I first became aware of my feet in second grade. I had gone through a growth spurt and my feet grew out of the new pair of shoes my parents had JUST purchased a couple months prior. We didn’t have a lot of money and I dreaded saying anything to my parents so I toughed it out as long a second grader could with crammed toes. I think my mom noticed before I said anything. Too small shoes were/are really uncomfortable.
Then, there were my first pair of kitten heels for my 6th grade graduation. I was so grown up in those pointy toed fancy shoes that totally wrecked my feet. I’m sure I looked super fashionable.
These days I’m smarter about my feet and, who knew, there’s a lot to learn about them! And dear god, can you ever drop some cash on them! But let’s save that for later on in the series.
33 joints in the foot. Let’s start there. Can’t say that I’m good at articulating even half of those on any sort of regular basis.
When I make an effort to stretch and take my foot OUT of my shoe or slipper, introduce it to various surfaces for periods of time…
It feels really good.
If I stretch and splay my toes, try to lift JUST my big toe (try it, it’s hard to do!)? So much goodness.
When I go to lift – when I unrack, walk out and set my feet: Solid. I mean that sh*t is SOLID and I feel like I can lift anything. And when your feet feel THAT solid and secure – your mental game soars.
Know this though, before you go on this trip to foot nirvana: it takes time.
Remember Vibram/5 Finger shoes? Still got mine – love’em. They came with instructions on how to build up your foot and lower leg tolerance (read: muscles) before going minimal.
Look at your bare foot. Lots of joints, covered in muscle, tendon, fascia, and “stuff”.
It’s all small.
There’s no meaty quadriceps or beefy hamstring so those muscles are going to fatigue and get sore a heck of a lot faster than quad or bicep would. So, go easy on your feet. Scale, progress, listen to your body. Start with trying to splay your toes. Try lifting JUST your big toe. Maybe not wear shoes when you’re at home.
Here’s short informative vid from The Movement Fix.
Next in The Foot Series: Foot Pain – it may not have anything to do with your foot.