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Timpanogos Cave Barefoot . . . Well Almost May 18, 2010

Posted by The Barefoot MD in : Health, Shoes , add a comment

We decided it would be fun to hike to Timpanogos Cave last Saturday.  Of course, both of us wore our Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs).  We got stopped on the trail more than once by people wondering about our, “shoes or socks or whatever those things are.”  It was a great minimalist experience.  I took note how wearing the shoes affected my footfall and how I ultimately felt at the end of the trek.  Even though I wasn’t running, my footfall was predominantly on the forefoot which helped me to tread lightly . . . even with my tank-of-a-boy strapped to my back in a snugli backpack (which we had to end up leaving at the junction of the trail as you can’t bring a backpack with exposed metal into the cave).

My legs and feet are not quite there yet.  I was aching when we finished the trip up and down.  It’s a 1.5 mile trail with some pretty steep inclines that totaled over 1100 vertical feet each way.  I didn’t really have any foot pain until we hit the way down.  The impact on the balls of my feet was evident.  My dogs were certainly barking by the time we got to the car, but it wasn’t that annoying type of barking that makes you want to call animal control on your neighbor’s dog . . . it was that cute barking of a puppy that just joined your family.  I reminded myself that the aching or pain I felt is there for a purpose.  It’s there to educate me.  It allows me to alter my stride so I don’t ultimately injure myself.  Multiple times a day in medicine, patients are told to listen to their bodies.  Don’t go beyond what you feel you should.  The recovery has been quick and I’m happy we went . . . almost barefoot.

I’m continually inspired to find new ways to exercise and develop my feet in order to prepare them for a long, healthy, and active life!