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One year on

I appreciate i’ve not been blogging a lot of late. In truth it’s a tedium thing. There’s not a lot to say. In the last year i’ve done 78 walks of various lengths. Some good, some tedious. Obviously a huge highlight was walk 58 across the forth road bridge and back on a warm August morning. That was about the best Walk of the year and to do it barefoot was even better. There was a lot people about but i was with a friend so social awkwardness was not an issue. Most of the walks are more or less the same but what has changed has been the aims. I still aim to do the FCP barefoot but really at the start it was a slog. The more i do it the more i enjoy it. I started a YouTube channel and Twitter site both called Barefoot on the trail. Right now cold weather is going to make it more difficult to get out. At the time of writing i have a man cold making it difficult to get out but i’ll push myself and try and do a couple of walks tomorrow. My aim is for 100 walks by Hogmanay. All the time my feet are getting stronger, the skin thicker. But for a few splinters i have been uninjured. But i have also been careful never walking more than a few miles. The real challenges will be in April when i start the FCP properly. 8

Busy summer

I appreciate i have not been blogging much over the past few months. In the period between blogs i have done 33 more barefoot walks taking the total 53 and i try to get out everyday. I am not always successful but i do my best. Generally the walks have been around 2 miles but on occasion longer. To write about them individually would be repetitive and boring. However while my original intention was to do the FCP i realised long ago i my feet are not strong enough. However they are getting there. Walk 50 had me walking round Arthur’s seat and doing so barely feeling the terrain. My soles are getting stronger and tougher. Mentally in a very difficult time in my life it has helped my mental health and given me a focus. On days when the wind was blowing and the rain falling i just carried on. Stubbornness and determination have taken over. You have to do this because the weather will not get any betyer and after a dry summer it will bea cold winter so i have to be prepared for everything. I have started a YouTube channel called and a Twitter blog both called.

Barefoot on the trail

I think my current goal is to build a community and see what happens but for the moment i am currently getting on the trail as often as i can and getting the walks done as often as i can regardless of social anxiety. Right now i need to do this for the global health benefits.

Walk 20

I planned to do another walk to celebrate this milestone. But life and seperation issues got in the way. Everything I planned fell apart. These things often do. Such is life. However despite coming off night shift I decided to walk my usual walk round the increasingly dusty fields. As ever small stones dug into my feet but they don’t seem as severe as they once did. The real problem is with technique. That’s difficult to change after years nor do I expect it to change dramatically. What I hope might happen is a compromise where the skin on the heel gets thicker and the drop a bit lower. Being childish I found myself making footprints in the dust. I couldn’t help myself. There was a brisk but pleasant wind breaking up the heat giving the air a clarity it had been lacking in previous days. Sweat had been pouring off me for over a week making movement a chore. But on the trail it never feels that way. Maybe because it’s short or maybe because I have a purpose. As ever I sweat but of late I have been making videos for either YouTube or Twitter so I spend the walk mumbling nonsense. Despite everything going on in my life this is the stress relief I need. On a sensory level it works for me and while I still feel weary of other people it works for right now. Walking in shoes is a chore. The foot feels enclosed. Simply by taking them off the experience changes considerably. Today’s walk was uneventful. Though I returned to a barrel load of abuse from my ex wife in relation to among other things My dirty feet and walking barefoot. To this end I ignored it. This is her problem not mine. I just enjoy a simple pleasure and as i often repeated of late barefoot is always better.

Walk 19

Almost there. 2 walks in a day, neither that long but I’m happy with 5 walks in 6 days. It was my usual route round the field and in some respects it has become the perfect training walk as i normally walk barefoot down to the start point or if i dont I walk back barefoot despite having crocs with me at all times they are rarely used. I never have any first aid equipment with me these days. All the protection I took with me once I never take now. If I’m close to home there’s no point. I figure I can man up and struggle for a mile and patch myself up when i get home. If i break a toe nothing will get done anyway. If i get a glass cut then there will be problems but so long as I stem the bleeding I would be okay. But in 19 walks i have never been cut or hurt. Bruised maybe, but that’s nothing really. The soles of my feet are toughening. I just have to keep going. The walks are pleasant though for walk 20 I think i will have to try something different. I am forever saying barefoot is always better and for me it is. Despite the looks and my continued social anxiety about being barefoot I love the sensation. So i recommend everyone to try it at least.

Walk 18

Slowly getting there. As planned I woke early and did my walk round a few football pitches. It never took that long but then the discipline of football is about running short sprints and looking for gaps in defences. Today it was about finding a time where I had reason to be there and the place to be deserted. It almost was. There was 2 dog walkers. Odd how I never see ordinary walkers. Always dog walkers. Personally I like dogs. But they appear to be used as an excuse to walk here. Anyway the point was to get out and have a short walk on the grass. It was wonderful as expected. The grass was soft, cool and wet. The ground remains hard because we’ve had no rain in weeks and desperately need some. Personally I dont mind getting my feet dirty. In the past i have used rain as an excuse not to go out. Right now i would love to walk in the rain. Having my feet submerged in mud is hugely more preferable to walking on hard stony mud. That time will come though hard surfaces are good for conditioning my feet so it’s a catch 22 really. Right now the push is on to get as many barefoot walks in before the year is through of having this blog. Then after that the next goal will be the race to 50 then then 100.But those are possibly in the next year. It took me too long to get this far.

Walk 17

The weather remains annoyingly hot. But i am making good use of my time off so I walked my usual trail. The walk itself was uneventful as most are. I have set a target of 36-40 walks by the start of October. Obviously I will really have to get walking and possibly do 2 in a day. One way round it would be to get up early, walk round a few local sports fields then do another later on the trail. Its an option and one way of getting to the 40. Its an option and if my feet feel bruised walking on grass soaked in dew sounds wonderful. However setting an alarm for 0500. Reading the weather only encourages me. It is going to be hot tomorrow. Getting a walk in the cold or cool air definitely appeals to me even if it is just a mile.

What made todays walk different was that I placed the video on YouTube. To be honest I don’t know why I did it. Could it be recognition? I dont know. Maybe and i think i really did it to spread the word about barefoot walking. Its a more balanced way to walk and more enjoyable at low level than trudging in shoes. My opinions have not changed nor do I suspect they will. My feet have changed. They feel different and the more I walk the stronger they are becoming. But i suspect the real benefits will come from walking barefoot every day. This is difficult if on a long stretch. I need to work out how continue with the progress I have made by walking more regularly than I have in the past. On the plus side I did manage to find the one decent piece of mud in the field. It was wonderful, slimy and almost took me back to my first walk where i discovered the pleasure of having my feet submerged in mud. There are worse sensations.

Walk 16

Today was another hot day. Personally I’ve had enough of the sun and can’t wait for it to rain again. However it does make barefoot walking more socially acceptable. I followed the routine I normally follow. Headphones in, baseball cap and tried to broadcast it live on Twitter but i could not get much of a reception so there are only 2 blurry videos on the barefoot on the trail Twitter site. I guess I have been kind of busy as i run 3 sites for the same thing and do it badly. But it gets done. The next goal is really 20 walks but really I am aiming for as many as possible by the end of September. It will be interesting to see how many I get done in the first year of running this site so the clock is ticking. 36 would be a decent goal as i plan on walking tomorrow. If i get to 40 then thats good but really my plans have changed in the time i have ran this site. I thought it would be easier. Its been the opposite. Months of inaction, bad weather and my own laziness mixed with depression have not helped.

Today was different. It was hot but there was a slight breeze. Generally it was pleasant but i kind of wish I had walked at 0600 when i woke up rather than 0915. First I encountered a mother on child of about 3 or 4. I waited for her to speak up but she didn’t however her mother noticed I was barefoot but said nothing. Most people don’t. I walked on, just walking my usual route. In truth i was in deep thought really. It was hot and i am going through a seperation so walking is a great therapy and always has been. I was about 60% round the trail when i passed a dog walker on a narrow stretch who said the first comment I have ever heard. I am sure there have been others. Walking Arthur’s seat in February while I never heard anything I sure people talked. But i passed a female middle aged dog walker who said:

“You’re brave walking in barefeet”.

To this i replied:

“No, it feels nice”.

Not the greatest response but i wish i had said anything better than that. No one normally says anything but this one time i was caught out. A few minutes later I passed another who said nothing and as i was walking home from the trail I passed a fourth who gave an embarrassed smile. Personally I never cared. I just enjoyed the walk and I will keep doing so. Sure the stones are awkward and i accept I have a long way to go but as it is I enjoy it and enjoy the simple relaxed freedom of it.