Friday, August 27, 2010

Update on my Barefooting Adventure

I'm sure all of my faithful readers are waiting with baited breath to see how my poor, aching feet are doing.  :)

Well, I wish I could say that it's all better after walking around barefoot for the last few months.  But, my right foot is still a little sore.

And, as I told my sister, I think in starting this whole 'barefoot' thing, that I have opened a whole pandora's box of problems.  Ish, if it's not one thing, it's another.

I started out by walking a few blocks barefoot. I found a street that had relatively new sidewalks that were smooth, so I would walk, in my shoes, to that block and then take them off and walk it barefoot.  And then I started venturing a bit further out every day or so.  I can now walk a few miles barefoot with out too much discomfort.  It was a slow process and my feet still are pretty sensitive, although most definitely tougher, with more layers of skin on the bottoms.  I'd take a picture, but it wouldn't be pretty.  Feet seldom are.

I am a bit paranoid about people mocking me for being barefoot.  So I tend to walk in the mornings pretty early. :)  Hopefully I'll get more brave over time.

 About the same time I started walking barefoot, I also bought a pair of moccasins. The Run Amocs (above) that I bought did not fit me and Drew took them over.  And we haven't been able to afford another pair.  But we were able to buy me a pair of moccasins for $30 in the meantime.  Unfortunately, after a few months, they got a holes in them. I still wear them now and then with a pair of socks, but it's not really going to work long-term for me. My moccasins are similar to the one below, but without the sole.  It's just leather on the bottom, so it's mighty close to barefoot. 

I can not wear shoes with any kind of arch support, as it pushes on the arch of my right foot and hurts like crazy.  Thankfully, at my mother-in-law's store, I was able to find a pair of flat sandals that lace up, so I can wear them out and about when I need shoes that look nice.

I'm not sure if I will be able to have my dream of 'one pair of shoes' in my closet.  But I think the Run Amocs will be close to that.  I will need a pair of boots for the winter and a pair of shoes for church/dress up.  For now, my sandals are perfect for that.  And for walking/exercising, I would like to just go barefoot.  I can dream.  But nothing ever works out perfectly.  :)

But, back to my feet.  While reading up on barefoot running/walking and actually doing it, I realized that form is everything. And my form is terrible.  I have not been able to do much walking without pain in my back for years.  Pathetic.  Pain from walking?  But, walking barefoot, the point is to listen to your body and try to correct problems until you can walk/run without pain. 

I have come to the conclusion that I have LOTS of problems that need fixing. Isn't that the way it always is?

I have also come to the conclusion that I need to see a physical therapist to learn how to walk again, or, read up on the mechanics of physical therapy/bodily function and fix myself.  And since the 2nd is cheaper and more my style, that is the route I intend to take.

See, that whole Pandora's Box thing!  Body mechanics?  I have to study body mechanics and function?  I basically have to learn to walk all over again!?!  Ish.  Life is never simple.

When the pain in my foot was not getting any better, I started researching and found this article on using a tennis ball for healing foot pain.  Drew had used that to help heal his foot pain a few yaers ago and last year I used it to help my left foot.  But my right foot had gotten so tender and sensitive, anything touching it hurt like crazy, and I couldn't roll it around on the ball.  But using this, I was able to only do it where it didn't cause shooting pain, until my foot relaxed enough that I could roll it around the entire foot (albeit gingerly  on the inside back arch part). And I tried to do it every day.  I had forgotten how much it helped when my left foot hurt.  After a month or so, I can say my foot pain is about 95% gone. Yeah!!  I still walk all wrong mind you. But it's nice to not feel intense pain every time I step on my foot. 

In my beginning research of body mechanics/physical therapy, the first two books I heard about and read were:

1.  Fit and Fabulous by Teresa Tapp
2.  The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion

I enjoyed both immensely and realized that I have a LOT to learn to get myself in order.

My ultimate goal is to be able to run barefoot, without pain and discomfort.  It's a lofty goal and I have a LONG ways to go in that direction.  I don't care so much about the running as I do about the fact that if I can get myself in that good of order, then I'll be very happy! 

So, I have added another area of study to my list.  I hope that I can use it to get my own body in order, and then to help with my children so they don't struggle with the same things I do.

Seriously, I need to learn to walk all over again?!?

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