No, I have to take the elevator or escalator. I’m so out of shape that even a few steps make me huff and puff and my muscles start hurting.
You never hear anybody saying that. Yet when it comes to bare feet we hear the equivalent all the time.
All of us barefooters hear it all the time. “Oh, I can’t go barefoot. Even stepping out the front door hurts my feet too much.” It’s almost as if it’s a point of pride.
They’ve let their feet atrophy to the point where they cannot be used in their natural state.
It’s just like getting so little physical exercise that climbing stairs is such an exertion that you can no longer do it. Or it’s like getting to the point that even lifting a moderately heavy weight is a burden.
The only other thing that’s even remotely like it is math anxiety, where some people announce with what seems like pride the fact that they cannot do even elementary algebra.
The thing is, maybe you don’t have a talent for math. But your body sure has a talent for going barefoot (just as it has the talent for conditioning its cardio-vascular system with a bit of stair-climbing, or strengthening its muscles with a bit of weight-training).
It doesn’t take that much to get your feet to get back into at least some sort of shape. When you try to make your muscles stronger, you’re willing to put up with a bit of discomfort knowing that you will be rewarded in the end. You can climb stairs knowing that your breathing will improve in the long run, even if you are panting like crazy right now.
Yet, for so many regular shoe wearers, they stop right there. A little bit of discomfort and they won’t take another step, neither literally nor figuratively. And they hurt themselves by doing so, since it encourages them to continue to work with weak arches and weak feet that pain them, to a much larger extent, day after day. They buy products, all sorts of orthotics and arch-support shoes, that encourage them to baby their weaknesses. Yet, if they worked just the tiniest bit, their feet would strengthen, and the skin on the bottoms of their feet would keratinize and become real allies. Instead, they whine.
Nobody says it’s a good thing not to be able to climb stairs. But when it comes to feet, it seems as if everybody works pretty hard to encourage helplessness.