My father is someone who likes to work in his garden. He is blessed with what we call “green thumb” in german – that means every plant he puts into the soil thrives and grows to it’s best.
This time, when I came to visit my father, he surprised me more than just a bit with his new garden project:
He removed his green lawn and replaced it with a pool of pebbles. “It’s much easier to maintain this way” he said, “plus it dries a lot faster in the morning and after rainfall.” I thought it looked quite good too, but immediately started to worry about walking on the pebbles. For what I remember it has always been a painful experience to me.
In a 2003 study commissioned by the National Institute on Aging and conducted by the Oregon Research Institute, two groups of previously inactive seniors began a regular walking program, one group on flat surfaces and the other on cobblestones. After 16 weeks, the cobblestone walkers showed significant improvement over the control group not only in blood pressure but also in balance and walking speed.
However, I saw this as a challenge and found out how to walk on pebbles. Not only is it quick to find, but makes walking on pebbles a joyful experience you will look forward to every day. Here I explain how you can find this easy way.
But first you have to get rid of some common believes:
1. Children do NOT naturally know how to walk on pebbles. Their feet are NOT more relaxed and NOT more healthy than yours.
2. There is NO right way to stand and hold yourself against gravity. There is NO right way for outside looks. Don’t try to make yourself stand in a certain way.
3. There is NO right technique. Everything that comes from the mind and is opposed onto the body is likely to be WRONG. Don’t trust anybody to be smarted than you.
That having said, I invite you to find out how to walk on pebbles. For this you need to engage into an exploration. It’s all about feeling and going with the flow. Don’t try to look in a certain way. Don’t try to arch your feet in a certain way. Just go with your good feelings and wellbeing.
Here are my suggestions – explore them and you will be looking forward to every opportunity to enjoy walking on pebbles in no time:
1. Put down your heel first.
Find a nice spot for your heel. The very back end of your heel, the most back part of your foot. It’s not the whole heel, just the last part of it. It’s the size of a small coin.
Be nice to yourself – find a nice mid sized pebble to put down your heel, or a space that is formed by two or more pebbles. You will notice this doesn’t hurt at all. Actually you can put your whole weight onto your heel now – it will feel ok.
2. Embrace the earth
After your heel is on the earth, put down the rest of your foot. Let your foot come down onto the earth like a wet sponge. Just embrace those pebbles. It’s the heel that gives you a good safe spot, the rest is just for fun.
See how my foot looks like in the picture! Every orthopedic will cry and scream. There is no arch! OMG!!
But that’s ok. We don’t care about what those people are saying. Probably they are not happy people. Probably they can’t walk on pebbles themselves.
It’s just about your feeling. Not about your looks. Feel the support from your heel, feel how nice it is to embrace the pebbles. Don’t care about how it looks like.
That’s all. Then take the next step. This way you can learn how to walk on pebbles in 2 minutes or less. Take a break, try again one hour later. You will see it’s easier by then. Try again the next day – it will feel easy, soft, and just if you would have been walking barefoot on pebbles all your life already.