I Hate You yet Love You, You Nasty Lovely Feet of Mine

Travel

Claire and Zack in RMNPI hate feet. They look like bulbous swamp monsters ready to disarm you with their sweat soaked stench. My boyfriend uses this not-so-fun hatred of mine against me by sticking his hairy, hobbit-like feet in my face, and/or grabbing and tickling mine. I hate pedicures; I’m incredibly ticklish and wince at the sight of the yellowed and calloused toes next to me. Toes are sweaty, strange little demons that look like underdeveloped fingers. My hatred is silly, I know this. Yet, while I am hiking; miserable, tired and hungry, my feet keep me going. I reflect on an experience I had on day three of a weekend trip through the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado with my boyfriend, Zachary and his brother, Sean. For me, day three was a roller coaster of mixed emotions ranging from emotional exhaustion to emotional euphoria stemming from the realization we were on the home stretch; but the trek from third base to home was 9 miles long. I distinctly remember reaching mile three; we were surrounded by a section of the forest devastated by recent fires and my breath was short, shortening by the minute. I popped my i-Pod headphones into my ears and turned my head downward. The feet I hated so much became the object of my visual fixation. I watched as they trekked along, undeterred, unwavering, unaware of my general discomfort. These feet take so much abuse from me and my hobbies that include 40 mile hikes through the Colorado Rockies. I looked down at them as they carried me to the ultimate goal; pizza and beer. It became a sort of mediation. I watched my shoes as they participated in this boring yet choreographed dance through the Colorado wilderness and my hatred became a little less harsh. I was in awe of their strength and their tenacity to help me see my goal.

The wilderness does strange things to your mind. One minute I’m a staunch foot hater and the next, lose three miles in awe of my own. That my complicated life could be made so simple was astounding.” – Cheryl Strayed.

Love, Not Always Obvious

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