I am a simple man and like simple things. Natural things are even better. Many know I love to travel and get outdoors, but that hasn't been commonplace for me for much of my life. Finding my place in the world has little to do with the workforce and more about my personal growth and knowledge of the world around me. My own interactions with nature in everyday experience has helped cultivate this place.
I do not jump from rock to rock on the crumbling face of a mountain. I do not climb the great pines of a forest like a monkey racing for its first pick of dates. I do not even run ferociously through boggy mud puddles with a determined grimace on my face.
Hell, I'm a former defensive tackle. Do you KNOW how much we weigh?
But that doesn't mean I don't like to get out. To explore is a newfound joy of mine. Overcoming my own obsessive compulsive behavior is a challenge, but also one I enjoy conquering. I used to detest getting my hands dirty, touching things outside, and seeing dirt under my fingernails. And then one day, out of the many days of my slow growth, I realized something.
As I watched my toddler playing on the ground and sifting sand through his fingers, I realized he wasn't just playing. He was living in the moment. He wasn't worried about having to wash his hands. He was experiencing something new. And I realized that – for thousands of years – toddlers have always done this. It's human instinct.
I found I was missing so much. The textures, rough and soft, edgy or smooth, were all just as much a part of the experience as the view.
We recently started working with a new sponsor called Vivobarefoot. They make natural and sustainable footwear to help modern humans experience the world around them the way people did thousands of years ago. Vivobarefoot brings feet as close to nature as possible so we can step as we're meant to and experience the contours of the ground, while still protecting our feet.
Our feet can now decide how to grip the Earth's surface as we chart our course and traverse the same paths in a whole new way.
I am a simple man who likes simple things. Vivobarefoot shoes make walking and exploring simple, as it should be. The path beneath me feels intimate and personal. My feet have returned to the ranks of my senses, and the shoes guide me in new ways over the same mounds of dirt and grains of sand that my son sifts instinctively through his small, curious fingers.
How do you get closer to nature?