I'm Matthew Medina, and I'm the founder of the Northwest Barefooters Meetup group here in the greater Puget Sound/Seattle area. I'm starting this blog because there seems to be a groundswell of people who are interested in learning more about the barefooting movement, whether it is taking up barefoot running, or just learning to feel the earth beneath your soles. As an active barefooter myself, I wanted to add my voice to the growing number of people who are out there promoting our cause. This blog will not only talk about our local events, but it will also feature articles on subjects that are of interest to those of us who go without shoes.
Before I start off this blog with a full-on article, I figure I should give a little background on myself, and how I arrived at becoming a barefooter.
I've never really liked shoes. I mean, when I was growing up, I wore them because that's just what you were supposed to do. I'd never thought about any other alternative. And then my cousin Nathan visited us from Australia. He stayed at our house for a time, and of course being from down under where going barefoot is slightly more acceptable than it is in the States, he was often not wearing shoes. And I remember vividly that there was one occasion when we were going to the video store to get a movie to watch one weekend, and he rode in the car barefoot with us. I can't remember if he actually went into the video store with us, but I remember my father afterwards telling him that we just didn't do that over here in this country. And it started me thinking "Why not"?
I didn't really explore that thought more until years later, when I moved up to Seattle for college, and I saw a large number of people wearing Birkenstocks around town. They looked comfortable and so I bought a pair. And quickly realized just what I was missing. Now, being that I lived in Seattle, and this seemed to be the thing to do, at first I paired my Birks with socks (yeesh, I know...don't hate me!). But it was so much more comfortable to just have shoes I could slip in and out of whenever I wanted. Eventually, I worked my way out of the socks, and then transitioned from Birks to flip flops, and then to barefoot, with flip flops as a backup. And that's the way it's been for around the past ten years or so.
It's only really been the past few years that I've taken on barefoot as a lifestyle and not just a passing interest or a preference of mine. And that's what led me to found the Northwest Barefooters Meetup Group. We've been around since April of last year (Happy Belated Birthday to us! Yay!) and we've grown to over 50 members. I hope to continue to grow the meetup membership, and to spread the word that barefooters are here to stay!
So I will use this blog to help organize the meetup, and report on our activities, but also to help others who are just starting out with barefooting. I also want to help those who want to find others who share this interest, and lastly I would like to think that this platform could allow me to raise awareness and educate people about our simple little cause, in the fondest hope that someday I will feel it's completely silly to have to write about something so trivial as going barefoot.