Category Archives: Play

New Shoes!


Sometimes it seems like over 50% of this blog is about my feet. In fact, some of my top incoming search terms have to do with feet and toes, about which I choose not to think too much. But, yeah, I finally got myself some Vibram Five Finger shoes!

I actually got them last week, when my husband found some unaccounted-for cash that we got to split and spend on a frivolous purchase. I realized, hey, I can finally get those weird shoes I’ve been eyeing. My huaraches, while great for walking, tend to give me blisters on the soles of my feet when I run. Plus, I never get the laces just tight enough. I’m wearing my VFFs around during the week and trying them out on a 2-3-mile run Thursday. We’ll see how it goes!

Already, I can feel that they are stretching out my little toes.  I mostly can get into them pretty easily, but my little toes have been squished against the rest of my foot for years and sometimes need extra coaxing.  But they’re actually really comfy.  It’s weird to be able to wear shoes and still wiggle my toes.  And I kept gripping the gas pedal with my toes this morning on my drive in to work because I’m not used to feeling it that much.  This should be fun.  So far, I haven’t gotten any stares/comments.  I wonder if I’ll get any different reactions because I’m a female wearing them?  Most of my friends with VFFs are men.


Climbing

Yesterday evening I went to the climbing wall for the first time this year.  It was awesome, especially since I found out a few of my coworkers are belay-certified, so I never had to wander around awkwardly looking for a volunteer to belay me.  Yeah, I really ought to get certified myself.  Since I was out with some more experienced climbers, I definitely felt the need to push myself to not seem like a wuss (sort of a problem I have), so after warming up by going up the easiest side of the wall, I opted to try my first climb on the straight vertical wall (as opposed to the one that slants away at an angle and is therefore easier).

Wow, big difference.  My fingers were so wobbly I could barely untie my harness afterwards.

But, y’know, that wasn’t enough.  So then I did a route on the vertical wall.  Okay, I didn’t make it the entire way.  I cheated a little, but I made it most of the way.  And my coworker told me that he was suspicious it was marked easier than it really was.  So who knows?

We’re trying to make this a weekly thing, which would be awesome.  My body feels like jelly this morning from the muscles I’m not used to using, but I definitely noticed an improvement in my confidence since I’ve been training more pull-ups and other upper-body strength.  Climbing is supposed to be driven by flexibility and leg/core strength, but if you have a weak upper body, it definitely makes you less confident.

Definitely recommend climbing, especially before it gets too hot (or if you have access to an indoor wall).

Photo credit: Chaiwat


Post-Capoeira Glow

19th-century painting of a roda

Well, my pedicure is toast, my feet are blistered and scuffed, and I’m getting in touch with muscles I seem to forget I have each week.  Yup, last night was capoeira training.  Every week, for two hours one evening, I get together with a coworker who also teaches capoeira and a few people from around the university where I work.  And, above all, it is an intense workout.

No, wait, above all, it’s FUN.

Yeah, capoeira is one of those things that trips me up because it’s so much fun, you forget that you’re basically doing intense aerobics and calisthenics for two hours.  My favorite thing to do are cartwheels, since I never was able to do them as a kid.  I also like the martial arts aspect, though last night the instructor was trying to focus more on the rhythmic aspect.  Our drill was to play (you don’t fight or spar in capoeira, you play) but to maintain contact and closeness with the other person and to make sure you left your partner an escape with every move you made.  Your goal isn’t to make contact, but it’s not to avoid it either.

It was fun.  I spent a lot more time playing with staying low and crouching under arms and legs, rather than staying upright and throwing kicks like I usually do.  I’ve also started doing more foot sweeps.

Now, this isn’t an official capoeira school, with a mestre or anything (although I seem to have picked up an unofficial capoeira nickname), but it’s a lot of fun, and it really trains the body.  You have to be strong, flexible, aerobically fit, and adaptable to play capoeira well.  In some ways, it’s like chess, because you have to figure out what your partner is going to do and try to respond to that to keep the flow beautiful.

Plus, it’s viewed in popular culture as “sexy dance fighting” (thanks, Bob’s Burgers!).  I can live with that.

This post is part of Primal Toad’s Primal Cave Friday.


Pink and Purple

Saturday, I painted my nails.  I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polish in Champagne Toast on my fingers, which is a nice, pale, peachy-pinky-shimmer, and Sally Xtreme Wear in Hot Magenta on my toes.  Then, today, I went for my first walk in my Invisible Shoes huaraches and the magenta toes really looked fantastic with my purple-laced huaraches.

Purple huaraches, pink toes

With the weather warming, and my fitness rather shot from the week in Rome and a week recovering from Rome, it’s time for me to start trying to get back into barefoot running.  I had tried last summer, and even ran a 5k race in my huaraches, but I ended up with bottom-of-the-foot bruising and had to rest and go back to shoes for a while.  In the fall, I bought a pair of New Balance WT101’s to get used to a more natural gait over the winter, and my hope is to return to huaraches in the summer and purchase a pair of Vibram Five Fingers for the cooler weather.

Anyway, what could be more awesome than showing off your pedicure while running?