The Foot Diaries No 1 PRE OP MAY 4th


The feet are flexible structures of bones, joints, muscles, and soft tissues that let us stand upright and perform activities like walking, running, and jumping. The feet are divided into three sections:

The forefoot contains the five toes (phalanges) and the five longer bones (metatarsals).
The midfoot is a pyramid-like collection of bones that form the arches of the feet. These include the three cuneiform bones, the cuboid bone, and the navicular bone.
The hindfoot forms the heel and ankle. The talus bone supports the leg bones (tibia and fibula), forming the ankle. The calcaneus (heel bone) is the largest bone in the foot.
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments run along the surfaces of the feet, allowing the complex movements needed for motion and balance. The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscle and is essential for running, jumping, and standing on the toes."

Ive always had a "thing" about feet. My Grandmother, Harriet and her Sister, Hilda, had the most appauling feet that would have terrified any young child . I can still see their HUSH PUPPIES moccassins with the sides cut out to accomodate their HUGE bunions and flipper like feet, their wobbly gait and pained faces. My Grandmother never really went out much and I'm beginning to think maybe the reason  why she never ventured far on foot ,was that it pained her to walk any distance. 

Unfortunately, I was to inherit Hilda and Harriets FLIPPER FEET ( words of my consultant ) and can't remember a time when my feet didn't hurt. I had fallen arches and wore those awful brown START RITE inneraze shoes which looked like boys shoes and was called CLUMPY CLARKE at school . Yes, I'm scarred for life by that name but I actually was that clumpy girl in the lace up shoes in school ( I even dyed a pair navy blue  and gave them red laces but nope, they were still clumpy )  I had bunion surgery at the age of 13 which was the most painful expeience I have ever encountered and having babies seemed like a doddle afer foot surgery. As an older  teenager, I stuffed my feet into clogs, ( including Fishermans version with backs...totally cool ) Platforms, cowboy boots etc just as my peers did but  heels never entered my wardrobe as a staple as it hurt so much to walk in them .

Fast forward to 2016 and many consultant visits later and here I am heading into major reconstructive foot surgery tomorrrow, calm but also terrified of the long haul rehab but mostly at not being able to do the things that ARE me, that make me tick, keep me going and make me feel ALIVE. Swimming, PILATES, tennis, hill walking , SUP boarding, Cycling ( thank you to my faboulous PRO TEAM cyclists who make me laugh and have set me free on our Sat cycles  )  Swimming is like therapy for both body and mind  and leaves me feeling stretched and rejuvenated, even at 6.30 am in the morning . As a competitive swimmer in my early years, I spent my  days  from June to september including Sat and Sunday ( probably in my Clumpy START RITE sandals, brown, ) hanging out with my buddies at Dun Laoghaire Baths. Those were the freedom days when kids could cycle to Dun Laoghaire baths, spend the morning diving and racing and hangin out with their buddies ( aged about 9 ) with not a  parent in sight,  returning home by bike  at lunchtime, nut brown and full of salt water only to return 2 nights a week  to compete in the Swimming Club races. Simple happy days....My love for swimming ( maybe the Flipper feet helped win those races ) never waned except during those teen years when hanging around in cafes with boys seemed like more fun. Returning to swim training in my twenties , Ive never looked back. 

Tennis and Pilates came later in my thirties  and making the decision to train as a Pilates Instructor was probably one of the best decisions Ive ever made. To love what you do and do what you love doesn't get much better than that . 

Facing into many weeks and months without that freedom of exercise is a frightening thought but with the huge support of amazing friends and family, I intend to make this my "Summer 2016 Iron Granny Challenge" Watch this spot  ......

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