Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Years a Barefooter

Me barefoot at a Mother's Day outing,
May 2009
On this day five years ago, March 4, 2009, I became a "barefooter," someone who regularly lives barefoot and doesn't wear shoes unless truly necessary. It was a day that I decided to explore and expand going barefoot as a way of living.

Although I'd become aware of the barefoot lifestyle in May 2005, I had only occasionally tried out going barefoot off and on, here or there. Once in a while at Target or other places, I'd slip off my flip flops and shop barefoot for a bit. I regularly drove barefoot in the summers because I didn't feel comfortable driving with flip flops on. That was the minimal extent of my going barefoot.

Then at the beginning of March 2009, I had a personal epiphany. I just decided that I didn't want to wear footwear much anymore. On March 4, I announced it to the world on my Facebook status:

"(I'm) officially ready to stop wearing shoes ALL the time. Bring on the nice weather 'cause my feet need to breathe!"

Over the next few months, my barefooting took off. I'd spend entire weekends without shoes. On April 22 of that year, I tweeted:

If I wasn't required to wear shoes at work I'd be barefoot right now. I love going barefoot...everywhere...really. #earthday #barefoot”

I still wasn't quite bold enough to simply go out without shoes, but I did kick off my flip flops in so many places that I went, including a church retreat, events at my son's school, poker night with the guys, shopping, and more.

I started this very blog, sharing my thoughts and experiences on this new, radical way of living. I encourage you to take a look around and read more.

Barefoot at a Kansas City Royals game,
sometime in 2010.
Throughout the rest of 2009, I began going places barefoot (while often carrying "backup" footwear that I'd never put on). I attended my first Major League Baseball game totally barefoot. I went to the local art museum and had my first "real" confrontation with the "shoe police."

Since that first year going barefoot, my enthusiasm for sharing my barefoot experiences with others has calmed, but my enthusiasm for going barefoot is just as strong as ever. I started an organization to advocate for those who prefer to live barefoot, The Barefoot Alliance. After dealing with a stress fracture in my heel from poor training, I rebounded and have established a love of running barefoot, completing several races including three half marathons.

It's been a good five years and I have had ZERO regrets in choosing to live barefoot. It has opened my eyes to a whole new way of living and has even led me to change my perspectives on so many things.

Welcoming our youngest into the world,
June 2012
At the All-Star FanFest in KC,
July 2012
At the Legoland Discovery Center in KC,
May 2013
Running the Kansas City Half Marathon,
October 2013

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