Amazing Feet · 1 December 2012
Feet are amazing. They support us as we stand on them all day long and they really only cry out when we abuse them.
I am amazed that these little parts of our body can stand all the pressure of our lives day in and day out. We squeeze them into shoes that constrict and constrain them. We expect them to do their job even when we put too much weight on them with backpacks or being overweight or both. Some people even think that they ought to pound on them more by running all the time. And despite all these pressures and abuses, they still do their job to support us.
If you have been reading about my journey toward health (MichaelTMiyoshi.com/health), you know that I have chosen a new way to abuse my feet. I have switched over to minimalist shoes. These shoes offer no arch support and give me a feeling of being barefoot all the time. I started with running shoes and then got some everyday shoes to boot. My feet have been thanking me for this great switch that some might think of as abuse.
I should have realized that my feet wanted to be naked or as close as they could be without freezing to death or causing too much social outrage. After all, when we were kids, we used to run around on Grandma and Grandpa’s farm without any shoes on. Summertime was barefoot time whether we at the farm or at home. Then, when school came around, we would get a new pair of shoes and try to stuff our feet into those confined spaces. Mom would always say that our feet had expanded because we had not worn shoes for so long. We would just need to get used to those new shoes. Our feet would complain, but then, they would adjust.
That is the amazing thing about feet. We put them through all sorts of torture and they still do their job. We put all our weight on two little parts of our body that are just a tiny proportion of the total surface area of our bodies. The physical pressure on them is tremendous. And when we start to run, we put even more pressure on them as we hit the ground with only a fraction of that already small surface area.
The book, Born to Run, and my own experience so far with minimalist shoes has made me realize that my feet like to be abused. Conventional wisdom says that they want to be pampered. But in fact, they do not like it when my heals are raised to cushion my heals when I walk nor do they like it when they have soft padding beneath them. They do not like any extra support I might want to give them as I pound on them. After wearing my “no shoes” shoes, I realize that my feet were designed to take all the abuse I can give them. They only complained that it took me so long to realize that they were being stifled with “comfortable” shoes.
I should probably apologize to my feet. (And all my readers, both real and imaginary, for all the puns.) They have muscles that I have neglected by not letting them flex or work out. But I guess that makes sense in our world today. We want to take all the stress out of our lives instead of realizing that the right amount of stress is there to make us better and stronger. We do not realize that our feet can take the stress and strain of our daily lives without the need for any extra padding or support. We do not realize that they want to take the pounding and get stronger for it. Feet, I am sorry that I bought into all that. I am sorry that I did not let you take the pounding that you were designed to take.
I am glad that I finally realized my feet wanted out of my shoes. That I finally listened to their plea for release. And I am thankful to my feet for their daily support as I go through life, regardless of how much I abuse them. Thank you, feet. You are truly are amazing.
© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi
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