A 'Heroic' Beginning

What have I been up to?

I've been working on a project for a few months and am happy to say it has finally reached a point where I'd like to invite others to see what I'm doing.

"What is it?" you ask?


After getting laid off last year, I was introduced to a concept referred to as "lifestyle design". The basic premise is that the 9 to 5 template that most of us live according to is but one of many options available to us. I'm not saying it is bad, just that it is one option instead of the ONLY option. As I have researched this concept quite passionately the past year, I've come to know a number of people actively living what I know refer to as "the dream". Having found real live specimens to observe, I have continued to expand my knowledge in different areas that I think would permit this type of lifestyle.

Through this, I've found that I have a love for marketing and sales as I have continually read books upon stacks of books regarding these topics. This has led to me trying to market myself as a freelancer in a number of different fields (marketing, social media, graphic design, technology). As opportunities to do freelance work have made themselves more available, I have found it to be very enjoyable and rewarding.


What do I want to DO with this knowledge and passion?

All of this got me thinking about the "so what?" question. So what if I have been learning all of this information? So what if I'm passionate about it? Well, the "so what" is that I'd love to help others who are also passionate about it.

No, I'm not looking to take your money, just your attention. :)

Even more rewarding than freelance has been when I have had a chance to work with someone and open their eyes up to different possibilities in their life. To sit down and coach people through their situation and show them how to present themselves to better achieve their dreams has been amazing! My thoughts quickly turned to thinking about how to do this for more and more people.

That's when I decided to create a site dedicated to sharing my knowledge and helping others. 


Now what?

Ok, first off, in NO WAY do I think I have "arrived". I'm on a journey just like everyone else. But on this journey, I have to think that I might be at a place that others wish they were at too. I'd love to save people the pain of having to learn first hand and be able to pass on what I'm learning and have learned. THAT is what my goal is. 

I believe we all have a say so in our destiny. I want mine to be memorable. Different. Heroic. And thus a phrase that has been in my head for a number of years has now officially been turned in to a URL. (That should sound much cooler...but I fear it may have been almost anti-climactic.)

Let's try again: And thus a phrase that has been in my head for a number of years has now officially become a point in the world wide interwebs where I plan to meet with people and help them to achieve THEIR dreams. 

Ok...I'll work on that wording. I'm still in "beta" mode right now, so I'm using that as a disclaimer.

Regardless, I'd like to invite any early adopters to come visit my new site:


I'll be posting a few more initial articles this weekend and then "beta" will be no more. After that, I will be posting on a regular schedule.

I'd love to invite you to come poke around and give your opinion. Thanks in advance for visiting.

Posted via web from David Crandall

Back to Bangs

My wife decided that it was time to revert back to bangs for our oldest daughter. It's been over a year since we let them grow out and her hair has gotten so long. I was a bit nervous at first, but I think they look super cute! She looks so old in these pictures but she is only 2!! Crazy.

Posted via email from David Crandall

Eden's First Pigtails

My wife just sent these adorable pictures of my youngest daughter in her first pigtails! She looks so sweet!

Posted via email from David Crandall

Apology for Friendster Spam

My apologies to everyone who received the invite from me for Friendster. I had granted it access to my address book to see if anyone I knew was using it and the site emailed EVERYONE I have ever contacted or received an email from.

If you are a friend or professional contact, please forgive this embarrassing occurrence. I am sorry to have inconvenienced you.

Rest assured that I will not be using Friendster after this incident.

David Crandall

Posted via email from David Crandall

Photoshoot for Eden

Took some pictures of Eden in the front of Nana & Granddad's house today. The sun was just setting and the lighting was so soft. Eden sat in the swing in front of their house and refused to budge. She was so happy that almost all of the pictures are of her giggling and laughing.

I really love these pictures as they show so much of her personality right now. These are the faces she makes daily. She's constantly giggling and laughing and I was so thankful to catch it on camera!

Posted via email from David Crandall

10 Things I Learned from Barefoot Ted

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If you saw a strange, motley looking crew running alongside El Camino Real in Palo Alto Saturday with naked feet, that was us. Contrary to what surely was the conclusion of most passersby, we are not the latest new age cult to hit California. While we did have the requisite bald leader (bald guy is the new long-haired, bearded guy, right?), we’re merely fans of natural running.

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Brought together by a common interest in running without shoes, we had gathered with Barefoot Ted (of Born to Run fame) to learn, practice, and improve our running form and have a good time. Both goals were met.

If you’re like me and many other readers of Born to Run, you’ve been wondering what Barefoot Ted was really like. In the book he’s described by Chris McDougall as an incessant talker who annoys everyone within a 50 foot radius with his non-stop chatter. While the guy can definitely talk – he did not finish 30% of the sentences he started, as if new ideas were streaming in faster than he could spit old ones out – he was well-spoken and genial. Barefoot Ted (do people ever call him just Ted?) is very knowledgeable and articulate when it comes to the history of running, moving, and living. His exuberant (a word he’s quite fond of these days), boyish energy is actually quite charming. Perhaps he’s settled down a bit, or we weren’t nearly as exciting as Caballo Blanco, Bonehead Billy, and the Tarahumara Indians in Born to Run. None the less, he was a pleasure to spend an afternoon with.

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Beyond the revealing and colorful metaphors and running tips he shared, perhaps what makes Barefoot Ted so enjoyable is he doesn’t judge people. Probably the second most well-known barefoot runner on the planet now (after Barefoot Ken Bob), I was half-expecting him to at at least once in our over four hours together to indulge in a bit of a verbal smackdown of shod runners. But Barefoot Ted not only steered clear of such rants, he repeatedly said he’s not against shoes all together. He’s more interested in helping people rediscover (everyone enjoyed some form of barefoot running as a child) joyful, pain-free running, he explained. Chances are, he believes, that this will happen without shoes, but he’s not dogmatic about it. “It’s not about what you can’t do’” he explained. “It’s about incremental growth – orchard growth, not fast-food.”

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While I think every one of us 22 participants (3 women) walked away with learnings and a renewed desire to continue to improve and share our learnings with others, there wasn’t enough personal feedback on our running form as I would have liked. In fact, a shodless runner that Barefoot Ted spotted running by us got more feedback on his style than any of us paying participants did. Yet Barefoot Ted was more than happy to talk with anyone while he was running about form or any other topic. I think he simply ran out of time to do the individual coaching exercise he had promised earlier in the day.

As I sit here and go over the notes I fervently took on my Palm Pre during the class, I’m remembering there were a number of excellent points made by Barefoot Ted that I can apply to my running. It was difficult to grab them all as they came out so quickly and in no particular order. There was no overarching framework, order, or organization to help the messages stick, either. To be fair, this was the first “advanced” barefoot running clinic Barefoot Ted has done, so in essence it was a prototyping session. To be honest, it was kind of fun to be a part of this first-of-a-kind session.

I have attempted to organize my learnings here in a manner that will hopefully be helpful for participants and non-participants alike. I think pairing these notes with learnings from a beginning class with Barefoot Ted would make it even more helpful.

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I.  Be light, quick, and upright.

Barefoot Ted went over this more in-depth during his first clinic, but did repeat the importance of running as silently as possible, with a high cadence, and with your back straight and head up high. At one point while running, Barefoot Ted demonstrated the sound that the foot makes when it hits heel-to-toe. A big thump. Then, he had us listen while he switched to a soft, forefoot-to-heel strike. We heard nothing, and that was the point. He said he listens to his body as he ran to make sure he was running correctly. If he hears much of anything, he knows he needs to reset his form.

If there was one thing Barefoot Ted wanted us to take away, it was running with a quick turnover. He explained that 180 steps per minute has proven to be the right pace for everyone, regardless of height, weight, or speed. He stressed two key and unique benefits of running with a high cadence. First, keeping your feet moving quickly is a more sustainable use of energy. With a longer stride your foot hits the ground with a ‘thump’ resulting in lost energy. However, with rapid (and light) footfalls, the energy is transferred from one step to the next instead of the the ground. Second, stepping quickly enables you to run over rough terrain relatively pain-free. If you happen to land on an acorn, for example, your foot is not on the ground long, saving you from the pain you would experience if you had stepped on the acorn while walking. So, keep your energy flowing forwards with a fast pace and save yourself from dangerous terrain in the process.

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II.  Running should be like dancing.

One metaphor that helped me visualize and get what a barefoot running form is all about was that of dancing. Barefoot Ted expressed how running should be like dancing on stage. Your form should be graceful yet strong. I instantly pictured the men and women of the San Francisco Ballet I’ve seen perform. The men in particular have very strong legs and are able to propel themselves high into the air. Yet when they land, it’s as if they are half their weight. Strong, yes, yet also very graceful. I think Barefoot Ted would agree that running should look and feel that effortless.

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III.  Practice jumping up and down stairs.

To help us kinesthetically feel what strong but graceful landing is like, Barefoot Ted took us to a random building on the Stanford Campus that had some outside stairs (he joked that we could now say we took a barefoot running class at Stanford). He explained how stairs make everyone use a better form since it’s really hard to land heel-first with a straight leg. Demonstrating what he wanted us to practice, he jumped cat-like up two stairs, landing with complete grace and silence. He then had us jump up two stairs at a time, working on landing as softly and smoothly as possible. The range of ability among participants to do just that varied considerably. We then did the reverse, jumping down the stairs, this time one at a time (though we did sign a waiver before the beginning of class, Barefoot Ted had no interest in a tragic spill in his class). My recently-operated on back didn’t allow me to do much jumping, but I still learned a lot from watching others.

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IV.  We’re trained to buy solutions instead of correcting our form.

A product of our society, many of us have grown to believe we need to buy our solutions instead of looking to make changes to ourselves. This applies to running form just as it does in other areas of our life. We instinctively turn to purchasing new shoes, insoles, and other products to help us run better. Instead, we could simply study our form and learn how to make the necessary tweaks to it. You can tell Barefoot Ted enjoys helping people discover and implement the right changes to their form. He added that so much about the running industry – and all sports, for that matter – is performance driven. It’s about worshiping the heroes and spending money to have a piece of equipment that the hero endorses. It’s an seemingly endless cycle of spending money and not getting any better. CIMG0645 thumb 10 Things I Learned from Barefoot Ted

V.  In the zone, like a jazz musician.

Barefoot Ted stressed the importance of being in the zone when running barefoot. He explained how this is especially important while running on trails, where the terrain is inconsistent and even treacherous at times. He spoke of a state of hyper awareness and a hyper pace when moving over dangerous terrain. It requires improvising on the fly, just like a jazz musician does. As he lead the group over gum nuts, eucalyptus bark, and logs and down and up large dirt ditches, we were able to practice getting into that zone. If the smiles and yelps were any indication of our success at doing this, we did well. It must have been music to Barefoot Ted’s ears.

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VI.  Err on the side of staying within your capacity.

After the running portion of the class ended and we were back in the cafe at Zombie Runner (yes, trail running and the best coffee on the Peninsula in one place), Barefoot Ted brought out photos and paraphernalia from the original Urique Ultramarathon described in delightful detail in Born to Run. He repeated how for a number of ultrarunners, ultra races are about pushing themselves so hard they nearly die – and how that is their goal. They admittedly don’t enjoy running, saying that’s not the point for them.

Barefoot Ted does not subscribe to a similar belief. Rather, he promotes the goal of painless, exuberant, and joyful running. He encouraged all of us to listen to our body and not push ourselves too hard. He added that he’s not into “hardcore barefoot” running, as that philosophy tends to esteem pushing oneself through pain – the opposite of listening to pain. While he wanted each of to “push our own envelope further,” he said we should work to stay within our own capacity. “It’s about being mindful of yourself, being so present that you are attune with your body and what you are capable of,” he explained.

Chris McDougall Presenting

VII.  McDougall at Google.

We learned about some of the metaphors Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run, used in his presentation at Google the previous day. In responding to uninformed remarks by folks such as the Editor of Runner’s World, who say only 5 percent are biomechanically correct and therefore able to run barefoot, Chris shared a great example. He said it was like throwing a kid in the water and if they didn’t swim right away, telling them they weren’t biomechanically correct so would never be able to swim. Anyone can learn the right form was his message. An excellent point made vivid once again by Chris’s metaphors. Chris has also made the same point with the metaphor of drinking beer, Barefoot Ted shared.

Barefoot Ted also divulged that Chris’s next book is on natural movement, going beyond running to include all sorts of movement that is just as natural for us humans. I can’t wait for that to come out. No timeline was shared, though.

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VIII.  Feet, our first line of defense.

Barefoot Ted explained how our feet are the first thing to be damaged when we run barefoot, and how this is a good thing. “It’s nature’s way of stopping us short of doing something really bad,” he said. However, if we are wearing shoes, we have essentially cut off the ability to feel these “micro-traumas.” The result is tragic. People end up seriously damaging their knees, back, and more. With a herniated disc I partially blame thick running shoes for, his point hit a sensitive note with me.

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IX.  Learning barefoot running is like learning another language.

For most of us, Barefoot Ted said, running barefoot is another language for us to learn. Some people have experience doing other activities that require bare feet, such as surfing and yoga, so it’s easier for them to learn how to run barefeet. For them, it’s like learning Spanish when they already know Italian. But for the majority of us, we’ll will need to take time to study like we would if we wanted to learn another language. There were only 8 of us in the class who grew up barefoot as kids, making the necessity to learn this ‘new’ language extra important.

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X.  Form before speed.

Barefoot Ted encouraged us to get our form down before we try to go too fast. When he did the Boston Marathon, he did it with Garmin GPS watch so he would stay on pace the whole time, knowing that he could maintain his form at that pace. He set his pace so he would finish at 3 hours and 20 minutes, and ran across the finish line at exactly 3:20. He’s not a big fan of the Pose Technique as it is performance based. It’s all about speed. He’s into endurance running, not speed. He did take a Pose class and thought some of it was helpful (defined by whatever stuck to his form).

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Other Nuggets

  • Not being able to splay your feet is bad enough alone to cause bad form – the foot picks up necessary data, and tight shoes hinder this process.
  • Running barefoot doesn’t hurt anyone – it should be something that is on the plate of choice for how people locomote themselves.
  • What matters most to Barefoot Ted is that folks run happily. The sweet spot is joy with no pain. “Run purposely pain free” is kind of a motto for him.
  • Running barefoot helps you break down what you think you can’t do. That’s pretty powerful in other areas of your life.
  • When you’re going up a hill barefoot, you are able to instantly tell if a foothold will hold your whole body or not. However, if you are wearing shoes, you’re not able to feel the ground well enough to know if it will hold you. That’s why you there are so many people slipping on courses. If they were barefoot they would stop short of putting all of their weight on a bad hold.
  • Simply getting the weight of shoes off your foot can be incredibly freeing in itself.
  • When many people run with anti-pronation shoes, their foot rolls to the side upon strike and causes the knee to twist, resulting in awful pain and problems for many.
  • Toughness of the foot is one thing. Overall strength of the foot is another.
  • Going barefoot provides one-on-one, instantaneous feedback.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Response:
This article is a little bit long but I thought it was really well written. The author of this blog is great. He reached out to me via Twitter when I first started talking about running barefoot and we've actually emailed back and forth a number of times. I love his approach to writing and how honest his articles feel. I encourage anyone interested in barefoot running to check out his site at runningquest.net

Curious who else is running without their shoes out there.

Posted via web from David Crandall

Hello My Pretty!!

My Response:
It's like the Easter Bunny had a bastard love-child with the Donnie Darko rabbit.

Posted via web from David Crandall

Google's Un-Phone?

This looks really interesting to me. If Google could pull off a VOIP service well, then we could deal with only data plans. Would be interesting to see what this does for the data plan prices though!


Yesterday we wrote about the soon to launch Google Phone, a Google branded Android phone that we believe will hit the market in early 2010.

Lots of people are saying there’s no way Google will enter the phone market directly and compete with all these handset manufacturers who have bet on Android. Daring Fireball

, PC World

and IntoMobile

are among the doubters. And a lot of people are pointing to a Tom Krazit/CNET article

last month that quoted Google’s Andy Rubin

: “We’re not making hardware…We’re enabling other people to build hardware,” and “Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, scoffed at the notion that the company would “compete with its customers” by releasing its own phone.”

Normally I’d just point to the fact that many companies deny the existence of products until the day they announce them. Apple scoffed at the notion that they’d ever build a phone until they announced the iPhone, for example. The last thing Google wants is a lot of confusion among handset manufacturers just when those manufacturers are putting the finishing touches on their own Android phones.

But there may be another way Google will argue that they aren’t “competing with customers” by launching their own device – technically, it may not be a phone.

The Google Phone may be a data only, VoIP driven device. And Google may be lining up at least AT&T to provide those data services for the Google Phone, says one person we spoke with today.

Users could still make calls just like a normal phone, of course. The calls would just be over the data service instead. In fact, this is the exact vision Google proposed back in 2007 when they were bidding on the FCC auctions for the 700MHz spectrum.

Google can even issue phone numbers to users via Google Voice. In fact, I’ve already ported my mobile number to Google Voice, and Google has plans to roll out that feature more broadly. Google Voice can also handle the VoIP function for the phone.

Are AT&T and the other carriers interested? Our source says AT&T is already bidding for the business, and may be willing to sell data to Google, with certain conditions, for $20/month. The carriers won’t love this, at all. But they’d be dumb to let their competitors take the business instead. Our guess is at least the U.S. GSM carriers, TMobile and AT&T, would support the phone.

Our sources at AT&T have confirmed that they’ll sell data-only plans to customers who bring in BlackBerry and Windows devices, and strip out the voice plan. They won’t do this with all devices – you can’t get a data only plan on the iPhone, for example. But AT&T is open to data-only customer relationships.

Will the Google Phone be data/VoIP only? Right now we only have one thin source for this. But we’re continuing to dig.

Information provided by CrunchBase


Posted via web from David Crandall

Trip to the Park

Took the girls to the park yesterday. Here are a few pictures that I thought looked really good!

Posted via email from David Crandall