Northumberland Today Newspaper Story

Posted April 9, 2014 | by Sue Kenney | in Blog | no responses

Family Wellness Day speaker to tout benefits of shoelessness

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today
Submitted photo<br /><br />
Sue Kenney
Photo Veronica Cinnamon
NORTHUMBERLAND - A woman who takes people on the El Camino pilgrimage in Spain, and who believes in the healing effects of bare feet hitting the earth, will be the keynote speaker at the third annual Family Wellness Day in Cobourg on April 5. Sue Kenney told Northumberland Today in an interview this week that she did the first 800 kilometres in boots before she did the ancient journey without shoes. Each year she takes people ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 70s on 225 kilometres of her original trek. It was created 1,100 years ago as a pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. For the past three years she has walked barefoot, not only there but wherever she goes, or wherever she runs, Kenney said. But today's society frowns on shoelessness, and so she created a shoe that gives the appearance of one with an upper but leaves the soul bare to the ground beneath. She will talk about her pilgrimages and how bare-footing has improved her own health during her 11 a.m. address at the Cobourg Community Centre's main gym. She will have her product, Barebottom Shoes, on display, too. The day, which is a fundraiser for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, is also full of other activities and vendors related to wellness, says events manager Dawn James. It has grown over the past few years to quite an expo, details of which can be viewed at Other speakers and activities include Empower Your Kids at 10:30 a.m. looking at a comedic book entitled Modern Rhymes for 21st Century Kids. Demonstrations you can try include tai chi at noon, chair yoga for seniors at 1 p.m., family zumba a half hour later and a 2 p.m., kids' yoga, followed by adult yoga half an hour after that. An hour of family drumming is scheduled for 3:30 led by Wild Blue Yonder Cabin. Vendors will also showcase health products and services including alternative medicine and "green living lifestyles," states a media release. Northumberland Today is one of the day's sponsors, says James. A family pass for up to four people costs $7. The day runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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