The vegan thing still has full momentum at this point. Today at Champp's I special-ordered a plate of vegetables and pasta because literally every single item on the menu had either meat or cheese in it. Amusingly, my lunch rang up as a "kid's spaghetti." Next time at Champp's I'll definitely be ordering the kid's spaghetti now that I know it's part of some secret, unpublished menu. Today I also joined Facebook. Admittedly, there is some satisfaction and excitement in seeing the friend requests and comments start popping up. However, I feel I've been duped a bit in that people have profile pictures featuring their torso's, entire bodies, or even themselves with a friend or significant other. When I signed up for Facebook, I was anticipating faces only. Quality control is clearly lax in cyberspace.
To finish off this day of trying new things, I took my first steps (literally) into the realm of barefooting. After harnessing the power of the internet and reading up a bit (here, here, here, and here), I determined that the best way to get started would be to go without footwear on some of my regular walking trips to the grocery store and the library. This would start to get my soles used to the feel of varying surfaces and would help ease my legs into this new form of ambulation. Being mindful of the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" societal norm that we all learned as kids, I would carry my sandals with me and slip them on before entering the destination establishment. Tonight a trip to the library was in order, so I set off, sandals in hand, smiling, wistful, and carefully watching the ground for broken 40's.
Upon reaching the library I assessed the feeling of my feet. They felt good, although a bit raw. Some blisters had definitely developed on the one-and-a-half mile walk, but with great power comes grea......err......wait........what is it again?.......ah yes! No pain, no gain. Not nearly as much progress as hoped for was made on the paper I needed to write at the library (see: Facebook), so I'll be making another trek tomorrow, likely leading to the popping of the aforementioned blisters. The tearing skin will not be fun, but eventually some calluses will form and I'll be on my way to full-fledged barefooting (or at least have a party trick of being able to walk across hot coals).
Nate actually purchased the Vibram Five Fingers recently and has said they are quite comfortable, and some would say they are a much more intelligent choice than going without any foot covering. It's true that if the goal is to have a barefoot running style then you simply need to lose the clunky shoes and do something to simulate barefoot running, like wearing Vibrams. Your form will change, the natural supports in your feet will be put to work, and you'll have the added bonus of not needing to worry about all the sharp things. But there's just something pure about truly going barefoot, you know? Why not do it the real way? Isn't it better to go through some discomfort and develop tough, rough-and-ready feet than to just replace one artificial foot covering with another, even if the second represents some improvement? The old men at the church we went to in East Liverpool had what could be described as gravel hands. While passing the peace with those guys it was like shaking heavy-grit sandpaper. (As a side note, they totally should have picked up a side business as massage therapists. Think exfoliating back rub). They got their gravel hands from always working outside with landscaping and masonry or doing carpentry or any manner of hands-on work. Well, as much as I would like to have gravel hands some day, I don't think it's going to happen from typing away on soft, smooth MacBook keys like I'm doing right now. So instead I'm shooting for a more attainable possibility: gravel feet.
I could'a used me some Vibrams in Mordor...