Yesterday morning, I had an interesting and rewarding meeting with Canada's Sun Media Corporation feature writer Thane Burnett. In the past 10 years or so, I have been interviewed by numerous reporters but I must admit interviewing with Thane was by far one of the most refreshing experiences of this kind in recent months.
When Thane contacted me to propose the article, he explained he wanted to do a cross-media piece focused on the urban barefooting experience here in the city; which would potentially include writing and video reporting for the different Sun Media publications which includes the Sun family of newspapers, Canoe.com and perhaps Sun TV. Needless to say, both the focus of the story, as well as the potential wide reach, got my attention.
Right from the get go, when I met Thane at the door of his Toronto downtown office, he made me feel at ease with his down to earth personality. I also felt he was genuinely interested in what I had to say about the benefits of a barefoot lifestyle, as well as the social blocks we barefooters face on a daily basis.
I must confess, what I liked the best about this experience was his willingness to try barefooting first hand (or feet first, if you will). For a self-described "tender-footsies" man who admits hasn't done any street barefooting in the past, I'm very happy to report that Thane seemed very much at ease in his bare feet during the hour and a half we spent padding around the streets in the vicinity of St. Lawrence Market. He didn't skip a single step while we walked at a good pace all over the area, while hauling his dress shoes in his left hand and carrying his video cam and tripod in his right hand; only pausing here and there to take some video footage or photos for the article. At some point, he told me he liked the "cool feel" underfoot and later on he encouraged a by standing colleague to take his shoes off: "it's liberating", he said - unfortunately the man didn't follow suit.
Most impressive, however, was the way Thane carried himself with great confidence during the whole time we spent together. He didn't show any of the usual nervousness I see in some other first-time barefooters. If I hadn't known any better, I would have thought he was a seasoned barefooter. I can only hope he will continue to explore some more barefooting and maybe become the newest barefooter in town; we definitely need more cool barefooters here in Toronto!
Needless to say, I'm very much looking forward to reading and watching the final results from this interview. I will be sure to post the appropriate links when the story is published.