out someone for not bringing the food they said they were going to bring to the party. It's all cool man! We can live through it and still be happy, right? Therese was directed to a counselor through her church; Vanessa and Jacque began their journeys forward at the height of crisis, Vanessa by contracting an STD during pregnancy, and Jacque when watching her husband walk out the door to be with another woman.

Maite's healing began at the time she was prepared to leave her marriage. Sara came across a article that her husband was reading as he began to come to terms with the fact that he had another addiction--sex. Whatever the impetus or crisis is that directs you to begin a healing journey, you have the potential of living your life differently. Moving On to Your Journey The deception and betrayal women experience takes many forms. Knowingly or unknowingly, you are touched by it daily. For some, it is pornography or fantasies with faceless names on the internet. For others, it is the other women who may be one-night stands, a coworker, your best friend, escorts, or prostitutes. What many people don't acknowledge is that all that air under their feet is buffering poor mechanics like overstriding and heel striking, while our shoes' sensors reward us for the faster times that might result. So we're creating bad habits and then positively reinforcing them. It's not until we get injured that we realize something's amiss. This is why if we're going to reawaken our senses, we've got to stop or minimize our use of all technology that puts a barrier between us and our environment, whether that's two-inch midsoles or anything else. Instead, we should carefully use stripped-down equipment--like minimally cushioned shoes--to improve the feedback of the ground beneath our feet. When we feel that we're overstriding or committing another positional error, we can then focus on the skill element of running to improve our form before we even think about improving our split or lap times. Losing the Equipment (Dis)advantage I've been cycling for more than three decades and have clipped into my pedals for as long as I can remember. But one day last year, I was catching up with my friend Jessi Stensland, who's an internationally renowned triathlete. Jessi told me that after taking time off in Costa Rica, she realized how much ankle and foot function she'd been missing. The problem is, all of these small, seemingly innocent situations, in a very subtle way, encourage cognitive dissonance and collective apathy. But, I must ask, who am I to make these claims about our society?