August 2014

An open letter to my orthotic

Dear Orthotic,

When I was first told that my posture sucked, the messenger thought that my feet were the cause, and that I would need you. The feet are the basis of how you stand, he said, or something like that. I have been told that so many people since. I think that this is rubbish, and my podiatrist agrees with me. It is not the feet, she says.The cause is always above the feet.

I first went to the podiatrist soon after being told that my posture sucked.Within a few weeks, you reached my arms all new and without footprints. Now you look like this:


All of my shoes were purchased to fit you, which meant that my shoes became rather dull, apart from the ones that were PINK. I spent many months without wearing real dance shoes, which are not compatible with you.  You were placed in my shoes to assist with patellofemoral syndrome in my knee and sinus tarsi syndrome in my ankle.

You did a great job with the knee, not so much with the ankle.  My right foot was pronated, or flat. The arch liked to kiss the ground, and you stopped it, and kept my knee from hurting. I appreciate this very much.

You did not really solve the problem though. The problem was my crap posture, and weaknesses in the muscles in my legs and bum. The diagnoses above were only one part of this problem, which is a body wide issue. The cures are many and ongoing – my constant life work: getting fitter, making muscles stronger.

Yet sometimes, I reach a milestone, and become utterly proud of myself. Today is one of those days. I have realised that you are surplus to requirements. I am done with you, it is over.

It is not you, it is me. My muscles are stronger and they can hold my foot up much better, and I do not need you anymore.  In fact, when I wear you, I get a slightly sore peroneal tendon, which means that you are over correcting. Dear orthotic, I do not have time for negging.

We are finished, Thanks for holding my arch up, thanks for everything. But I can do it myself now. It is a skill most people take forgranted. But it is actually hard to acquire when bad posture and gait is the norm.

With Adiosic* Love  

The Whimsical Lady    

*Definition coming

Motives to Exercise

A couple of days ago, a lady at work complimented me on my figure told me that my exercise schedule was working. I thanked her, but one thing that I did not say is that my exercise is not about me looking good, or fitting into any particular clothes. I exercise because it makes me feel good.

One thing that annoys me about many gyms is that they assume that weight loss and looking good is what all women want. There is also an assumption that it should be the aim of any exercise programme. Weight loss is seen as the aim for everyone. Maybe this works for some, but not me.

For me, exercising is about getting healthier. Exercising helps my chronic pain improve, and it makes me strong. The pain is decreasing each day, and I am feeling better that I have in ages. I can wake up without a gnawing pain in my shoulder, or my intercostals feeling like they are filled with battery acid. My ankle and leg are giving me less and less problems, because many muscles are getting stronger,  the imbalances that cause the pain are decreasing.

To say that this is unusual in the middle of winter is an understatement. My symptoms often improve in summer and stage a comeback in winter.  I eat better when I exercise, and I stand better, sing better, dance better. Exercise improves my whole life. Maybe I do look better, but for me, this is a superficial side-effect.

I have to admit that I am now being driven my another motivation. As I reach each exercise goal, I cannot help but smile, and this is getting addictive in itself. Being able to do full press-ups feels amazing. Doing drops at dancing with my core automatically bracing feels most excellent. When an exercise routine that felt hard without weights feels manageable with weights, I feel an incredible feeling of achievement.

So for me,  exercise is about feeling better – because it reduces my pain and gives me an incredible feeling of achievement. Any exercise provider attempting to get me to part with my cash is going to fail when trying to target me about superficial things. For me, it goes deeper than that.

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