My friend Suzi and I met for lunch recently, and as we sat down, she sighed with relief.
“Ahhhh. The feet are the first to go, aren’t they?”
Yes, M’am, they are. My tattooed tootsies – I have an inked toe ring and “True North” on my arch – were the body parts least likely to show my age, or so I thought.
Now I’m rethinking that.
My jiggly arse looks high and tight in the right pair of jeans, and yoga keeps my upper arms from sprouting the dreaded ‘bat wings’. But my feet? Yeah, they’d look great, if only I could jam them into the heels that I so adore, but alas, I cannot.
Plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes and corns. Corns?! Like it’s not enough that I have to worry about GMO corn in my diet, now I have to worry about corn on my feet, too???
I continue to be in denial about the bunion situation. Though if asked to describe my feet, a duck might come to mind. Yes, a duck. You see, I begin this life several decades ago with narrow feet (narrow and loooong – but that’s another story).
Over the years, I developed a bit of a fetish for heels – legs look so much better in them, don’t they? Well whaddya know. All of that walking around on tippy-toes takes a toll. The balls of my feet s-p-r-e-a-d so much so, that while my heels may need a narrow shoe, my front half now needs a wide.
Quack f*cking quack.
My dear podiatrist friend (and I’m glad she’s a friend, for all the work I’ll need) says I don’t need a bunionectomy – yet. “They’re just bumps now, but they will eventually be bunions.” Great.
I’m not going down without a fight, and you shouldn’t, either. Here’s my plan of attack, should you wish to join me:
Shoes: I have relegated my highest, pointiest heels to the ‘restaurant’, not ‘walking’ section of my closet. You know – only to be worn to walk to and from the restaurant table, and not for any activity that requires more than a few steps of walking. The rest of the time, I wear (cringe) semi-sensible shoes. Athletic shoes. Cool boots with wide heels. Platform sandals. You get the gist, right?
Biomechanics: Fully ¼ of the bones in your body live in your feet. If those bones and joints don’t move correctly, it throws off your gait and creates mucho stress on your poor wheels. Chiropractors adjust feet to get them moving well again. Massage therapists work with the soft tissues that support the joints. Yoga helps with balance and stability. All of these are part of my health care regime, and I can tell the difference.
Orthotics: aka inserts. I occasionally recommend custom made, flexible orthotics for my patients. However, I believe that the great majority of us can benefit from an over-the-counter arch support like Superfeet. I have them in all of my athletic and closed-toe shoes to support my arches. If you’ve experienced the pain of plantar fasciitis, I know you will do all you can to avoid it a second time. Orthotics can help prevent and treat this common condition.
Gadgets and Gizmos: I’m a big fan of YogaToes – wearing them is a passive exercise that stretches your forefoot in a great way. I believe they will buy me some time in the bunion arena. Got a golf ball handy? While you’re sitting here reading this, roll your foot over one to break up any tight muscles and adhesions. It hurts so good!
I’ve got many, many miles left on my feet. Taking great care of them is an investment that is well worth my – and your – time.