Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

September 2, 2023: Walking barefoot, sperm quality and black yoga mat

On September 2, 2023, I took off my toe socks and decided to try something I had never done in Borsum before: walking barefoot. Before my barefoot shoes arrived, I wanted to get used to walking barefoot outdoors and give my foot muscles a bit of training. During my research on barefoot shoes, I learned that transitioning to them should happen gradually, or else I might injure my softened foot, which had never truly experienced what it was meant for. Our foot consists of twenty-six bones and thirty joints and muscles. It felt foolish to let this masterpiece of nature deteriorate inside a shoe with a thick sole.

First, I crossed a small cobblestone path in front of the door, which I easily mastered. Then came the asphalt. It felt noticeably warmer. With a sharp look at the paved road ahead, I inspected it to avoid stepping on any small stones that felt like needles on the sole of my foot. Like a delicate princess, I hopped on the balls of my feet to the left and right to avoid the stones.

The earthy dirt path with its carpet of grass finally brought relief. The grass felt cool and soft, like a carpet under my bare feet. In my hand, I held my Birkenstock shoes, ready to put them back on in case of need. The need for protection became particularly evident on the gravel path after the grassy one. The large stones were a challenge, worse than their smaller relatives on the asphalt. Every step felt like being pricked by thousands of knives, and the pain intensified when I stepped on a single large stone. The sole bent around the position of the stone, and for a moment, it felt like I had broken my foot. In the middle of the path, I couldn't stand it anymore and was grateful to put the shoes back on. An relieved "Phew" escaped me, accompanied by a sweaty smile. "My feet still have a lot to learn, young Padawans," I whispered to myself as I continued my march to the end of the gravel path with padded soles.

The highly concentrated attention on the path subsided, and I could fully enjoy the nature around me. A plant with numerous white flowers lined the dirt path, and my thoughts wandered to whether it would be edible if I ever found myself stranded in the wilderness.

When I returned home, my feet felt like they had been massaged. I washed my feet in the bathtub with lukewarm water. I decided to walk barefoot regularly in the summer. The contact with nature, the gentle touch of the grass, and the freedom of bare feet had something liberating that I wanted to experience more often. It was as if my feet longed for this connection to the earth, for this nature-bound act of barefoot walking.

Then I sat down at my laptop and found out what plant was on the dirt path: Achillea millefolium, the yarrow. The German name comes from the fact that sheep like to eat this plant. In an emergency, I could also eat it, but yarrow was more suitable as a tea for gastrointestinal complaints.

During my plant research, I came across the teachings of an old Yogi master that fundamentally changed my view on onions and garlic. He did not see them as a source of food but as medicine. If one were a hunter or gatherer from that time and came across garlic and tasted it for the first time, he wouldn’t rush to eat it in masses to feel full. On the contrary, he wouldn’t be able to stand the pungency and would probably spit out the garlic again. The argument convinced me, and I integrated it into my life from now on. I decided to use garlic and onions sparingly in my food if I wanted to use these plants for flavor, not as medicine. "Hopefully, this would also help improve my armpit odor," I pondered.

From the world of plants and their effects on the body, I suddenly moved on to the topic of "sperm quality" and "erectile problems." I found it curious and read more about it. I learned that to have good sperm quality, one should avoid heat sources near the groin, such as carrying a cellphone in the pocket, a hot laptop on the lap, and tight pants. For better erection, one should avoid the usual stuff like alcohol, smoking, and negative stress. What surprised me more was long-distance cycling. Sitting for too long on a hard bicycle seat narrows the urethra and leads to poor blood circulation in the penis, which can cause numbness of the scrotum and penis. "Good thing I'm a pedestrian," I thought.

  1. I will now dare to walk barefoot more often. This will strengthen my foot muscles, improve blood circulation in my feet, and give my feet a free massage from nature.
  2. I see garlic and onions not as a source of food but as natural medicine and will use them sparingly in my cooking.

Micro change: I have swapped my blue, thin yoga mat with a large logo for a black, slightly thicker yoga mat without logos. My goal is to be able to sleep pain-free on this yoga mat at some point.