Alkahest my heroes have always died at the end

April 10, 2008

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.

Filed under: Personal — cec @ 10:37 am

For as long as I can remember, any time I spent more than an hour or so walking (or hiking), my legs and feet have felt sore and tired.  Never having been very athletic, I assumed that I was out of shape or needed to exercise more.  But even with as much exercise as I’ve been getting recently, I’ve still have still had the same problem.  I’ve tried various inserts and shoes for people who over pronate, but not much seemed to help.  So finally, I went to see the podiatrist.

I’m not certain whether or not I should be relieved.  It seems that it’s not all in my head, these aren’t normal pains, I don’t need to lose weight (well, at least not because of my feet), and I’m not just out of shape.  My feet really are screwed up.

At first the doctor wasn’t quite certain if the root cause was developmental or genetic, but essentially, I’ve got weak feet (arches, foot muscles, etc.) and an exceptionally strong calf muscles.  The weak feet cause me to walk in a way that builds up the strength of my calves and the strong calves pull the foot in such a way as to keep it from building up it’s own strength.   He asked if I’m a fast runner.  Not that I run much any more, but when I did, I was more of a sprinter.  Even as a non-athlete, I was still the second fastest person in junior high.

After looking at the x-rays, the doctor found that apparently the bones in my ankle are part of the original problem.  They don’t let the foot tilt up enough at the ankle and so the foot has to splay out.  Before he saw that, he was thinking that surgery might solve the problem – essentially cut the tendons in the ankle so that they lengthened and were weakened.  But seeing the x-ray made him realize that this would not work unless he also reshaped the bone.  I’m just as happy not to be a good surgical candidate.  A year to completely heal was a bit much.

The best solution may be to have some orthotics made that will hold the foot in the proper position and to buy shoes with an extra half to a whole inch of heel.  The extra heel allows the calf to rest in its shorter position even while walking so that it won’t get tired so quickly.  The doctor suggested cowboy boots.  I’m not certain if I’m up for that, but we’ll find something that’ll work.  Hey, now I have an excuse to wear lifts in my shoes and look taller! 🙂

An interesting conclusion to the day was when I spoke to my mother who said that my father seems to have the exact same problems.  His feet splay out.  Moreover, he used to run track in school.  Not long distance – his feet/calves got too tired for that.  Instead he ran sprints.  Finally, my father has been wearing cowboy boots pretty exclusively for the past few years.  My mother says that this is because he finds them more comfortable than other shoes, including what people traditionally think of as comfort shoes: sandals.  I guess the morale is that if you already have your father’s physical build, don’t be surprised if you inherited his feet too.

Now hopefully, I’ll be able to get some proper orthotics made before our next hiking trip!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress