Changing the way we walk

I mentioned yesterday that we’re on vacation. It’s a ranch, and probably right on script with what you’d expect from a coastal liberal seeking r’n’r. Lots of classes in yoga and mindfulness mixed in with opportunities to dabble your toe in adventure.

Well, yesterday, in the middle of something called I believe “foot care and foam roll,” the instructor mentioned that most of us are walking wrong. Point our toes outward instead of dead ahead. Instead of using our arch muscles, we’re putting undue strain on joints, from the toe to the hip. And for many folks, it might have been another novel tip to consider and forget. But I’ve got bad feet (a condition called sesamoiditis — it’s fun!). And so since 25, I’ve layered in interventions like giving up running and pretty much always wearing either custom orthotics (outdoors) or Crocs (indoors). Judge away, but it helps my pain.

For me, these words hit hard. I’ve been trying to do it for the last 36 hours — each foot carefully aligned in front of the other, imagining I’m working with an extra-wide balance beam. Perhaps it’s psychosomatic, but I think it helps. I want to stick with it, into the new year and beyond.

And all that got me thinking. If it’s possible to shift something as fundamental as the way a person walks for thirty-something years… maybe a lot of other things are possible, too. Maybe the last year has shaken a lot of well-intentioned but comfortably spoiled people out of their complacency (like me. I’ll admit it). Maybe we’ll do a lot of selfless things for other people, instead of ourselves. And maybe DT can evolve too. Maybe he truly will grow into a president for all of us, doing real good in the next four years. It could happen.


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