I wasn’t always Proud of my feet – yeah that’s right, I’ve heard that one a thousand times. And yes it is the surname of a Hobbit family! I used to hate my feet, they were big and clumsy and I could never get the shoes I wanted for school (you know the ones with the key in the bottom?!). I danced and any time I was barefoot, my movement would flow, the moment I had trainers on I’d fall, roll my ankles, trip over myself let alone anything else, I just couldn’t find the floor with my feet. I didn’t realise this at the time, but the proprioception I got from the ground was GONE the moment I put on trainers.
Our feet are the foundation of the rest of the body, if the feet aren’t functioning well, everything above will react. The best way I can describe it is imagining you’ve got a blister, we start to avoid that part of the foot (well, shoe) as we walk. Maybe later in the day your calf aches, hip aches, back aches… that is what’s happening all the time when our feet aren’t functioning well.
Since starting to work on my own feet, (an on going process) and changing to wear barefoot shoes (Vivo barefoot are my favourite!) aches that I had in my back are gone, I can feel my legs swinging from my pelvis, and that feeling that you’re taking one step forward, two steps back, when you walk a pebble beach doesn’t happen! It’s less effort to walk uphill, my gluteals (bottom muscles) now work to support me. Shoes are preventing our glutes firing as we don’t get the full range of motion in the ankle joint, and so the hip joint and so the ‘work’ goes into our lower back.
There’s work that can be done, but sometimes genetics just mean that we will have flat feet, we will get bunions, but that is not to say that we can’t still work on the feet to prevent this getting as extreme as it could be, and helping relieve pain, even if elsewhere in the body!
Our bodies are clever, they’ll do whatever they can to work as efficiently as they can, but this leaves us with aches and pains. We can change this, if we just start to pay attention to our feet.
Go on, take a look at them. Love them no matter what. I do.