Friday, 14 September 2012

The found art of barefoot tree climbing

It all started out as a need (on my part) to go for a hike and do some shooting... not bow and arrow kind of shooting, but with my camera. So I invited a few friends to come with me.

With camera and friends in tow, we started off a trail, just off a side road, part of the Bruce Trail. We look around in amazement at the tree formations. One I name the "pom-pom tree".

As we got further into the forest, I was drawn to take my shoes off and walk off the trail towards a fallen tree. As my friends looked at me with a "oh what is Rhonda doing now" kind of look, they too soon followed me in balancing on the fallen log.  They, however, kept their shoes on. :)

I turned around and found a fallen tree balanced on another. A perfect scaling tree. As I started to scale up it... in my barefeet... I soon came to the realization that if I fell, it would hurt. Nothing inspired concentration, focus and spider like senses than the realization of your own mortality.

I got up to the top and then slide off the tree (on purpose) and down to the ground. Then it was my friend's turn. And guess what, this time they did it barefoot. A new sensation of feeling the bark and tree through your hands and feet enable your senses to guide you as you climb. You also have more agility and balance in barefeet.

This fun experience has inspired what we call the NatureFit Hikes. A free hike where we encourage everyone to climb trees barefoot, to walk the trail and off trail barefoot, and to get dirty. And learn self confidence and sense of accomplishment through climbing a tree.

Give it a try! And share your experiences and photos with me.

Here's a goofy video of walking nature's balance beam at our latest NatureFit Hike.