Today, as with all good-weather days, I walk 20-25 minutes from my apartment to the College of Education building. Which is great, especially when you factor in the power-walking pace with a load of what feels like at least 10 pounds in my backpack (with my laptop, a notebook, files, a book or two, a water bottle, and a few snacks, of course). And today my meeting was scheduled in a different building on campus, which added another 5 minutes to my walk.
I was wearing what I thought were trusty walking shoes. I made it to my meeting with just some slight friction bothering my left pinky toe. Before heading back home, I decided to put a Band-aid over it. (Did I mention that I have a mini-first aid kit in my backpack too? Must be my control issues. But that's another story.)
So walking back home.... "trusty", my shoes were not. I thought these "sporty" maryjanes were made by a brand known for comfort??? Come to think of it, I realized that I usually wear these shoes with opaque tights in the fall and winter and toe-socks in warmer months. But today I did not, because when I tried my toe-socks with these shoes, they just kept slipping. I made it about halfway through my walking route and sure enough, the friction resulted in this blister on my left pinky toe. And I could feel more friction in my right pinky toe as well. At this point I was no longer power-walking as I usually do. Five minutes later... I could not stand it any longer, so I decided to take my shoes off and go barefoot. Yup. Walking on the sidewalk, holding my shoes with one hand and my jacket in the other.
So I slowed down my walking a lot. Became aware of where I was walking, to not hurt my feet. I walked slowly, and noticed more wildflowers growing in the grass and through cracks on the sidewalk.
I felt the warm sunshine and the cool breeze on my skin. And best of all, I walked on patches of tickly grass, feeling the soft, cool earth under my bare feet.
I've come to the conclusion that grass is meant for barefoot walking. And I highly recommend doing it every so often when you have the opportunity.
PS: Interestingly, on my walk today, one of the neighborhood kids called out to me: "Konichiwa!!!" I must look Japanese. ;-)