Let’s face it. Us barefoot runners think a little differently. We are comfortable dancing to the beat of a different drum. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t always agree with our outlook on life. One of the unstated goals of Barefoot Running University is introducing people and resources that may appeal to the BRU audience.
Shelly and I first met John DeVries in December of 2009. He was one of the attendees at my very first barefoot running clinic. Later, we ran a race together where John wore a lucha libre mask. That was our first indicator that John was probably a lot like us. Last summer, I agreed to do a series of barefoot running clinics at Crossfit Grand Rapids in exchange for personal training from the gym owner Brandon Armstrong and John. Over the summer, Shelly and I got to know John better. We found we shared many similar thoughts, ideas, and dreams.
At some point, he shared his future plans to travel around the Americas on a motorcycle. He had been working on the details for some time, and explained his motivations in great detail. His ideas struck a chord with us.
Over the years, Shelly and I had often talked about doing something adventurous. For whatever reason, we never pulled the trigger. The comfort of our day-to-day lives and fear of the unknown kept us where we were. John’s talks inspired us. We had a long conversation about his adventure. At some point, we started discussing the possibility of us doing something similar. At first, it started as a pipe dream. We listed a lot of excuses why we couldn’t do it. Still, the idea festered.
After more discussions, we came to the realization that it could be possible for us to do something similar. Once we started verbalizing our fears, we realized they were mostly irrational. We came to the decision to start exploring the possibility of creating our own adventure.
Since that time, a lot of things have fallen into place. Our current adventures planned for summer and possibly beyond are the direct result of John’s inspiration.
John started a blog to document his progress related to his trip and his own personal growth. Even if you have no interest in doing something like John is planning, his writing will connect with you. Best of all, he’s pretty damn funny. His blog is located here:
Here are a few of his posts that would be of interest to the BRU audience:
- How to Find Your Passion (This is one of the best blog post I have ever read)
- How to Get What You Want Out of Life: The Value of Struggle
- Live on the Edge
- Work Less and Party More
As you go through life, you tend to meet some pretty cool people. It’s much less common to meet someone that is a profound inspiration. John is one such person.
In the near future, I hope to convince him to write a few posts for BRU. Since our traveling adventures will take place at roughly the same time, I’ll also reference his journey on a regular basis. Read his blog. You won’t regret it.