“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
Call me a woman who can’t be kept down for long. I had given up walking for exercise and enjoyment a while back when I was diagnosed with a neurological problem that threw off my balance and made my legs and feet numb. My feet wobbled in my shoes and walking my usual urban paths was what I imagined a stroll on a tightrope would be like. My dream to revisit Italy was out. The trip to London was out. I started avoiding the whole walking thing. But I missed striding around the neighborhood and missed the freedom of heading out on an urban path. Would I ever see Europe except in photos? Not at this rate. I decided to become a walker again.
Walking advice always starts out with “invest in a good pair of walking shoes”. It sounds so simple when someone else says it. I found plenty of sensible shoes, but the standard padded running and walking shoes pitched me forward onto my toes, shot me backwards onto my heels, and were so cushioned that I couldn’t feel the ground. I rolled, slid and fell on gravel or wet surfaces. The built-up sole and elevated heel caused me to roll over the sides of the shoe. I was falling off my shoes. They were like trying to keyboard wearing oven mitts…too much mitt, too much shoe. How much cushion and support does one person need? Where were my feet in all of this? I needed to grip the ground and let my feet be my feet.
I found out about barefoot technology and VIVOBAREFOOT when I googled “flexible-soled shoes”. With the minimalist design of VIVOBAREFOOT, the walker does the work of building ability, agility, flexibility and strength. It’s like having young legs and feet again. My physical therapist commented on the good heel counter; my feet felt and looked steady when I took a step. I now walk outside on fairly even asphalt every day and sometimes on a track that has one of those rubberized surfaces. My feet in VIVOBAREFOOT shoes are comfortable and happy.
Now that I am walking for fun and adventure, I have a feeling of freedom again. I plan to increase my walking time and to tackle the hills, which Seattle is famous for. The neighbors are right – things have changed in our hidden neighborhood, and I’ll be keeping track of that. In the middle of Seattle, we have a gorgeous arboretum with trails and a Japanese Garden. Our waterfront offers walking paths and parks and some great fresh seafood restaurants. Things are looking up.
- Peggy West