I haven't been out walking on the farm in what seems like forever. I messed up my feet working at MegaMart - guess it was the standing on concrete for hours on end - and got so gimpy that long hikes were impossible.
Enter my amazing son-in-law. He listened to a description of my complaints, then gave me some very simple exercises to do every morning and throughout each day. He warned me that I wouldn't feel better overnight, that this would take time. Within a few months of beginning the recommended regimen, I could get out of bed in the morning without hobbling like a 100-year-old woman. Still, if I ventured on even a short walk, I'd be a cripple again the next morning.
In February, hoping to facilitate the arrival of my beautiful grandbaby, I did a lot of walking with my very pregnant daughter. It had been about a year since beginning "treatments." On our first 3-mile hike to town and back, I developed shin splints. Shin splints. I don't think I've ever been as excited about shin splints in my life. My shins ached, but my feet? My feet felt fine!
Sunday afternoon, Steve and the kids and I took a short walk back on the farm, to the Robin Hood tree. Guess what: My feet have not protested a bit!
Now a short walk with the family is one thing, but a long walk alone (4 hills, 40 minutes - remember?), that is something else. It's on those walks that you hear the trees whispering to one another when you pass and think that you almost understand what they're saying. You spot the tiny fairy hand prints of 'possums in the mud of the creek bank. A magical crescendo of gold rises into the air, a startled cluster of goldfinches.You hear the owls hooting, booming like drums back and forth across the valley. The fragrance of the wild roses, thick with blossoms, distills into heady sweetness in the cool evening air.
All this to say, I hope to be getting back out on the farm again this spring. Moby Bologna will still be swimming at the Elam Center three days a week, if possible, but on "off" days, I plan to trade in the red wrapper for hiking shoes. Yes, my heart is doing a happy dance, just thinking about it!
And if you need a really good podiatrist, I know just the man to recommend: the man who gave me my feet back.
4 weeks ago