Why do I go barefoot, part Deux

Well this is part deux (that’s part 2) of why do I go barefoot. It’s healthy for you. Yes there are risks, there are always risks but as a barefooter I tend to watch more caefully where I walk. Some of the health benefits include better circulation, stronger muscles in your feet, no bunions or corns, no athltes foot or deformed toes, no back pains and many others. There are more and more studies that show walking barefoot is healthy and good for you.

One of the more modern ideas is that of “Earthing”, being in touch with and in tune with the natural energy of the earth around us. Earthing reconnects us with the environment in which we live, promotes positive energy, relieves stress and brings us back to a stable harmony we have lost in the modern fast paced world of business, sports for the kids and go go go 18 hour days.

Health benefits and Earthing and the pure joy and freedom of being bare aside, here is a proposal for you. Go out (in July of course!), find a pair of close fitting cotton gloves and put them on each morning for a month. After doning your cotton gloves, put on a pair of stiff hard leather gloves over top and keep them on all day. At the end of the day, what will your hands be like? At the end of the month? When you are in your garden can you feel the soft texture of your roses with your gloves on?

Being barefoot is about being free, being in touch with your environment, being in harmony with everything around you. It’s about fun, feeling healthy and making choices. It’s probably not for everybody but it is for me, a simple choice and cheaper! Think how much you will save by not buying those LaBoutine red soled stilettos!

Some links to look at …

http://www.movefreeshoes.com/resources/being-barefoot-by-movefree-shoes.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barefoot

http://www.earthinginstitute.net/

http://www.squidoo.com/goingbarefoot

Why do I go barefoot?

Why do I go barefoot? It’s simple, because I like it. I really like it. Life is an adventure and walking barefoot is the most amazing adventure of all full of textures and feelings. I’ll try to explain by giving you my feets perspective on a day.
I wake in the morning, my feet cozy and warm under the blankets as I rise to get out of bed. The first feeling of the day, warm burble carpet under foot, soft and inviting, slightly ticklish here and there. Step on to the tiles in the bathroom, smooth, cool slightly slippery and a little textures like shale. As I stand there they warm and I get the sensation of both warm tile and cool as I move around.
Out into the hall to go down stairs I am met with a mixture of warm wood floors, slightly grainy and more of the carpet. As I progress downstairs I step on one of the pups soup bones, all lumpy and sharp, cool to the touch. My foot kind of rolls over it stretching like getting an inpromptu foot massage.
More tiles in the front hall and in the kitchen, out on the deck I see fresh snow that has fallen over night. Stepping out on to the deck it is cold but not uncomfortable, the snow envlopes my feet tingling. It squishes under foot as I walk unlike any other surface I can think of. It’s really unique. Back inside I go out to the garage to put some garbage away, the cement floor is cool, rough, it has a distinctly unfinished feel. It’s flat but not smooth at all, the feeling is amazing, exciting all the sole of my feet.
Skip ahead now several months to a summers day, out for a walk. As I stroll down the sidewalk warmed by the sun I can feel the rough grain of the pavement, a little further on it changes to a new patch, very smooth and much warmer. I can feel the heat all through my feet. Stepping off the path I am greeted first by warm sand which gives as I walk on it, flows over my feet, between my toes. It’s warm, grainy just slighty rough here not like smooth beach sand of fine clay. Then I am on the grass, soft and ticklish under foot, swishing as I walk. As a gentle rain (or perhaps a summer downpour) starts to fall, the feeling of the grass changes, now cool and wet, sprionkling my ankles as I go along. The sand I passed earlier is now mud, soft cool and clingy, it coats your feet, crackles ever so slightly when it dries.
Later walking back to home I pass a driveway made of pebbles, walking across it is the most amazing feeling, not grainy like pavement, not smooth and inviting like carpet and grass. It’s rough and rolling, smooth at the same time. Full of bumps, lumps and unevenness, warmed by the sun, some places hot others merely warm. Then I cross an intersection, the road paved not unlike the sidewalk earlier, the pavement is hot almost too hot to walk on, the painted line in the middlew giving respite from the heat. The pavement although open grained like the sidewalk is much smoother, made that way by the passage of countless cars.
Home now I prepare to go up to Loblaws for some necessities. As I get in my car I notice the carpet, not all like that in my bedroom. This one is rougher, sturdier, less inviting with sharp sand and little stones left by winter. My feet feel the peddles, hard rubber, cool to the touch but not uncomfortable or harsh. Theyt have been worn smooth by years of drivers (shod and not), all the sharp edges worn away.
In Loblaws the floors are cool, smooth as glass and slightly dusty. My feet slide a little as I travel up and down the isles. In the freezer section the floor temperature drops by at least 15 degrees, F. It’s cool, my wholer body reacts, it’s 90 outside but standing here in the freezer isle I am quite cool. A bit further on near the seafood section my cart rumbles across a section of checker plate, steel with little cross marks on it. The sensation of walking over this is remarkable, it’s cold, textured, does give in the least.
Down another isle I am back on smooth floors, picking up pancake mix when a little boy looks up at me, then down at my feet. He smiles and says “hey mister your feet are bare!” His mother quickly herds him away in the other direction as he looks back, smiling.
Why do I go barefoot? Because I like it. To me it is like going on a trip to some distant place and deciding to go by plane, get there faster and see nothing, experience nothing. Or to go by convertable with the wind in your hair, dust and smells whirling all about you, adventures around every corner. I like being barefoot, life is an adventure.

Time for a rant …

Ok it’s time for a rant. This has been a particularly mild winter, February is winding down and spring is just around the corner. In the past year or more I have noticed more and more shoe stores advertising “barefoot” shoes. The expound on how they feel just like walking barefoot, they’re so light, so comfortable, so natural. NOT!

Shoes are not barefoot. End of. They are not barefoot if they are light weight, have five little fingers for the toes, two big fingers for collections of toes, or space age mesh. Shoes are shoes, barefoot is the lack thereof.

My other bone of contention with so called “barefoot” shoes is the cost. If I trundle on down to Aldo or some other shoe store and pick up a pair of Doc Martins, I can fully expect to pay (in Canada) something like $140. Expensive as all get out but for that price I get a heavy, comfortable leather shoe that is quality made. They previous pair I had lasted some ten years, went through a house fire and was finally parted with only because I was offloading a ton of stuff with the idea of moving to France. Barefoot shoes, including the vaunted Vibram Five fingers and other “toed” barefoot shoes come in around the same price. However for my $140 I now get a flimsy, cheaply made, sweat inducing vinyl mocassin that chafes my feet in any number of places. For the same price as the Docs I get a shoe made in China somewhere for about $0.13 that if I am lucky will last one summer.

If you are thinking of going barefoot, go barefoot. Your feet (and most of your other bits associated with mobilty) will thank you, you will save money and you’ll be amazed to discover what an incredible environment ypou walk on each day. I have been barefoot for nigh on 30 years except where forced into shoes by winter weather, inflexible rules (there are no such laws), intolerance and prejudice. I love the feeling of being barefoot from warm summer pavement, soft grass, cool rain soaked paths and even fresh winter snow. Try it, you’ll be amazed, truly you will.

McNuggets Anyone?

This picture showed up in my Facebook wall recently, can you guess what it is? What it will become? I’ll tell you now that it is not ice cream, sherbert or gelato. It is in fact something called “mechanically separated chicken” and it will become MacDonald’s (or others) chicken nuggets, chicken patties, chicken fingers and the like. Along the way it will be washed with ammonia, dyed with a more appealing color, flavored with a more appealing flavor resembling chicken and shaped into appropriate shapes. If that doesn’t put you off your nuggets then maybe this will. The meat stuff you see above is made not from nice prime cuts of chicken but everything, feet, eyes, guts, head, body, wings, the whole damn bird. It’s tossed into a separator, out the other end comes the above. To make matters worse (in the processed food industry), it seems that most manufacturers of processed meat where the meat doesn’t have to accurately resemble the real thing use these processes for the meat in question such as hot dogs, hamburger patties, sausages, breaded thingies of all shapes and sizes. I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and after coming across items like this I know I will never return to eating what is passed for meat in a modern grocery store or fast food restaurant.

please choose one of the following …

Have you ever called a service provider and then had to talk to a machine? I know you have, it is the current state of almost all customer support phone lines these days. The other day I had to call Bell to change some of the plan settings on my pre-paid cellphone and of course I ran into the “choose one of the following options” juggernaut. It seems that these systems are designed to insulate service people from ever having to actually talk to a customer. It took 4 phone calls and probably 30 options to discover the first living, breathing person I could actually voice my request to. However I was almost immediately informed that they were the incorrect person and that they would transfer my call. The transfer took me to one of the original “choose one of …” systems from which no option lead to a real person. This circular and totally useless call transfer run around lasted another 30 minutes, until I discovered my third living breathing body of the day. Yes he could help me, after he checked every known detail about me, my account, my cell, my address and any and all numbers associated with my account. Then he put me on hold for 15 minutes, presumably to go get a coffee and a rest up after all the work of identifying me as me. When he finally returned it took all of 5 minutes to make the adjustments to each of three cell phone accounts. So in my experience a total of 15 minutes work took approximately 50 minutes to complete and was so thoroughly aggravating I may never call them again. Success in Bell’s eyes no doubt, a damn shame in mine. No doubt these answering systems save companies a ton of money since they need hire far fewer people to answer phones and talk to customers, the ones who ultimately pay for such systems. However they are so impersonal, cold and unfriendly as to drive customers away in droves and the company websites are little better. There is no such thing as customer service any longer, companies simply want you to buy their products and go away … until the next greatest, latest, coolest, gotta have this or you’ll die product is released that is. That’s my answering machine rant now I feel better … oh wait I just have to call Rogers about my TV account ….