Wednesday, January 04, 2006
"Superfeet" and the one-legged squatter
Anyone ever heard of Superfeet? Or tried them?
If not, allow me to enlighten you...
They come in a variety of styles, colours and levels of torture. Mine are bright (almost lime) green... and they're "Performance quality"... for athletes... (Yeah... that's me, for sure... Right...)
I bought them yesterday, at the urging of my physical therapist. During our last two sessions he had me stand in sock feet in front of him. Both times, he crouched down, looked at my legs, and knees and feet and would then say.... "Hhhhmmmm.... Well.... You're pretty flat-footed..."
Me, being the wizard of body awareness I am (... er... again... not so much...) would stare at him blankly and say, "I am…? What does that mean?"
Yesterday, this resulted in an examination of my running shoes and a long and detailed explanation about how my feet hit the ground when I walk or run, how they roll around and why what I do is bad.
Very bad indeed.
I was told yesterday to go and by some "Superfeet"... In case you're still wondering what they are, they're special insoles with arch supports. One stop short of orthotics and about a tenth of the price.
So after work, I trundled off to Mountain Equipment Co-op, runners and gym socks in hand, and got myself a pair of Superfeet.
They didn't feel great when I tried them on in the store, but hell... if they get me back running again, I really don't give a damn.
Tim gave me a carrot, you see. (He's very good at that...) "Once you get used to the Superfeet, we can get you started on a run/walk program... after we teach you how to tape up that knee, too..."
All I heard was the word "run" and I nodded in agreement – quiet and calm on the outside and eager almost to the point of salivation on the inside... Sure... yeah... whatever it takes to get these short, stumpy little legs back to running.
I don’t quite know why I’m like this… it’s not like I’m even good at running (and really… it’s barely faster than a walking pace, what I do…) but it is one of the few physical activities I’ve ever enjoyed in my life… Having had a taste and then having it taken away has left me… hungry… shall we say…
Anyway, I tried these new Superfeet today at the gym. Felt like there was a sizeable, round, smooth rock nestled under each non-existent arch. I walked on the treadmill for half an hour and survived, but it wasn’t exactly fun.
Today’s balance exercises were positively laughable. There were hints of balance here and there, but I felt like I was tumbling all over the place today. Very embarrassing…
Then there were squats.
New and improved squats, I might add. (My trainer will be thrilled, I'm sure...)
When I complained to Tim that I didn’t have great balance with my assisted-one-legged squats, which entail bracing myself against the wall with one leg and squatting with the other, he replied, “Well… you’ve got to learn to balance. You’ll need to balance when you run…” (There’s that word again… “run”… making me salivate like Pavlov’s dog…)
He continued, “So… we’re just going to take that wall away from you now. Just squat on one leg… no wall.”
I tried today… Minus the wall and adding the Superfeet.
Surprisingly, I did not fall down. The squats were far from perfect, but I managed 2 x 10 for each leg. Rivulets of sweat streaming down my back... Tell me, how can one exercise be so damned hard??
If I look back one semester, at the beginning of the fall semester, Chris showed me two-legged squats. I hated them, could not (and would not!) do them. I tried at home a few times, just about fell on my ass and everything shook like a big bowl of jello. Far too demoralizing....
Now at the beginning of this semester, not only do I do squats every single freaking day, I sometimes do them in public… now on one leg…
And I might add… everything still jiggles like a big bowl of jello… Maybe lime jello… to match the colour of my Superfeet... and my iPod mini.