Walking barefoot and tuning your mind
I do exercise that toughens me up because I enjoy it and I also see it as a great way of warding off all kinds of diseases. Already an open water swimmer, I have also taken up barefoot walking. Outdoors, too, of course. Besides making me more resistant to colds, my new hobby has also given me a fresh way of looking at the world.
What got me into barefoot walking was a talk by Jaroslav Dušek at Kampa Theatre. But it's one thing to listen to an engaging talk, and quite another to take off your shoes in October and saunter around outside barefoot. I started by gingerly testing this bizarre practice over a few yards, and, to my surprise, I came to no harm at all 😊I didn't catch cold and I didn't end up with a splinter in my foot...
I then extended that to 100-200 yards, and gradually progressed to leaving the house for an hour's shoeless walk at a time.
"Aren't you cold!?" was the most common reaction of people I encountered on the way. "Something's going to stab you in the foot!" said others. Still others (though less often) proclaimed, without any reasoning, that "You must be mad!"
And then one day I'm in the middle of the woods when a lady joins me, saying, "I've been wanting to try this for so long! Can I tag along?" She took off her shoes and we walked the remaining couple of miles together. We had a good chat about the beauty of the surrounding forest and how else we take care of our health. Most importantly, we agreed to meet up and do it again. And so I have a new barefoot partner. And an interesting demonstration of how a growth mindset differs from a fixed mindset.
How about you, are you into trying new things? Or do you prefer to stick to the tried and tested?
PS It's very pleasant. My feet feel as great after a walk as after a reflexology massage, and they're nice and warm for the rest of the day. If you don't believe me, give it a go! 😉