When did you first discover FiveFingers?
I first discovered Vibram Five Fingers from my corrective exercise specialist after my first ACL tear in 2009. We were working on balance & proprioception and it became evident that my knee problems derived from poor foot mobility. I had a lot of foot & ankle “strength”, but I had poor foot & ankle “flexibility”. This was limiting by biomechanical efficiency from ankle to knee. Vibram FiveFingers enabled me to begin improving toe spread and using the entirety of my foot during cross training. They also protect the bottom of my feet which is a concern when training completely barefoot (unless training on a judo or yoga mat).
Favorite pair and why:
This is difficult for me to answer, because I usually only wear Vibram FiveFingers or shoes with Vibram soles at this point. I have so many pairs and they all fit my lifestyle in different aspects. Presently the KSO EVO is my Vibram FiveFinger shoe of choice. Powerlifting and Bikram Yoga are my most current athletic pursuits and this shoe provides amazing floor grip without limitation in flexibility. By using this shoe, I initiate more kinetic linking, forcing my muscles below the knee to be more engaged. I presently have two torn ACL’s and yet I have achieved 3.5 x body weight deadlift and 3 x body weight squat within the last year. I pride myself in being both flexible and strong. I have learned that the worst thing that one can do when dealing with a weak or compromised foot is to provide it “artificial support”. It’s almost like wearing a belt to lift submaximal weights. Learning how to brace against a belt is a key to core strength. Just wearing a belt to protect core instability doesn’t create core strength. This strength must be created long before a belt is ever used. The same principle is relevant in foot mechanics. Learning how to activate the muscles of the foot creates tension. This drives pressure into the ground and away from the earth. This is our root; our base. We have more bones in our hands and feet than the rest of our body. What holds this together? Certainly not magic.
What’s your passion: This is another difficult question to answer and interestingly enough all of my passions require me to be barefoot for optimal performance: Judo, Powerlifting, Yoga and Paddleboarding. I am also passionate about my day-to-day as an educator & clinician for Tampa Bay Holistic Wellness. I am a prevention specialist with a focus on anatomy/physiology/function and nutrition.
How have FiveFingers changed your life (if they have!):
Vibram Five Fingers afford me the opportunity to be the primal me, but in style. I love this in all of its raw simplicity. I will NEVER have another shoe. EVER.
What's the most popular question you get about FiveFingers?
Are your shoes comfortable? I will not mislead people. This often leads to a long discussion about foot health. Yes, the shoes are comfortable for me, but I have adapted to this. From the time we are born, we are put in shoes. From the time women are of age they are taught to prance around in high heels to be aesthetically pleasing and sexy. The havoc this may cause cannot be reversed overnight. If improper shoes that weaken our feet have been worn, we must prepare to be barefoot once again. Thankfully Vibram provides different support options to ease users into our world!
What would you like to see in FiveFingers' designs in the future?
More leisure options. Years ago there were leather boots with toes, etc. I need five finger variations to get fancy & dress up with!
Name 3 people you most admire:
- Jenn Rotsinger - Coach and All Time World Record Holder in Powerlifting 52kg class (I introduced her to Vibram and she now wears these as well)
- Shinjiro Sasaki - Former Judo Coach, USA Judo Team Coach and Adidas Sponsored Athlete
- Jen Packing-Ebuen, MD - My mentor and close friend. She too is inspired by prevention and movement as medicine. She wears her Vibram KMD Sport LS whenever she weight-lifts!
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being a mother. This is the responsibility of a lifetime. I have a 20-year-old son and I was a young single mother who chose life. His presence has pushed me to become the best person I can be for both of us.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
Vancouver Island, Victoria
If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Chilean Sea Bass
What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I took down a thief who tried to steal my purse at the mall. I held him down in a rear naked choke until the police secured him. I was blessed to have been at the mall where police were on scene and to have had the training to protect myself. Onlookers watched and videoed, but one stopped to help me. Thankfully this happened, because later we found out this man was wanted for 8 other counts of robbery against other women. This event resulted in shock that lasted for a few months that I unfortunately had to cope with on my own unbeknownst to others (including my ex-husband). This lead to a deep depression that I had to pull myself out of. I began training for a half-marathon and completed it in under two hours, 1:57:32 to be exact. This training saved me from unhealthy forms of coping. The power of the human spirit is strong if we choose to tap into it!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
What else should we know about you?
- I have a teddy bear dog named Manny Pacquiao (bishon frisée + shitzu mix) and he is my life.
- I am a Pesca-Ovatarian
- I am a writer
Where can we find you (website or social media):