Sunday, July 7, 2013

One step at a time --- Barefoot Garvin Hike

I’d rather be barefoot than wear shoes. I can’t put a single thing to why I enjoy being barefoot over shoes but I do. Especially hiking. The feeling of being grounded with the earth and feeling every single step might have something to do with it. My ego was trying to steer me off course as the chatter began with cars passing by on the way to the trail. “What is he doing? Where are his shoes? Why is he doing that?” This chattering inside my head quickly vanished upon entering the forest. I have been deprived or rather; I have deprived myself of the beauty of the forest. The first few steps and gazes I lay upon my surroundings left me with wonder and awe. Although I have seen this forest before, the experience felt new. The journey began.

The hike was not a paced hike with a timeframe in mind. It was the journey; something not always easy to keep in mind with any venture big or small. The steps are the final leg off the hike. The steps are something I have tried to conquer before with a “two at a time” mentality. This time was different. Barefoot and conscious of each step, I hit each step with purpose. The steps represented steps on a journey in life. One can go two at a time and think the saving of time will be well worth it, and it could be. One can run up the steps and feel a sense of power of the steps, a “give me a challenge” mentality. One of the first times I took each step as a purposeful one. I focused on deep breaths in and out. In and out. In and out. Only once did my head look up to see how many steps were left. Besides the one slip up, I focused intently. The result was a great mindfulness I had not felt for what seemed like a lifetime.

The journey of life is scary, not guaranteed, and sometimes terrifying. It can also be loving, worth the squeeze, and beautiful. There are many ways to take the steps on the journey. Crawl, walk, run—with shoes or without shoes—however one chooses, do it with purpose.

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