“Going barefoot is the gentlest way of walking and can symbolise a way of living — being authentic, vulnerable, sensitive to our surroundings. It’s the feeling of enjoying warm sand beneath our toes, or carefully making our way over sharp rocks in the darkness. It’s a way of living that has the lightest impact, removing the barrier between us and nature.” ~ Adele Coombs

Posted on October 26, 2011

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I go out barefoot as much as I can.  I’m in college right now, and I’m famous on campus for my naked feet.  Students go home and tell their families and friends about me and my bare feet.  When a new student notices and asks me about it, another student chimes in and says “She never wears shoes!”  No one has ever told me to put shoes on, so I don’t. But I get a lot of questions. “Why don’t you wear shoes?”, “Aren’t you worried about what’s on the ground?”, “Aren’t you worried about getting sick?”, “Aren’t you worried about getting Hepatitis?” (yes, really. I’ve gotten that one.), “Doesn’t it hurt your feet?” The list goes on. I get comments and questions about it every day. I’m an anomaly to people.  Just because I choose not to wear shoes.  And when I tell them I like feeling connected with the world, what I get back is a vacant stare.  I’ve been creative a couple of times when asked about it.  One time I told someone, “A guy in the parking lot stole my shoes. I don’t know why he’d want to steal my shoes. They’re pink. But whatever.”, “Really?”, “No.”

There’s one person that tells me that if she wasn’t so afraid, she’d be doing the same thing; she loves going around barefoot.  I ask her what she’s afraid of.  She calls me a rule breaker.  I tell her faithfully every time that no one has ever told me anything. “Obviously not,” she says.  ….. Come to think of it, I will probably get told something one of these days.  Businesses worry about lawsuits.  There was glass on the floor last week.  That might put someone in mind to tell the barefoot girl to keep her shoes on while at school.  I don’t fancy that idea.

So why is it such a big deal?  Why am I the crazy person?  It’s healthy going barefoot, it’s more comfortable, it’s not against the law or any health department regulations to go into establishments without shoes.  My balance is better (I catch myself better when I do lose my footing), my muscles are stronger.  And I get to stay in touch with the world beneath me.  I feel more in-tune with what’s going on, able to feel different textures, different temperatures.  It affects my body, mind, and soul.  Makes me a happier person.

I think fear keeps too many people from kicking off their shoes.  Just look at most of those questions I’ve been asked.  Those are things they’re afraid of.  It’s sad, really.  I’d like more people to enjoy the same benefits I have.  Why not give it a try?  Go a day out of your house barefoot.  Discover new sensations.  Allow yourself the vulnerability.  It’s wild. ♥

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Posted in: Life