Category Archives: Uncategorized

Love at First Feel

During the 3.5 years I’ve been studying Iyengar yoga, I’ve learned the importance of having “active” feet.  I used to think that if I was standing or walking my feet were active but how wrong I was!  Activating my feet means being able to connect each toe and various parts of the sole with the ground in an intentional and purposeful way, ultilizing the 4 layers of muscles in the feet, driving the movements up above.  Usually wearing socks, shoes or slippers is like trying to manipulate your hands while wearing thick mittens; recently I discovered an exciting alternative.

I came across Jordan Vezina’s YouTube video “Kettlebell Swing Corrections” in which he describes why not to use running shoes when practising kettlebells (“it’s like doing (weight training) standing on a mattress”).  He recommends practicing barefoot or using a Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) shoe.  That piqued my curiosity.  I practise barefoot at home but thought that when I find a class, I likely couldn’t go barefoot so I started researching the very weird looking Five Fingers and learned that Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) sells two models: KSO (Keep Stuff Out), and Flow (the warmer model).

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I’d planned to try a pair of VFFs but as I hadn’t found a kettlebell class in town, and was struggling with elbow tendonitis (a knitting-related RSI), there didn’t seem to be any hurry.  Then, much to my delight, I learned of a thrice-weekly kettlebell class here in town, and happened upon MC’s Begin 2 Dig blog posting about how fantastic he she found it to be wearing his her Flows for the past five months. My elbow isn’t yet ready for a class but knowing that I could wear the shoes walking and hiking with the dog, I picked up my KSOs on Friday; I tried them on but was in a hurry and didn’t walk around in them.  I wore them around the house on Friday night and found myself tripping over the “ring” toes when I wasn’t paying attention.  It turns out (as explained in another Begin 2 Dig posting) that one should go down a shoe size with two of the four VFF models, including the KSO.  Even so, I had happy feet while I was wearing the KSOs.

Saturday I returned to MEC to make the exchange and, as it was nearby, stopped in to view the kettlebell class in action and meet the RKC certified instructor. There were about ten people in the class and three of them were women. I learned that their lightest kettlebell is 18 lbs (as is mine).  I’m looking forward to joining the class in a few weeks once my elbow improves. 

I returned home, slipped into my KSOs and headed out for a long walk around the neighbourhood.  It was about 12 Celcius and, without socks, I noticed the cool air on the top of my feet.  That didn’t last long.  My feet warmed up very quickly even though I was only walking.  I found that walking along a gravel path was like having random reflexology.  After years of wearing shoes or slippers, I am very tender-footed but there were very few moments when I resisted putting my whole body weight on my foot because the pressure of a larger piece of gravel was too intense (no risk of puncturing the sole). 

I also walked on a packed dirt trail and the concrete sidewalk.  My feet felt great the entire time, although my 1.5 hour walk was a bit too long for a first outing in new shoes.  I developed a small blister on one heal and a hot spot on another during the last 20 minutes.  Blisters with new shoes is common for me.  I did say that I am tender-footed.  All in all, I think I’ve found my new favourite footwear.

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P.S. Injinji socks, which can be used with VFF shoes, are sold by MEC and others.

 

 

 

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Um. Hello? Testing…1, 2, 3.

I feel like I’ve been on a whirlwind journey over the past hour or so and then abruptly and unexpectedly landed onto this stage and the bright white of the blank page has blinded me.  I planning an hour or so of blog reading when I sat down.  All that changed when I stumbled upon Christine Kane’s blog entry from yesterday. She inspired me to choose a single word intention for 2009: emerge. Then my eye was drawn to a side link entitled “18 Stupid Mistakes Bloggers Make in Their First Year” which roused my interest – though I’d never blogged. The first point “Even bothering to get overwhelmed” mentioned thinking you needs a Lens and, never having heard the phrase before, I followed the link.  (Looking back, it was like following a sign that says “this way to ‘overwhelmed'”.)

Initially I misunderstood and thought it was a quick blog page setup. Even then I wasn’t planning on starting a blog, I was just curious about the application.  I created a Lens and then realised that it’s sort of a business card or synopsis for a blog residing elsewhere.  In the process of creating my Lens I had to give my blog a title and while pondering my goals, and with my intention to “emerge” still lingering in my thoughts (“emerge and then what?”) “Emerge… and celebrate”, well, emerged.

Late in the last century I worked briefly (unpaid) on developing a web page. I took a class and learned a bit about CSS and HTML codes and never quite managed the knack of successfully uploading what I saw on my own computer to create a working web page. (On the positive side, after that seemingly endless week, I then knew not to steer my career in that direction.) 

Fully expecting a similarly unpleasant experience trying to create a blog page, I thought I’d give it 10 minutes (knowing it might become 30 or 60) and eventually be sufficiently annoyed to quash of the impulse to start a blog. I looked at a few blogs that I read until I found a couple that appealed to me, that were free, and that didn’t require a separate web host.  I signed up and suddenly a bright white screen was starting back at me.

I tell you all of this so you’ll better understand my relief and excitement when I say “Look at this! Woo hoo!” (For those of you who have already gone through this and found it to be a simple process or have not felt the need to write about it, I’m not usually the doofus this post might suggest.)

This living by intention stuff can work FAST.  Here’s one example of emerging.  I’m off to celebrate with my sweetie who has just arrived.