A few weeks ago, I joined the Bare Foot Crew and set off into the woods to run 5k of my normal trail route - but without my trainers! I spend most of my time in bare feet anyway, even when I’m working, and I’m a runner, so how hard could it be to put the two things together?..
Oh, my word! I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Why would anyone pick the trails for their first ever barefoot run?! The uneven pebbly paths, the hard tree roots and spiky holly hiding under innocent looking piles of soft leaves, the blade sharp broken beech nut shells, and don’t even get me started on conker season! Seriously – it’s like running barefoot through a carpet of Lego!
But the newfound mental awareness, the stimulation of the senses, and resulting mindfulness - is amazing.
And I’ve been pretty much hooked ever since!
So, I thought I would turn my new-found love of barefoot walking into a little Pathfinder adventure, and I am now walking the same mile route through the woods, every day for 100 days/100 miles. Through sun, rain or snow - day or night – I’ll be out there picking my way through the trails, and watching my route change every day with the changing seasons.
And not only that - but it’s also so good because it can be slotted into everyday life! It’s an adventure that’s accessible from my front door, it only takes half an hour so it can be easily achieved first thing in the morning, during my lunchbreak or after the children have gone to bed without it taking anything from my running time (resulting in me absolutely smashing my step goals!) And the dogs are loving it! Happy days!
On today’s walk I listened to the latest podcast by The Adventure Podcast which just happened to be Matt talking to adventurer and author Anna McNuff, who ran 100 marathons across Britain barefoot. But it wasn’t her talking about her barefoot experiences that stayed with me, it was what she said about how she perceived adventure:
“What we see of adventure quite often is us conquering things and being the fastest or the furthest, rather than co-existing with nature, and understanding that you’re fragile and it’s fragile, and how you can both be together.”
Adventures can be found anywhere - you don’t have to travel or spend lots of money, or be the first up a mountain, or the fastest across a desert. Sometimes adventure is literally waiting for you outside your front door… in bare feet.