Over a decade ago my wife and I hiked a portion of the Maine Huts and Trails. It was early March I believe, and there was plenty of snow on the ground. so since neither of us had, or really knew how to cross country ski, we opted to snowshoe it.
Yes, I know that the subject heading for this article said flip flops…but bear with me here…
I think it was well over 14 miles from the trail head we parked at, and the hut we were booked to spend the night at. We figured it would be a haul, but we could handle it.
Well, the huts were great but the hike… it was pretty awful.
The snowshoes we had were nothing fancy, and weather was just warm enough that the snow was pretty ideal for snowball, snowmen and little else.
The effect was that every hundred feet or so we had to stop and either kick out or pick out the snow that was being progressively packed under our feet.
It was a waddling winter nightmare, and it took us well over six hours to reach where we needed to.
That evening our legs, and especially our feet, were so beat up from the ordeal that we nearly accepted a ride back the next day to our car from another person staying at the huts.
But, the next morning things were feeling a bit less terrible, and because we were at the time both very stubborn individuals we felt it better to suffer the same slog back than to let our pride be wounded.
Yes, as you would expect, this only made our lower halves feel even worse.
Now at the time I had a colleague almost three decades my senior, who was born in Norway and spent the first half of his life there. No stranger to life in colder climates, when I relayed to him the misery of the past weekend that Monday he just looked at me like I was insane and said;
“Why on earth did you snowshoe?! Snowshoes are for getting firewood…you should have used skis.”
He was right.
As a matter of fact there where well over a dozen people that passed us on those miserable trails that weekend. All of them on skis, and all of them much happier than we were.
Now, what does this have to do with flip flops?
Well, a lot actually.
Just like snowshoes are for getting firewood, the general rule is that flip flops are for the beach and the barbeque. They are made for when you are not really going anywhere, and are not looking to do very much.
You see, just like snowshoes flip flops are not really designed to make it easier going from here to there. They are just made to be convenient.
So what is the problem with that?
Well, everything has it’s effects, and the very same process they will allow us to learn a new language, build a callus or get stronger can work against us just as much for us.
This is known as adaptation, and for better or for worse we are all in a constant state of it.
Because of this everything you do, experience and interact with can have a pretty big impact on all your other doings, experiences and interactions.
I am sure you are still wondering what this has to do with flip flops…
Well, in order to keep them on you have to shuffle walk. Literally, shuffling is the only way that you can walk and keep flip flops attached to your body.
Now, some people shuffle walk anyways, and for these folks flip flops fit them like a glove.
Other folks all out waddle walk; for them flip flops are a match made in heaven.
At least, for the time being.
You see, flip flops for these folks is the equivalent of enabling; it does nothing to actually help the individual, and actually ends up just making them worse off the longer it goes on. Just like enabling in any other form, flip flops support the shufflers and the waddlers in their dysfunction.
Now I like my toes to breathe and be free as much as the next person, so I recognize that if flip flops are not going to be ideal for moving about in the warmer times and places we are going to need some options.
Well if you would like that, as well as some deeper insights as to why and how flip flops can have a pretty negative impact on your well being, feel encouraged to click on the link below for a video on just that.
If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Regardless, I hope you find the above helpful, and I hope you are comfortable, able and well.