Progress from scratch to a more barefoot lifestyle
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
So it’s still winter but there are some really warm days as usual. Time to start thinking about getting my feet back into barefooting shape. I took a test walk today and decided, as a result, that starting from scratch again is the best and safest option. Boring but there it is, I’ll just have to put up with it. So this evening as a start I did just 500 paces on the gravel in the courtyard. It’s easier to count paces than time myself as it gives me a total for the day which I can do in stints when I have time. I’m aiming. like last time, to do at least 1500 paces per day on the gravel. Last time it took ten days or so to get into shape so I’m aiming for that again.The last barefoot trip was back in October so my feet have had three months to get out of shape again. This winter I’m working outside building yet more stone walls and boots have been necessary to avoid huge lumps of rock from demolishing my toes. I don’t have any work boots so I use one of my two pairs of walking boots. This has contributed to some pretty sore feet at the end of the day. To make matters worse our house is not really warm enough in the winter to go comfortably barefoot indoors so the old tootsies have not been getting much of an airing. Then anyway it’s winter so wherever I go it has to be shod, especially hiking of course, so the old complaints are coming back. If I had any doubts (which I didn’t) as to the cause of all my troubles, I certainly don’t now. No shoes, no pain, shoes on and the pain comes back. I’m starting to get cramps in my feet again, I have a touch of plantar fascitis again which, though tolerably mild is still annoying considering how quickly it went after starting to go barefoot. My legs are stiffer and less flexible, my knee and hip which have given me hell in the past are starting to twinge again. I’ve gone back to being very wary of kneeling down in case knee or hip pops out like they used to. My pelvis feels out of line too and I have the hiking headaches back again and stiff neck and backaches too. Of course I could cure all this again with orthotics but believe me give me back ache and or hip pain any day over plantar fascitis and as the orthotics accentuated the fascitis I’m never going down that road again. As the cause of everything else is most definitely the shoes I’ll just have to put up with the pain/discomfort until I can ditch the shoes again. Now I know about barefoot hiking this year I can get an early start and should be able to start hiking barefoot again by mid march when the temperatures are a little warmer. There’s a hope that I can be well into barefootness by next October and may be able to get through the winter partly barefoot too. I mean, eight months of barefooting should see some improvement considering the radical improvement in only three months of 2010.The only problem I have is washing. I am not a shower person, hate the things. I am a bath person - me time in the bath having a good long soak with a good book and a G&T is essential to the mental well-being necessary to face a four year old and a one year old with the necessary patience. However I’ve noticed that a daily bath softens my feet tremendously. So I have to find a balance between paces on the gravel, or frequency of walks and foot softening from lengthy baths. Tough life innit?