Tuesday 10 September 2013

Can I really climb the Pyrenees?

There I was 4500 feet up in the French Pyrenees, an 8 hour day of walking and climbing, was it really me?

I have not walked this far for over 20 years. So managing the climb is an immense achievement.

I damaged my sacroiliac joints giving birth. They had become so lax that my back would swell when any pressure was applied. I’d given up on conventional medicine having been tossed between specialists and offered only painkillers.

I’d tried to strengthen myself and even became a gym instructor, albeit one who had to lie down between classes! I got into alternative therapies and now run my own successful clinic treating people who have structural problems with a combination of massage, Dorn method, Spinal touch, Kinesiology…you name it I’d given it a go, still really looking for the answer for myself.

One of my sons is a traceur, a parkour coach. (One of those guys that jumps off stuff… I usually have to give this explanation).  He has been into barefoot movement most of his life to be honest and the recent revelations have only proved him right.  Anyway, he bought me a pair of Vivo’s for my birthday, my 51st birthday! Taking the challenge and seeing another opportunity to add to my clinical skills I enrolled for the coaching qualification. The information was immediately applicable and lots of happy clients are improving as a result.

Personally I have found the barefoot journey has been a painful one. My feet ached as they became more supple and spread, my Achilles still ache but they are becoming stronger and more flexible. Every single day has felt like a gym day as I adapted.   But here I am; I climbed a mountain with a backpack, my knees and my feet did the work, they absorbed the shock and I don’t hurt.

Recently I have had to throw away most of my shoes (my feet have spread as they strengthened), they no longer fit. Or rather they were not fit for walking.

Vive le vivo!

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