Check out our recent Q & A with featured Ambassador Jessi Stensland!
When did you first discover FiveFingers?
It was 2008 when I tuned into my own feet…which lead me to start taking my shoes off during my gym workouts in order to be able to pay closer attention to what they were doing and include them in my total body training. It wasn’t until January 2011 when I first took my shoes off for a trail run and later that month bought my first pair of FiveFingers. They’ve been a go to ever since!
Favorite pair and why:
Spyridon MR. I like to head out the door prepared for anything that might come my way. I like to say I live in motion and off-road as much as possible. I wear them around town, for parkour, cycling, trail running, hiking, kayaking, obstacle course racing…you name it. If I need to pick up and run at anytime, anywhere, I’m good!
What’s your passion:
I have many passions ;) but here’s a few at the forefront lately:
- NATURE. Human nature. Mother Nature. Being as close to nature as I can, inside and out, as often as possible.
- MOVEMENT. Living life in motion with feet included…and moving better everyday.
…whether that is commuting by bike or by foot, hanging from the railings on a bus or train, or doing any number of activities that keep me moving throughout my day: parkour, hiking, mountain biking, trail running, swimming, rock climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, whitewater kayaking…to name a few.
3. FEET. Increasing the awareness (aka spreading the love) of the foot’s natural form and functions and their relationship to whole body wellbeing
4. FOOTWEAR DEVELOPMENT. Developing and driving the demand for footwear innovations that allows for maximal use of the foot aka minimal interference of the foot’s true form functions.
How have FiveFingers changed your life (if they have!):
Absolutely they have! By now I am only willing to adorn my feet with footwear that minimally interferes with my foot mobility, sensory input, toe alignment and splay-ability. I like to run hard up and down technical terrain…and there is simply no other option as perfectly protective with that quality of traction…genius…gloves for the feet! They’ve allowed me to continue to do what I love…wander, hike and run (sometimes fly!) through the mountains, rivers and forests for miles and miles on technical terrain, especially at speeds and forces I would be unable to handle barefoot. It’s incredible. At those times…other than nature…Vibram FiveFingers are my best friend. The interaction I have and can share with friends and with nature are priceless. So thankful!
What's the most popular question you get about FiveFingers?
“Do you like them?” To which I respond “My feet LOVE them!” or if I’m feeling cheeky: “Of course I like them…that’s why I’m wearing them….!”
What would you like to see in FiveFingers' designs in the future?
As long as they stay spade-shaped and thin-soled I’ll be stoked! The ability to plantar flex the toes more freely would be a superb addition as well.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my homemade pierogies! Ha! But….perhaps most happy and thankful to be moving better today than I ever have and still getting better every day.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
I find beauty wherever I am…but I have to say I’m enamored with the old growth forests, waterfalls, canyons, rivers and mountains as far as you can see in and around Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.
If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Pollo asado burrito
My mom’s baked ziti
NOLA Doughnuts (www.noladoughnuts.com)
What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
The most? Hmmm…Crazy or courageous…fine line. If we’re talking “not deterred by danger or pain” then…
I’ve swum one mile in an ocean full of stinging jellyfish twice in triathlons. Not happily either, but quickly ;)
The biggest one though might have to be…
Just days into my attempts at whitewater kayaking while in South Africa I paddled 20km down a remote technical river (Class 3 at times let’s say) before I was even able to roll the boat up on my own (a very helpful skill for safety.) The last thing my friend heard from the local pro who had seen my skill level that weekend: “I wouldn’t recommend going down that river…and I definitely wouldn’t go if I was her.” No doubt I was not entirely stoked upon having allowed myself to be dropped off with no way out but down the river but there was no choice at that point. I seek out challenges but I knew this was over the top. Hard to describe some of the situations I ended up in…caught in trees (strainers) with water rushing all around, going through channels of water sometimes only big enough for the boat so had to lie back on it and tuck my paddle in beside me (no visibility or steerability!), ended up upside down in the rapids, was thrown a rope at least once to escape…but I survived and even learned that I have a pretty high tolerance of keeping my cool. I’ve since whitewater kayaked on 3 other continents and many countries. I absolutely love the sport and have since been more discerning about where and when I kayak. And I HAVE learned to roll myself up ;)
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
One? Whoa. Too many. The biggest and best one:
And one more of my favs:
Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda
Where can we find you (website or social media):
Favorite FF Model:
Jessi Stensland is a multisport adventure athlete and movement expert, and also the founder of MovementU and Feet FREEX (see below). Jessi was named one of Sports Illustrated's 50 Fittest in 2016, she loves "being strong to be useful" and lives to educate and inspire others toward maximizing human potential.
Jessi's full story: http://www.gojessi.com/about-jessi.html