All great tasks start with humble beginings. So with a quite stroll with my four legged friend today, we set out in a small way on what will hopefully be a great adventure, a tale of six legs.
I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but today I actually got started, stopped talking and pulled my finger out. My first training day, not a lot of thought was put into it mind you…. I got my dog and headed for Avoca Beach, parked the car got out and went for a walk and in the great Australian tradition I wasn’t wearing shoes.
Not wearing shoes is not unusual for me. I have always hated wearing them and avoided them whenever possible. The difference today was that I was actually going for a proper walk of around 10kms. Piece of cake I thought “its not that far”. So off I trotted, the dog disappeared in a storm of sand as she careened off for the surf. This was all going splendidly, it was a beautiful day, not too hot, some smoke still lingered in the air from the fires that had licked at Sydneys fringes.
Barefoot on the beach I hear you say, thats not very bloody out of the ordinary. My objective however was to walk to Terrigal via the coastal rocks. As a kid I used to clamber all over the jagged volcanic protrubences around Port Macquarie, this should be no different, the difference is however that at some point in my time on this earth a sense of self preservation has kicked in. An alarm bell was ringing as I climbed telling me that the risks far outweighed the rewards and besides the dog was hardly thrilled with proceedings and she does crazy shit all the time.
My first roadblock on the journey, at this point I could have just retreated to the beach and played with the dog, but I decided that Terrigal still beckoned. Traveling the urban roads of North Avoca is not as spectacular as walking the coastal fringe but we were moving and my feet were getting a good workout on the bitumen. This was old school bitumen, nothing smooth about this stuff. It reminded me of my primary school playground, an accident here would see a victim rise with flesh torn from the palms of their hands and their knees, gray slacks torn asunder and to top it all off pieces of gravel would be seen gouged into the wound.
Anyway I digress, we reached Terrigal no problems, feet felt fine. The dog chased some birds and we had a drink. The 4kms there had taken about an hour and a half, the way back up over the hill was 7kms, I hadn’t brought any food with me so I did not linger long in Terrigal. I had set it up so I always had an option, the plan was that if the feet were troubling me I would go back the short and easy way, the feet felt good so I thought stuff it I’m going over the hill.
I’m glad I went the harder way, by the end of the walk my feet were feeling it. Actually pushing myself gave me alot to reflect on. At the end of 11kms I had traversed: sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, gravel roads, bitumen and most pleasant of all cool green grass. The whole route had taken bang on 4 hours. My feet were going to need some hardening up but overall im really looking forward to more barefoot traning with my for legged friend.