Thursday, September 16, 2010

Barefoot Hike.

Fall is in the air.

The leaves are already changing.  Falling.

I took the mobile out today with Maeryn for a hike at St. Mary's River - a favorite of our family and the only really decent hike within forty-five minutes of our house.

I had to get out today.  Life has been getting me down in general and there have been struggles with Jonah's school and struggles with me and my identity and I haven't just been out in nature in far too long.  I wanted to feel the earth and smell the forest.  I wished I could've been running, but part of today was also quality time with my daughter.

Before heading out to the trail we stopped at Sheetz for cheap snacks.  This was a mistake - I do not recommend Pop Tarts and Pringles for a pre-trail scarf. 

Regardless, we made it to the park and headed for the trail-head.

I decided to do it sans shoes.

It was my very first barefoot hike.

I've been doing a lot of barefooting it after reading Born to Run, which I really highly recommend, and this was my first experiment of such magnitude.  I admit that halfway through the hike I had thoughts about hookworm...but I LOVED feeling the earth beneath my feet, the roots, the wood, the pine needles, the sand - it was exactly what I needed to get out of my funk.

After our hike we explored the playground, at Maeryn's request.

She's my Little Mover.

I highly recommend hiking barefoot and plan to do it again soon.  It was truly freeing and wonderful!  I also played on the playground barefoot and really - it's so much easier to climb, to run, to...  just about everything!

I've learned that I need to build up the muscles in my arches and the callouses on the bottoms of my feet in order to have the full experience, the ability to run without worrying about rocks and limbs and other various obstacles - but today was beautiful even without that strength.  It was beautiful to feel tired after just a .5 mile hike.  Beautiful to feel the earth with my toes, to examine every piece of ground before stepping onto it, to know the knobs of the roots of the oak that towers above you in an intimate way...  I wish that I could describe it more fully for you - the best I can say is - go out in the woods and slip off your shoes and socks for a few moments - it was sort of painful to put them back on.

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