Coming from a farming background, I saw nothing out of the ordinary in running barefoot, although it seemed to startle the rest of the athletics world. I have always enjoyed going barefoot and when I was growing up I seldom wore shoes, even when I went into town.
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My father is a real idealist, and he's all about learning. If I asked for a pair of Nikes growing up, it was just a resounding 'No.' But if I asked for a saxophone, one would appear and next day and I'd be signed up for lessons. So anything to do with education or learning, my father would spare no expense.