Michael Sandler discovered the joys of barefoot running after enduring a life-threatening accident which left him with a titanium femur and hip, and the devastating diagnosis of being told he would never run again. Defying all odds, Michael immediately began barefoot walking and within six months was running 10-20 miles per day barefoot, pain and injury free. Through this life-changing event, Michael made it his mission to share the valuable lessons he has learned going barefoot. Their book Barefoot Running: How To Run Light And Free By Getting In Touch With The Earth debuted in May 2010 and has since sold over 15,000 copies. It is now published by Crown Publishing, a division of Random House. Barefoot Walking: The Greatest Exercise on Earth is due out 2012. For broadcast and print media clips, barefoot tips, informational blogs, upcoming events, book information and more visit www.RunBare.com.
5 Keys to Living a Life Beyond Limits
- Make the impossible possible. This is my motto and what I say before any great challenge or challenging day. I step out of bed, look out the window and declare “let’s make the impossible possible.” If you throw out the limits and go for the impossible, you’ll likely make it happen.
- Dare to dream and follow your passion. I also call this living big or living large. If you live large, if you chase your dreams and follow your passions, then you’ll live a life beyond limits and without regrets.
- Always ask yourself “What would I do if I KNEW I couldn’t fail?” Believing in your future success is your first and most important step in making it happen. Believe in it, see it, give thanks for it, and watch it come about. What would YOU do if you KNEW you couldn’t fail?
- 4. Look at your weaknesses as potential strengths. In my case, my accidents or injuries were positives, helping move me forward and to become the person I am today. So when a door shuts, open another one, if a venture “fails” (there really is no such thing as failure), try another. Use pain, disappointment, and “failures” for what they are GUIDES, not ERRORS. Flow like water, letting the guides steer you along, and watch the magic come your way!
- Think BIGGER than yourself. I recently did a marathon inSingapore that was going terribly. However, I was supposed to stop at the halfway point and wait for a team I was to guide into the finish for a world-record attempt (world’s longest human chain). When I started running for the team, I became a new person, recharged, invigorated, and filled with reserves and strength I didn’t know I had. When you do things for others, when you work to help others, there’s no end to the wellspring of support, energy, and love that’ll come your way. Helping others makes you Superman (or SuperWoman!)
Michael’s Bonus Tip: Reconnect with Nature. Walking, running, and meditating (sitting or lying on the ground) in nature gives me peace, strength, guidance and courage. It helps put everything in perspective. When I’m disconnected from nature, I get stressed out and there’s almost nothing I can do. But when I plug back in, such as sitting or laying on the ground for 10-20 minutes in the morning, or taking a barefoot walk on a local trail, and the whole world becomes clearer, I become stronger, more creative, and can overcome almost any challenge that comes my way. It helps me to follow my motto “go slow to go fast”. Plugging back in to nature slows me down, gives me perspective, and helps me get far more done in a much shorter time. I’m just devoid of the nervous energy and brain chatter that often gets in the way.
My wife’s Bonus Tip: “I listen to my wife”…she’s right, without her, I’d still have limits. Having a special someone in your life that can help act as a character foil or keep you on track can be the greatest gift in the world. Though I’d achieved a lot, as one of my best friends, a world-class marathoner himself (Hendrick Maako) said at our wedding, “Dude, you were NO WHERE without her.” Jessie helped me focus my efforts and bring all of my dreams into reality
*Photographs courtesy of Kennan Harvey
Michael Sandler is best known as the author of Barefoot Running, a book as much about getting in touch with nature as the how-to’s of barefoot running. Last week, I sat down with Michael to discuss the accident and healing process that lead him to barefoot running. Below, I share his story and some of the photos he took as… Read more →