Howdy from Belgium

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by BarefootPeter, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. BarefootPeter

    BarefootPeter
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    30
    Hello everybody,

    Name's Peter. I'm new around here. I'm a long term expat currently living in Belgium, as well as a long term barefooter. I go year round without shoes, and the only pair I own is my cycling shoes, because I need them to clip on the pedals. I can't run though, and only occasionally hike. So I hope I still qualify to be part of this here forum :)
     
  2. Tedlet

    Tedlet
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    1,038
  3. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    1. Test Chapter
    2. Nomad
    3. Hidden...
    4. Hidden...

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    19,937
    Likes Received:
    6,127
    Welcome! Please fee free to join the Belgium Chapter and post there as well.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  4. BarefootPeter

    BarefootPeter
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    30
    Thank you. Will do.
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  5. Larry

    Larry
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Australia

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Hi Peter,

    You didn't say what sort of expat you are? (assuming American, but I'm just being an international troll. :wacky:)

    I think if you're barefoot all the time there must be some running in there somewhere, but barefoot hiking is always impressive to me. Welcome aboard!
     

    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  6. XoseM

    XoseM
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    27
    o/ welcome Peter
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  7. BarefootPeter

    BarefootPeter
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    30
    That's correct - although I left almost 18 years ago now.

    Actually no, there really isn't any running anywhere :) I literally can't run, since I had surgery on my knee at age 11. If I try, not only does it feel weird because I clean forgot how to do it, but I'm almost guaranteed to wake up with knee pains the next morning.

    As for hiking, provided you take the time to build up full skin thickness, let your feet widen and build up muscles in them - all of which can take up to a year - there really isn't any terrain that's out of your reach.

    But anyway, like I said, I only hike occasionally. My sport is cycling.
     
    Larry likes this.
  8. BareFootHeath

    BareFootHeath
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    275
    Year round barefoot- I’m envious. I’m not an avid cyclist but when I do I’ve found doing so in my FiveToes feasible.

    Welcome to the forum...
     
  9. BarefootPeter

    BarefootPeter
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    30
    Then do it :) When I lived in Canada, I was never given as much aggravation as in the US. Although it tends to get cold in Toronto, so I didn't go out barefoot for very long in the winter, obviously.

    Well, cycling is the one activity that requires me to wear shoes. I ride recumbents, so I kind of need to clip in, otherwise it's a lot of efforts to keep my feet up on the pedals. Therefore I need shoes with cleats, unfortunately.

    As for when I ride my Brompton (a "regular" upright bicycle), I always have these visions of my feet grating on the asphalt and leaving skin on the road. I do ride the Brompton barefoot when it's totally safe, but not often.
     
    Barefoot TJ and BareFootHeath like this.
  10. mido

    mido
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. France

    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    66
    Hi Peter and welcome to this forum ;)

    Since you are an experienced barefooter and you practice cycling (which employs your knees), I think you really should consider try barefoot running if you wish, not necessarily long or fast.

    If you can learn gently running technique (lots of ressources available on this forum and on the internet), that shouldn't be damaging your knees more.

    Here is an interview from Golden Harper (founder of Altra zero-drop running shoes), who explains that his father had broken knees at his 30s, but still was able to run marathons once he changed his running technique:

    https://www.fleetfeet.com/blog/from-the-toaster-to-the-track-how-altra-footwear-was-born
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  11. BarefootPeter

    BarefootPeter
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    30
    Thanks. Actually I really can't run because one of my knees was almost completely replaced, and whatever's left of it that is still natural holds together with a bunch of screws and plates - all thanks to the big C. I'm lucky to have kept my leg, and even luckier that it works as well as it does. I'm always on the verge of getting intractable knee pains, but I keep them at bay by listening to my body and stopping as soon as I feel bad vibes.

    It's always shocks that trigger the knee pains. Gentle hiking is as much as I can manage. That's also why I cycle: there are no shocks going up my leg. I can hike 3 to 5 miles in the woods, provided I'm able to stop and hitch a ride home at a moment's notice. If I try to run - which I did recently on a home trainer - after 30s to a minute, I know I'll be bed-bound and pilled up for a whole week at least.

    Believe me, running is not for me. I've learned the hard way what I can and cannot do over the years and I stick to it religiously :) In fact, it's the knee pains that got me into barefooting in the first place, on a doctor's advice, who guessed (correctly) that it was my shoes that were putting too much stress on my knee.
     
  12. BareFootHeath

    BareFootHeath
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    275
    I guess this coming weekend will be a bit of a test to see if I’m ready for it, a low of -5C and 5-10cm of snow predicted. Challenges are good...
     
  13. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    1. Test Chapter
    2. Nomad
    3. Hidden...
    4. Hidden...

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    19,937
    Likes Received:
    6,127
    So sorry you're having to deal with all that. Proud of you for not letting it keep you down.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  14. BarefootPeter

    BarefootPeter
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    30
    Thanks. But no worries: it's just a vague memory of something that happened in another lifetime. I'm in perfect health, it's just that I have zero margin of error when it comes to my knee: if I screw up, the pain comes right back. As long as I don't, it don't :)

    In that kind of weather, I stay 3 to 5 minutes outside tops. My limit is when I stop feeling my toes: that's when things get dangerous. But it's long enough to plow the snow on the driveway, get the mail, walk from the car to the office building, the supermarket or to the house... that sort of thing. As long as you lead a typical north American way of life, you'll be fine walking through the snow to quickly go from one warm place to another - in which case you can definitely stay barefoot year round.
     
    c17 and Barefoot TJ like this.

Share This Page