It is important to feel everything…. The soles of my feet were a metaphor for this for me.

When I look back at the thirty eight weeks of preparation, I have a memory of just a single step.

I have a memories of sensation; of grass under my feet – the sting of a bee – ‘ouchie’ acorns in Richmond park… Rocky rough and ragged mountain pathways. Beaches…. The sand and the surf at the water’s edge…

Cold water, warm water, soft sand, hard sand.

The hot pavements of Marrakech, the Moroccan land under my feet. Sensations and memories of warmth, of wet rainy roads, dry roads. Dusty.

I have the sensation of the step.

I have the feelings of discomfort, the ‘ouchie’, the painful, impossible to run….

And then smooth, fast flowing… Sand – grass…

An asphalt track in London, well kept, with grounds people all around me.

The bliss of the blue, smooth running lanes in club La Santa… An uneven pista that needs attention in Almuñécar.

I can still feel the land.

I can feel where I trod. I can feel the hills. I feel the pilgrim’s progress.

Barefoot lends itself to letting go; it lends itself to feeling what I’m feeling – right now – having to stop when it’s too hard. Being with what is…Not making anything ‘a thing’.

And I think of the times when it was more hard, more ‘ouchie’… Running across the volcanic plains of Lanzarote to the beach at Famara. Feeling the contrast of the heat and the red gold stony terrain, with the smooth, wonderful golden sand.

And recognising that both of these contrasts are to be experienced – fully felt – to be able to go beyond the sensations in the body.

The body is a conduit for our life.

Here on planet earth, we feel everything through our body.

The physical is an important place to start with, and then we can feel the emotional and mental – also physically expressed – with greater connection.

If I can feel everything in my feet, it lends itself to feeling everything within…

If we can feel the contrasts and not get attached to either; but just allow the feeling. Allow ourselves to be in it, really experience it – to be with it, and not yearn for one more than the other, or reject one more than the other… Instead to know it is all part of the process of healing and clearing.

Being with the duality until we’re beyond it.

Not trying to get anywhere but feeling every single step.

The barefoot step reminds me to be this way…To make the path by walking it, and to stay in the step.

The journey to the start of the journey was one that I was happy to remain in.

I was happy to keep preparing…

Because life is a preparation, there is nowhere to go. Everything is as it is.

Everything is now, so there is nowhere to go, nowhere to be, except in the step.