“Slap, Slap, slap, flap, flap, pinch, squeeze, groan.”

The sound of me, woggling. (To woggle: a verb that describes my: walk/run/wobble exercise technique.) It’s not pretty.  I woggle like a hippo crosses a bed of  hot coals. But, as many have pointed out: I’m doing it. One step, one block one mile, at a time, I’m heading toward heath.

This morning, that journey took me in a direction I wasn’t expecting.  My shins were hurting so much that no amount of stretching, or gait manipulation helped.  I started out with them wrapped- hoping the compression would keep the inflammation down. It didn’t. Around mile 2 I unwrapped them. By mile 4, my gait was so impaired, that other things started hurting.  The balls of my feet felt a little numb.   I felt less than stable in the knees.  All I could think was: I need to get these (very expensive and professionally chosen) shoes off my feet.

Walking barefoot, sounded amazing. Slightly risky and crazy.. but amazing.

So, I took off my shoes and flung them over my shoulder. “Ahhhhhhhh.” My toes uncurled and my feet and lower legs relaxed.

The first few steps were tentative.  I pawed at the ground gingerly, as if it would reach up and grab me by the ankles and pull me down toward my unprotected doom.  It didn’t. Actually, it felt pretty good. Good enough to move to the grass and run a bit. (Yes, barefoot. I’m a risk taker.) While running, I flashed back to being a kid.. I remembered running in the dew-damp grass without ever tiring or feeling sore the next day. I remembered feeling wind in my face while I ran and thinking it was good to be fast.

“CLUNK. POUND. POUND. PAIN.” I hit a driveway. Ouch.  I moved back over to the grass. “Ahhhhh, so much  better.” Every once in a while I hit a wet spot in the grass.. the cool water and grass combination felt wonderful. It was a free foot spa.

I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to run barefoot. (more…)