Friday, 20 July 2012

Gruelling hike

Well Mr. barefoot-is-the-worst-thing-you-can-do Podiatrist, you can go screw yourself.  I just finished the toughest barefoot hike to date. 7 hours of really tough terrain. It was awful right from the start with sparsely laid oversized man-made gravel on the approach road and then carried on as I cut across the mountainside, with sharp rock detritus and eventually onto to a foot wide shingle-strewn drovers path up to Col Porcel (Pass of the Pigs). I continue to be gob-smacked at just how easy it actually is. You look at it before hand and think that it’s going to be impossible, but apart from the last hour over the outsized gravel on the road everything was fine. Literally just as easy as doing it in tennis shoes. I’m also surprised that after hiking for so long (three hours up, two hours down and a couple of hours cutting across the mountain side on the goat paths) my feet, though sore after the final stretch of gravel, were still supple and undamaged. No cuts, no scrapes, just a wiped out blister from the last hike. Not wishing to gross out my only reader I won’t post a photo but my soles are smooth and look like they’ve just been used in the house. They’re not even particularly dirty. Amazing. The soreness disappeared after a bath and a bit of moisturising cream and this morning, the day after, they feel just fine. A little sore on the balls of my feet perhaps, but considering how painful my feet always were after these hikes done with shoes on, a bit of soreness, especially considering the punishment my feet have been subjected to, is a good exchange. They’re now healthy looking, tanned and pretty muscular and with arches that flex wonderfully and pads though not particularly thick are evidently tough enough to do their job.
Still no back pain, my calves are getting bigger and stronger, no neck pain, or problems with knees or hips. Actually I’ve not got any better with my back since the initial miraculous improvement two years ago, and I’ve developed  a persistent ache in my pelvis which comes on when I sit for more than five minutes. However, hiking barefoot eliminates that too. I’m not sure what caused it in the first place but I think probably longboarding as it gets worse the more I longboard and gets better the more I hike.
I continue to meet really cool people who, though surprised by my barefeet, express only envy and the desire to try it too. One guy I met yesterday, a rugged workman working on the refuge reacted like it was the most normal thing in the world. These encounters restore my faith in humanity a bit.