Saturday, 14 August 2010

Barefoot Progress Report

Sunday the 8th  of August to Friday the 13th of August. After my mountain walk my feet were a little sore on the soles so this week I thought it wise to take things quietly and I reduced gravel walking to a measly 500 paces a day and missed out two days completely. I have found that using the 4x4’ square of deep gravel at the bottom of the steps going up to the balcony is more effective than patchy gravel in the courtyard so I pace on that instead. It’s more boring but worth it and I don’t burn my feet on the hot gravel. I’m still going barefoot all the time though. I can now walk across the gravel in the courtyard with no problem. It takes a couple of paces for my feet to get used to it but once they are relaxed (the most vital thing of all) I have no problem and stones that last week would have caused pain I hardly notice now. I took the kids out for a walk to see the cows, so a couple of kilometers along the gravel road, and down the tarmac and found that rough tarmac is a pretty good toughening medium. As from today, I’m going back to 1500-2000 paces a day in preparation for my next long hike and if I can find a good tarmac hill to climb away from prying eyes I’ll try that.I seemed to have gained much more from the hike to the Dar Moine Pass than gravel pounding. Probably because of the different surfaces and inclines. The feet were massaged much more on the irregular terrain. For a couple of days after the hike my foot stiffened up considerably. Though uncomfortable it was no worse than when I pounded six hours of gravel road in boots last year. I’m not actually doing any stretching exercises either as I wanted to wait until this week before I start them which meant that all the new tension brought about by this new freedom and mobility stayed in the foot. Apart from a bit of respite when I first started with new orthotics, today, (Saturday) was the first time in  well over two years that I woke up to no pain at all from my fascitis and no pain at all in my ankle. What I do have though is itchy feet right under the  pad behind my toes. Impossible to scratch but grinding my foot into gravel giveth wondrous relief. I think this might be a sign of the soles drying out so I’m going back to massaging cream in which I started last week but gave up on out of laziness. I thought of asking Baldrick to make me up some of the special cream he uses for the leather on his pipes (he’s an Uillean  pipemaker).which I seem to remember was a mix of beeswax and olive oil. BALDERS!!! HELO-OOOO! I tried to splay my toes today to see how this compares to right at the start and the result is quite startling. The toes on the left foot which I could hardly move at all are getting more flexible and I can actually move my little toe separately which I’ve not been able to do since I was  child. The other toes I can splay a little more than before but the underlying movement is there; the muscles seem to be developing and I sort of ‘feel’ like I could move them more even if I can’t  in reality. As an aside, I got a visit from Steph last week. She’s doing the same with her horse’s feet as I am with mine and going without shoes.  She’s getting more stick than I am though because that’s seriously weird. I mean, horses with no shoes, indeed!!. Chatting over the processes and results she’s experiencing with her horse there’s quite a lot of similarity especially regarding gait and posture and the care one takes when walking to my own experiences to date. The problem in the minds of the people seems to be more about what seems to be taken as an affront to accepted, inherited and unquestioned procedures or one of simply challenging orthodoxy rather than any knowledge or experience on the subject a bit like I’m experiencing. I also found out that two friends who I haven’t seen for a while (both hill farmers) have barefoot as their normal condition. This might actually get me off my bum and up to visit them

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