When I was in elementary school, I loved to walk outside on the concrete pavement barefoot. Why? To my 9-year-old brain, I believed that one day, when the world reached its end and we no longer had factories to make shoes, I would be one step ahead of others as the bottom of my feet would be more acquainted with walking without protective footwear. After all, if our biological ancestors could do it, so could I. Plus, I hated to have anything on my feet – shoes? socks? Simply unnecessary luxuries and they cramped my style. My 9-year-old pride also hated being dependent on something else that could easily be taken away from me; I know, I had odd thoughts.
Now, a little over a decade later, the bottoms of my feet are a bit thicker than most so I occasionally like peeling off the extra skin because if I don’t, it can occasionally get too hard. You didn’t need to know that. Anyway, I suppose I succeeded in my goal. Although I’ve thrown that idea out the window for a good number of years now, I still prefer doing things without anything on my feet. This could be for convenience and comfort’s sake or just because I feel lazy.
When I was in Beijing for vacation last summer, I brought along my jump rope so I could get some cardio into it, amidst the mandatory gaining weight phenomenon that people usually undergo. We had gone to Japan before China, but our hostel wasn’t very accommodating to exercise. See, I may be on vacation, but when I returned to Korea, my taekwondo instructors were still going to treat it as if I hadn’t left so I couldn’t fall behind. We stayed with my sister’s friend and one day, before dinner, I decided to get back to it. I moved the coffee table to the side, took a deep breath, and began jumping rope barefoot. On his tiled floor. Smart going, there. I forgot that the floor in the do-jang is made of some sort of padded material, similar to a yoga mat but perhaps a bit thicker. As a result, jumping rope at the speed I was going wasn’t going to end up the same way as it would in the do-jang.
About five minutes straight of jumping rope, I realised something was off. My foot hurt. I did it for another minute, because I’ve gotten my right foot sprained thrice before, two times of which happened when I began taekwondo, so I thought it was just acting up. Then, I realised that this pain wasn’t coming directly from my ankle. Swell. I ended up walking with a limp for the next five days. Just yesterday, I decided to jog around my house. Half of my jogging route is tiled. My feet started to hurt so I stopped after just three minutes, because I don’t want to bandage my foot and ankle again – not when I left my pressurized can of Air Pass and bandages in Korea.