I have very flexible ankles. So much so, that i can twist them inwards and walk on the outsides of them without feeling pain. I’m sure it’s not good to do that, but it is one heck of a party trick. It totally grossed John out. He thought it would cause long term damage, or something. meh… mostly, it grossed him out.
I went to many a running store, sports stores, shoe fittings etc… to find footwear that would “stabilize” my feet and my ankles to fix this problem. Make them stronger!! If one more person said “you should do yoga”, i was going to Namaste them in the chakra. I do yoga A LOT. My ankles have only become more flexible since! ha. take that, running man.
After analyzing my walk, my pace, my twistiness, i did find those stabilizing shoes, those solid runners, but at what cost… well, my hips ended up grinding against their sockets and then i could barely get up in the morning, my shins ended up bruising and generally it became painful to run. My main suicide loss therapy was hurting me….
Well, that’s not good.
To ‘stabilize’ something at the expense of another thing. Nope.
I said goodbye to that fancy footwear and went for a pair of Sketchers 3 “Go Run” light runners i took a chance on at a warehouse sale. They felt like foam floaties. All sorts of hideous colours are available, but none subtle. As it turns out, they were (and are) perfect for me. My ankles are allowed to twist and turn and my pronation has all of the freedom of a lark in the clear air. Ahhhh. i feel much better because running no longer hurts my hips or legs. (now it’s just the asthma). Allowing one part of my body to be naturally unstable, helped the rest of my body move without pain. (OMG – how symbolic)
The more i thought about this today, the more i appreciate my type A-ish personality not pigeon hole-ing myself into a certain level on the schedule of where i should be on the grief chart… there is no such thing, by the way. Where you are on your healing chart is exactly where you should be. (unless you’re pickled in a ditch. That is not where you want to be). We all grieve differently, but we all must respect ourselves and be good to ourselves during this painful process. That is my parallel to the shoes. The ones that were supposed to provide stability were the worst ones for me. The first therapist i saw was an idiot. He gave me exactly one hour, then determined i was “OK”, and sent me on my way. I thought about driving onto oncoming traffic 6 times that drive to go see him, but he said i was “OK”. i didn’t want to see him again, obviously. I felt the stability he was supposed to provide was a lie. Like overpriced stabilizing runners. Oddly, It was the suicide loss group that provided me with the most stability – so, yeah…the group that i had no intention of attending. ha. I didn’t miss a single session for 12 weeks. They were my lifeline. i feel so connected to everyone in that group. It is difficult to explain as i only know them through loss. That group of suicide survivors and the facilitators were my discount foamy shoes and they gave me the most stability.
Then guess what? Sketchers stopped making the Go Run 3. I had to move on to the 5.
This was weird. I felt like i had graduated from something terrible to something less terrible. The shoes were not the same. BUT neither was i. And this TOTALLY wasn’t about the runners, all of a sudden. This was about another journey and about acceptance. The dang shoes just started to represent so much more. The first therapist, the group, the bond of loss, and so much more.
Here i was. i was shopping in a public space and not bawling. I was rationalizing the impulse to buy 24 pairs in case they stopped making these ones – not wanting to lose something precious again. I bought 3 pairs instead. Not bad vs 24 pairs. (One of those pairs goes into my suitcase for work, the other is my dirty trail pair and the other is my clean gym pair.)
Maybe i’m reading too much into the running shoe representing life and healing, but i do that a lot. I think and over-think many silly things. (and i thought i had OCD Before!) But this time, i believe it makes sense. Running, although i still kinda hate it, has helped me. It will never ‘Heal’ me, but it no longer hurts me physically, and on some days, holy hell, it feels pretty effing amazing in mind and body – even with my wheezing. I wanted to stabilize my body for running, but i had to let myself be UNstable to truly appreciate what i was experiencing.