Biohacking Life with Muskoka’s Barefoot Sue; Warm Welcome to Muskoka Post’s newest columnist

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Sue Regan Kenney

Our body, mind and soul thrive on the opportunity to put into practice their ability to help us survive most life-threatening scenarios to keep us alive. Biohacking is a kind of do-it-yourself biology for people who are keen to understand how the brain and body is designed to survive, and by adding to that, a change in the environment around you or inside you to have some level of command over your biology, health, and happiness. With biohacking, we can begin to make incremental lifestyle changes to help improve our life more naturally.

I’ve never followed the traditional medical scientific route for improving my health. Mother Earth has always called to me since I was a young child running barefoot in my backyard and on the concrete streets of Toronto. I ignored her tug for about 25 years while I was co-creating a family and working on my career climbing the corporate ladder.

Eventually, I was downsized and as life would have it, I ended up walking 800 kilometres across the north of Spain on a medieval pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago, alone in the winter. It was there I slowed my life down to walking 4 kilometres an hour, and I found a renewed connection to Mother Earth. I developed a mindfulness practice and became more aware of the cadence of nature. When I returned home, I longed to walk everyday. I began hiking several times a week on the trails at Kahshe Barrens in Muskoka and grew extremely fond of spending time in the forest.

During that time my philosophy about life became more clear. I believe that we are each on a very unique journey and we have been given a body, a mind, a heart, and a soul to guide us on this quest. I believe that Mother Nature knows all and that she wouldn’t ask us to do something in the world without giving us the means to do it. And therefore, everything we need on this journey is within us. Our body is designed to take care of us, to heal us, to connect with our mind and soul, and to keep us alive until our work is done.

The day I decided to take off my shoes and socks and walk barefoot in the forest was about 9 years ago. It was the first time I realized there was something important I was missing in my life. It was the connection with the world below my feet that grounded me physically and spiritually, and it changed my life. When I learned that my feet had a role in the overall function of my body and brain, I embraced barefooting as an effective biohack.

When we are given a gift, the best thing to do is to regift it. I’ll be writing a column for Muskoka Post that will offer a variety of natural biohacks I’ve experienced. From bare footing to fasting to the ice water plunging, I’ll share ideas, tips, and benefits so you can take command of your life.

Sue Regan Kenney is the author of My Camino; she coaches and guides groups on the Camino pilgrimage. She lives a barefoot lifestyle, is a certified Wim Hof Method Instructor and is a Mother, Grandmother, and Crone. Insta @caminosue

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