Barefoot as a life setting?
Susanne Zürn-Seiller, Press Secretary of the Comité Régional de Tourisme Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in Marseille, which not only made my research on site possible through her sponsorship, but also supported me logistically, had warned me extra: in the Calanques at Marsaille hiking only with sturdy shoes!
And while I am now on the safe side with my solid walking boots, and secretly blaspheming the people I meet on my way with little sands, I notice Elizabeth who is barefoot. Barefoot, without shoes, which could offer on the rocky, uneven and steep protection from stones, thorns and kinks.
I have to think of the Australian star fashion photographer Russel James: He photographed models like Giselle Cirrus or Heidi Klum of the world, but can according to own data in shoes "do not shoot a single clever picture". Even in the middle of winter he runs barefoot. And there are more people like him - you just have to enter barefoot life on Google.
Socially not accepted
Just: Here, without shoes to crackle, seems to me a trace harder. So a reason for me to address Elizabeth. It is a life setting, she tells me. As often as she can, she walks barefoot. Unfortunately, it is often not. For example, at work, because Elizabeth has a serious job as an accountant in the Toulon region of southern France.
Even at leisure, when she leaves in the evening, she often has to discuss with people about her attitude. "Walking barefoot is often socially unacceptable." She sighs. That I want to publish a photo of her, she finds funny. "If you want," she says. Walking through the area without shoes is nothing special for Elizabeth to mention.
Unprotected on stony paths?
I ask if walking barefoot is not a bit dangerous here. Although the main hiking trails, especially for southern European conditions, are excellently well developed. But like me, Elizabeth keeps taking the small paths that shorten the long hairpin bends on the way down. And they are anything but wide and comfortable.
She averts laughing: "That's just the way to the beach, barefoot running is not a problem," she says. In fact, she runs surprisingly safe on the rocky road. Even if she has to be a little more careful, of course, than people with sturdy shoes. Sometimes she also falls a bit, but that can happen even with sturdy shoes.
Only apparent security?
"Bravo," said a woman who comes puffing up from below and points to Elizabeth's bare feet. And I suddenly wonder why I've been carrying heavy hiking boots with me all week. Maybe you really have more freedom when walking around barefoot?
Perhaps we should simply take things from which we believe that they provide us with security, but which really confine us to reality? Or is barefoot running just a crazy spleen, the consolidation of a somewhat spun identity, as Russell James himself says?
Barefoot at work - what is allowed?
And what would you say if your boss, your staff or colleagues suddenly wanted to get barefoot to work? How far does it go, in the wake of the often cited shortage of skilled workers, in Company the tolerance to allow employees such and similar nastiness?
Or is it, for example in creative professions, not even necessary, the employee have such freedoms to do their job well, as the example Russell James shows. Or can the stars just allow themselves? Looking forward to opinions!
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