- I was born with crooked feet, not bad enough to be called club feet, but bad enough to need casting for several months to straighten.
- All through childhood and adolescence, I suffered from random foot maladies, like a sudden tightening of tendons that wouldn’t relax for months, making it impossible to walk properly.
- Because of my foot issues, I’ve never been terribly good at lower body sports. As a super-fit swimmer and cross-trainer in my teens, I couldn’t run a lap around the track, but could easily do 20+ pullups. For years, I could walk faster than I could run. To this day, running a fast mile for me is still around an 11-minute mile.
- I’ve suffered stress fractures and odd muscle growth patterns through my legs because of my feet. Unlike most people, when I’m injured, my feet roll out instead of in. The picture below shows the angle well. I felt like I was standing normally here.
- I have to be super careful about shoes. If the shoes are even slightly wrong for my feet, they can cause major injuries, or make mild injuries worse. I would have healed from my seven-month-old ankle sprain months ago if not for a particular pair of shoes…
And so on. Seriously. My feet are cursed, and that curse travels up into shins, knees, hips…and beyond that, I then end up with many poor walking/running habits. I tend to walk with straight legs, like a toddler learning how to walk. I keep all my joints very stiff, leading to strained muscles and tendons. I look almost straight down, watching to make sure I don’t trip. The above collage, clockwise from top left, show my straight-legged walk, a major stress fracture xray, staring down as a walk, and standing on the outside edge of my right foot while thinking I was standing straight.
It really is quite ridiculous, and yet I keep going. Walking, running, stretching, foam-rolling, trying to keep my legs and feet from completely falling apart…