Feet are fundamental to our well-being and yet we only notice them when they stop doing their job properly.
I’ve been taking my feet for granted all my life, always knowing I can walk anywhere I want to, reserving the right to learn to dance one of these days when I get around to it, expecting them to hold me uncomplainingly when I stand cooking in the kitchen for hours when we have a festival, demanding their services day in day out.
It’s only now that one of them is complaining that I’ve stopped to think how much I rely on them. One of my lateral arches gave me trouble a few years ago. The physio gave me exercises. I stopped buying cheapo shoes and bought my shoes from Green and Cross from then on. I waved farewell to even the occasional wearing of heels and stopped imagining that one day I’d wear those black suede stilettos from my twenties again. (I still haven't thrown those stilettos away, but keep them for the sake of nostalgia and let the girls trip around in them occasionally)
My foot gradually improved and I forgot about the problem again; took my feet for granted once more, even though I now only bought them the best supportive footwear. Occasional reminders kept me on the straight and narrow; back on a visit to England, I found I couldn’t wear wellies to walk the dog and had to buy proper walking boots, and walking barefoot on hard surfaces was no longer the best idea, but my feet worked again.
And now the same one is twingeing again. Suddenly walking the dogs around the farm seems too much to ask , so I’m missing out on the latest family routine of all of us walking round the circle road before supper. I don’t want to go belly dancing tonight in case I make the twinge worse. When we went out for lunch on the weekend we couldn’t just park and casually saunter around the streets window shopping before lunch as I was worrying how long my feet would last out. I can feel that I’m walking oddly, putting my foot down too carefully and probably tensing somewhere else in my leg or back to compensate.
Having something wrong with a foot makes you question your abilities. It underlines all the things that you can’t do easily, if you’re not physically healthy. I feel tentative about everything I do. Whereas I usually leap up to get something or do something a million times a day, now it is suddenly an effort. This little physical insecurity extends into feeling unsure about everything.
And this is something little, a painful twinge in the arch but no more than that. I can't imagine how it would be if it were a serious injury or one that was unfixable. So I’m off to the physio tomorrow and maybe a reflexologist. I want somebody to fix it so that I can have the luxury of taking my feet for granted again; so that I can have a blithe confidence in being able to walk up a mountain, go dancing or just wander anywhere anytime without thinking about it. I want my foundation solid again.