My First Trek

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Well this is one for the history books.

After clearly overdoing my regular daily workouts, I ended up with a nasty shoulder injury: an infected nerve in the shoulder/bicep. I was proscribed Naproxen and that means no more workout for a bit. I felt frustrated so I decided to see what else I could do to train the lower body, without further harming the shoulder. I read online that working while standing at a desk, working upright, can do wonders for your back and lower body, if you perform your work sitting down normally. If you’re already doing your work walking and standing up, the exact opposite is true. Sitting down will then do you some good. I’ve done my work sitting down for ages, like all nerds. The last couple of years I’ve seen colleagues adopt working standing up. They then get a desk where they can adjust the height, so they can either sit (using a chair) or stand behind their desk (by jacking up the desk). I’ve created a similar setup at home and will work standing up at least once a week, for a full day. I did so yesterday and I quite liked it.

This did wonders for legs as well as my shoulder and therefore my mood.

So I walked to the office today.

Yea, you read that right.

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I walked to the office (6+ kilometres), then walked to lunch (1 km), then walked home (6 km). In total I walked some 13+ kilometers.

And… I did so in minimalist, five finger shoes.

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It was zero Celsius when I went out. The soles are pretty thin so my feet got cold and stiff. After walking a bit, my circulation started going and my feet felt okay. It was a terrific experience. Especially walking along Amsterdam’s old canals, where you get cobblestone, felt great. As I headed back after lunch the sun was out and it was much warmer, so I was able to pick up the pace a bit more. I enjoyed seeing more of my surroundings (normally I sit like a zombie in some bus or subway). I liked picking the route. I stuck to a route that has loads of buses and trams along the way, in case I got tired or hurt and wanted to quit. I will continue to do that for the first couple of weeks walking, just to be safe. The final bit, nearing my house, did hurt. I was quite done. My feet were sore and my ankles and calves hurt. Once up the stairs and indoors I took off the shoes, washed my feet with warm water, the circulation kicked in once more and I am now tired and there is some minor ache, but no real pain. Shoes felt great. No marks on my feet. I wore them loose, without really tying the laces. I like when my feet can move around a bit without too much strain. Weather permitting… I am going to walk to my office meetings from now on.

The shoes came back in near perfect condition; they don’t even smell that bad. It was quite cold, so not a whole lot of sweating.

Now, I took a real walk. I wasn’t bumming around, but making strides. A real walk. I was wearing the Vibram Trek Ascent. These are great for anything from urban bumming around, to strolling along a shopping mall, taking a real city tour by hike, or even exploring nature. I am not quite trained enough to go hiking in the woods. I will use the Trek Ascent to practice in an urban setting, with cell reception and bars and such, so I can take a breather when needed.

I have no idea how long I can and will keep this up, but so far I am liking the more healthy barefoot junkie lifestyle.

And I like not being packed into a bus with 30+ strangers who I don’t like.

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