This morning, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do today. I have already frequented most of the coffee shops in my area I decided to try a new one in a different city. I went to Mountain Grounds. Not a local spot for me but in the Easy Bay Area people have often commented on how their coffee is superb. So I decided to try it out first hand. I grabbed an Americano, because technically I’m getting off sugar… which isn’t happening at all. I am also getting over a spring cold, which are by far the most hated. Feeling the need to move, I wandered over the Waterfront in Martinez. Not exactly knowing where I was, I just parked and walked. If you don’t know, I’m barely wearing my shoes generally, and my poor shoes are in horrible shape because of it. That was the reason why I bought slip-on shoes. Of course I’m wearing my parkour shoes. Anyways, as I’m walking trying to figure out where I’m going I eventually see the pier.
Inspired by my friend who strictly trains barefoot (Jake Smith), and after teaching a class last night about balancing, I decided to take my shoes off to embrace my feet and to start the tedious training of them. This is where the title of this blog entry comes in.
Barefoot Walking is a Metaphor to Life
Honestly, this was the most painful experience I have had in my movement journey, outside of injuries. Most of the time, when I feel pain it is generally by accident. Granted I always train the hard way rather than the most efficient or easier method. Today was no different. As I was walking barefoot I started to notice things outside of my body: different surfaces and texture, how my pace differed depending on what I was walking on, how I started planting all of my toes individually on the ground, and of course pain.
Pain you ask? Why Pain? Basically, I chose the wrong path to begin my barefoot training. This was a loose gravel path with small sharp rocks and duck feces everywhere. I still went through with it. The upside to all of this, was how surefooted I became, noticing where I placed my feet, and how I adjusted to the onslaught of sharp gravel poking into my foot while dodging suspicious dark spots and dried duck feces. As the path got more hostile, I started taking my time, finding my footsteps and the while focusing on the ground. On a regular walk, I would be looking face forward into the direction I was going, being courteous to the other individuals sharing the path with me. Today I was focused on me. I started to learn how to listen to everything that was around me; be other people’s conversation, the wind, the sounds of the animals, people watching me curiously. Every now and then, I would exclaim in small yelps as the path got treacherous. When I got to more stable ground, I started to feel the textures and how they were different from what I was just walking on. There was nothing else, other than me time.
So how does this relate to life? Well let me explain. We go on in life with our feet in shoes, protecting them, not actually strengthening them, sometimes being ashamed of them and hiding them in socks. When we feel gutsy or sassy we decorate them and show them off. We basically baby our feet never letting them grow. This is the same in life.
We walk around with our shields up and ready for anything. We always have some sort of wall up, never letting us be vulnerable. We don’t feel because we are scared to feel. We are ashamed of ourselves and hide our true selves in clothing, make-up, or just locked up never to be seen by other people. We never take the time to explore, to test the waters, to touch anything. We stay within ourselves. We don’t grow anymore.
We don’t challenge ourselves when we should. We will always take an easier route rather than a hard one. We don’t look towards the challenge that is life. Walking around barefoot made me realize that as I’m walking, I’m feeling every rock, every divot, every texture. Similar to the path that is life, we are going to come across things that block our way, or intrude on our path. You can either walk over it and suffer a small pain that helps you grow or take the easy route and walk around it. Sometimes the path gets hard that you can’t even bare it. That is when you take it slow and look for a solution around the obstacle you are facing. Sure, afterwards your feet hurt, but that is when you ask yourself. “Do you have any regrets?”
Feel free to drop me a comment!