Meet Tommie Le, a barefoot athlete that's been pushing himself to reach new heights by raising money for charities and nonprofits through rigorous, impressive feats and events.
If the idea of exercising barefoot is new to you, then you're not alone. However, there are several health and fitness benefits that it retains. The kinetic energy that would normally be applied to your sneakers instead is absorbed by your body. It sounds rough, but these types of strength gains, especially to your feet, actually improve body alignment, awareness and balance.
We love that Tommie has been using his strength and training for a greater good, and is a proud longtime supporter of Incrediwear. We had a chance to chat with him about his background and what keeps him moving.
Image: Tommie Le on Instagram with Incrediwear Circulation Gloves
1. Do you mind describing your personal background?
My name is Tommie and I am Asian American. I dropped out of college a year ago to pursue a lifestyle that I can love. I want to inspire others to create a healthy lifestyle and come into the world with an open heart to help others that are less fortunate.
2. How long have you been exercising barefoot, and what inspired you to start doing it?
Barefoot exercising was something I would do occasionally whenever I felt like it at first, but then I started to take it seriously once I learned its benefits. It strengthens the tendons and ligaments in our feet.
Image: Tommie Le on Instagram with Incrediwear Knee Sleeves
3. What are some of the events you've participated in?
I'd heard about a 13.1 mile barefoot challenge, held by the Thirst Project, and was inspired to participate once I learned more about the organization. The Thirst Project is a non-profit that is trying to end the water crisis by building fresh water wells for safe, clean drinkable water in Africa. I found out that some of these African women would spend 9 hours walking nearly 4 miles barefoot just to get water that is polluted. So I decided that I wanted to take on the challenge to help myself and others understand the physical demands that these women must go through. I completed the challenge and raised over $1000 for the organization. My first challenge was a 13.1 mile bear crawl and we raised over $5000 in funds.
Some of these events were created by myself as a personal challenge for me to accomplish. I just try to create challenges that put me in an uncomfortable position to grow, but also help people realize that you don’t have to do crazy things to help others. Do things that you're good at but apply it to something that can help others too. For example, if you’re good at drawing, put your art up for sale and give the funds to a cause you love.
4. Any plans you may have for future events?
Yes, I definitely plan on doing more events in the future, but right now I’m planning on taking it easy on my body, and enjoying lifting weights.
Image: Tommie Le on Instagram with Incrediwear Elbow Sleeves
5. Lastly, what inspires/motivates you?
My mom inspires me, life motivates me. While I was growing up, my mom never had a day off. She was constantly working from 6am - 1am every single day for the past 3-6 years to pay off her debt, bills, school tuition and put food on the table. Something that inspires me from my mom was that she never made an excuse. She had a no-excuse mentality. She always had faith that everything was going to be okay. Regardless of how tough things at home were, she always spread love and kindness to help others out and always smiled. I learned a lot from that. Now I apply that into my own life. The world might be negative but I can try my best to change by acts of kindness. She taught me to be selfless. She taught me, “put good into the world and good will come back.”
The reason that life motivates me is simply because I believe there is more to life than just going to college and working a 9-5 job. I want my name to be known and I want to do things out of the ordinary. I want to be extraordinary and not average.