Saturday, February 4, 2012


It's time to show appreciation for our feet.

Like other important components of our lives, feet help us a great deal. They secure us when we stand, propel us when we walk and ask for little in return. Yet they are abused, crammed into ill-fitting and often foul-smelling shoes and generally ignored.

I read that a recent survey showed a large percentage of women have knowingly worn uncomfortable shoes rather than be out of fashion. Naturally there are some fashionistas who would agree to such behavior. But a large percentage? The survey had to have been conducted of "women" under the age of 22 to compile such a statistic.

When you return home after a long day, likely that the first thing you do is remove your shoes. There is no pleasure that compares to the removal of restricting shoes. Even tennis shoes or outdoor oxfords can grow heavy and burdensome by the end of a long day. "Freedom at last" our toes shout collectively.

Of course, children are oblivious to many foot dangers. As soon as they toddle, they walk barefoot in the grass, splash in wadding pools or climb on furniture. Even these activities expose tootsies to injury, splinters and stubbing. But parents usually aren't worried yet.

Children soon enter a phase of continual growth. Parents become watchful over the size of the kiddies' feet, purchasing new shoes routinely. Feet are pivotal in the growth cycle and most moms can quote the size of the little ones' shoe without hesitation.

By the time we enter the adult world, our foot size is fairly established. We may change a half-size now and then depending on our activities and the type of shoe chosen, but most of us have reached a certain and constant number.

But many pitfalls await feet and toes. They can be injured when something heavy is dropped on them. They can be pinched inside shoes to the point of excruciating pain. This happened to me last year after one afternoon in "cute and stylish" shoes when I developed a "Morton's neuroma" on my right foot. It was the most painful injury I have ever experienced, worsened by the fact that I was on my feet for hours on end at the time. After six months of treatment, the matter is nearly resolved. The entire experience gave me a new-found appreciation for how we depend on our feet.

As adults, we nearly disregard our feet entirely. They are there when we remove our shoes and again when we wake up and search for slippers. Feet are there in the bath and shower, they move quickly when avoiding puddles and more carefully when trying not to fall on the ice. They like to be warm and appreciate being elevated when tired.

I know people with serious joint pain and some with disfigured and misaligned joints and they have a tough time accomplishing tasks while enduring pain.

Be kind to your feet once in a while. Apply moisturizer and remove callused skin when you have a minute. These guys work hard to keep us moving forward and deserve our respect.

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