Growing up, I was always at war with my feet.
Trying out for the basketball team in high school, I actually tripped over my gargantuan gams while dribbling up the court. In my more awkward adult years, my sole party trick was how my second toe was as long as my thumb. I am very dependent on my trucks to get me through life - they are my sole mode of transportation, usually taking me through the motions to the tune of 5 miles a day - getting them into and out of shoes has been a sordid tale that ends with me running for the hills when the words "Shoe shopping!" are uttered.
Today, I was fitted for athletic shoes at what was the best shoe shopping experience in my life. Ten years ago, I was told I was "too fat to care about what I wear on my feet" by a Nordstrom sales associate. Ever since that experience, I did all my shoe shopping via the Zappos School of Trial & Error. But today was different. Today, I learned I am not a women's size 12 as I had always believed, but a size 13. And had a mis-matched foot width to go with my difficult-to-fit size. I was prepared to walk out with nothing.
But I persevered. The salesperson found me the perfect shoe in less than ten minutes, and I walked out with a men's Adidas that not only look kick-ass, but feel like I am walking on marshmallows. Standing now at my desk, my legs are actually not in pain. These shoes are a new experience for me: They Don't Hurt.
I'd learned recently that my 10 years of walking over 3 miles a day in Chuck Taylors had sent my left hip out of alignment. I was told if I wanted to keep my pace in those shoes, I'd end up walking with a cane by the time I was 45. So, my love of fashion would have to suffer if I want to remain coolly-mobile.
You see, the news about the alignment came from my masseuse, who taught me that my legs don't have to hurt every day of my life. And now with these new shoes, I realize that my feet don't always have to be in pain. I'd become resigned to the thinking that after 30, my body's set point was OUCH. Shoulder pain, back pain, constant head pressure, joint pain, plus the leg and foot pain I already mentioned, all just a daily state of life as my 30's marched onward.
I never complained about it. Complaining about pain was reserved only for migraines and menstrual cramps, everything else was just window dressing. Except for the time I nearly ripped my quadriceps out of my legs by overstepping my workout boundaries. Yeah, I complained then, but at that time it took me 10 minutes to climb 16 steps.
So what am I writing this for? I suppose I am shaking my phantom cane of an eye-opening-experience and saying, "Get some actual athletic shoes if you're going to walk a lot." "Stop wearing high heels." "Wear the right size shoe." "And get a damn massage already." I know now that at 37, there was absolutely no reason for me to live my life in a constant state of malaise. No reason.
I still love fashion, though. I haven't tossed my Chuck Taylors and Vans to the Goodwill pile. No, those are for social occasions like going out to dinner and painting nails with the girls. But when it's time to write or walk another 5 miles, it's time for my Adidas. Because walking on a bed of marshmallows is indeed like adventuring through Candyland for a double espresso to-go.
Now I just have to convince my sister to let me wear these bad boys with my bridesmaid's dress ...