Sort of haphazardly I decided to say goodbye to shoes for a self implemented 15 day challenge during my yoga teacher training this November, and these are my daily thoughts about the experience…
Yoga teacher training took place in a rural location on an island with no roads, no cars, lots of jungle and for some reason an ample amount of broken glass. (Haad Tien beach on Koh Phangan in Thailand to be specific)
Day 1: Looking forward to the challenge.
Day 2: Tender when running, scanning the ground so intensely. Barely looking up when walking.
Day 3: Ran barefoot at night, super avatar esque attempting to get back to the bungalow quick enough before the storm hit. I was probably 200 meters away when the lightening started cracking down and I just got to cover in time. It was beautiful and exhilarating.
Day 4: A little sensitive when waking up. Did I just step in poo? (yes I did.)
Day 5: More sensitive. Walking back at night there are massive but camouflage slow moving frogs that come out and I just barely dodged two frogs (so close to having frog pancake between my toes*shutters*) and punted one in the underbelly. It was so slippery and repulsive feeling, not to mention I felt like a jerk for sending the dude flying across the terrain.
Day 6: Walked to Had yuan, the neighbouring beach. I had been avoiding that walk because the terrain is insane, steep and daunting. Taking each step pretty cautiously I did it. Feeling rather accomplished afterword. It was like my no shoe world and abilities multiplied. Also today I learned I don’t like hot mud. It had been quiet stormy being monsoon season and all, so to trot through cold mud didn’t really phase me. Was even quiet nice in comparison to the rocks and glassy areas. However, the sun was beating hard today and the mud was so hot and squishy between the toes, man it was seriously unsavoury.
Day 7: Tender on the ball of my foot near the pinky toe
Day 8: I want to quit/ I miss shoes. Today I learned how valuable it is that when you make a decision to do something, know your why. Write it down. Feel strong about it because you’ll need something to help you reset when you start feeling challenged by the experience. Yeah the earth gives you good energy, but my feet HURT, I’m taking two intense yoga classes a day, why did I am I murdering my feet on top of it? I questioned myself allowing my mind to ramble. Well- today, day 8, one of my fellow yogi classmates, Babsie/Bara, is who kept me in the game when I had felt like giving up.
A day or two prior her and I connected at the Sanctuary for a daily journaling moment. In conversation she mentioned she was also doing no shoes. Then we made a pact that we would stay strong together and thank goodness because it kept me accountable when I didn’t couldn’t come up with my own reasons to continue on barefoot. I relied on my verbal pact with a new friend to get me through the tough moment.
Day 9: Just realising yesterday was the most challenging day so far. You know what that means? I made it through HUMP DAY!! Oh man. I didn’t realise it that the time, but here I am today doing the math and yesterday was literally the half marker. I feel like I think less about each step.
Day 10: Heals are sensitive each step, similar to the ball of the foot pain I had on day 7 & 8. Have been increasing the distance of my trekking making Haad Yuan and Why Naam visits.
Day 11: Chillin, pranic energy soaking up in my feet, thanks earth.
Day 12: I can feel my feet getting tougher but don’t really feel any less sensitive. Also.. I walked into a restaurant and this guy old hippie guy didn’t even say hello to me he just blurted out, “Are your feet unusually big for your body?” After reexamining them just to be sure I replied I thought they were proportionate. He responds “You have sturdy hobbit feet, they are the only thing I noticed when you walked up.” And with that I sat on the other side of the restaurant.
Day 13: Dark walking last night to bamboo, a restaurant up by Haad Yuan. It was quiet the accomplishment doing it by moon light. A special thanks to Jake Paul White for getting me out of my comfort zone on that one. I was under the impression if I were walking at night a flashlight was crucial. Little did I know the moon did just fine, better even!! I mean, there was a point when humans existed and thrived and shoes were not a thing. We all just have baby feet and are so mentally stuck in our comfort zones that something that was a no brainer like taking a barefoot stroll with moon light 1,000 years ago seems outrageous now.
Today ran I to get my laundry about 400 meters on a rather glassy/rocky path I didn’t even look down. Just strode with confidence and was just fine.
Day 14: There is something in my big toe -_-
Day 15: No shoes Mission Almost complete but feel compelled to keep going until I leave this side of the island. Who needs shoes?
Day 16: Some glass punctured my heal on the way back from Haad Yuan in the dark and I think the universe is saying stop trying to over achieve you silly putts and put your sandals back on. Okay Okay!
I walked around with the rock in my toe that I noticed on Day 14 for a week until I went in for the dig. Man it was intense. It was negatively affecting my yoga practice, along with walking. I kept not seeing anything in their and hoped it would get better but with every day it hurt worse, so I got in there like a dang surgeon and removed the pebble that was embedding itself deeper into my poor toe everyday! It took about another 4 days before I stopped noticing it. And now I’m in the city life of Australia so shoes are sort of non-negotiable.
Thanks for tuning in. More to come!!