The barefoot weekend

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June 17, 2013 by scratchtype1

How odd it felt to put my feet inside of socks and shoes this morning before leaving for work. I’ve always been careful to wear shoes that felt comfortable, and I suppose that they still were comfortable when I put them on, but they felt odd. The connection between the ground and my feet was lost. All weekend long I had experienced the feel of grass, of dirt, of rocks, of some gravel, of some branches, of mud and water, of the car pedals, of carpet, of wood floors, of cement. Then my feet disappeared into the shoes and it was almost like someone had put a blindfold over my eyes.

Saturday morning I went to a nearby nature preserve and walked a little over 3 miles barefoot. There was also a few short stretches of running. The most difficult patch to traverse was where a path crossed over an unused railway line, and I had to do some careful and delicate gravel walking.  Then on the far side of the preserve, I tested myself some on a gravel-covered bridge, but found that too uncomfortable to cross and turned back.

Later in the day I went golfing and played the 18 holes barefoot. Last week, that turned my calf muscles into sore and aching messes for a few days. This time, they held up just fine. I felt a stronger connection with the earth as the round progressed, sometimes it was beautifully strong, I felt a sort of flexible rooting and when that happened, I would make some wonderful golf swings that yielded sharply struck shots that went pinseeking.

The only footgear I wore all weekend were flip flops for some walking along gravelly road areas and stores, and bowling shoes at the bowling alley. Since you want to slide with your foot in bowling, shoes will remain necessary.

I am considering the idea of making a pair of do-it-yourself huaraches. I am interested in doing some barefoot running, but one difficulty I face is that the little road I live along is narrow and made and repaired with what’s called tarring and chipping. That tarring and chipping results in a lot of sharp little stones on the edges of the roadway, which then falls off into a weedy muddy ditch or sometimes borders along a weedy embankment. In the interest of being able to run without turning my soles into hamburger, plus having protection in the case of where I need to get off the road because of cars or farm tractors, I can see how huaraches could serve a very useful purpose.  It also seems they could be carried around easily enough for when I go hiking, and I can put them on for when I encounter an area which I feel uncertain about.



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