The Foot Diaries no 8. Finding my Feet... And a Pair Of Blue Crocs. August 2016


"Crocs, Inc. is a world leader in innovative casual footwear for men, women and children. Since its inception in 2002, Crocs has sold more than 300 million pairs of shoes in more than 90 countries around the world.

Fast Facts

Over the past 13 years, Crocs has sold more than 300 million pairs of shoes. That’s a lot of shoes!

Crocs™ shoes are sold in more than 90 countries – the brand now does business in more than 30 languages. That means you can spot Crocs whether you are walking the streets of New York City, Hong Kong or London.

The iconic clog-style shoe that Crocs is so well known still accounts for more than 45% of Crocs footwear sales.

Globally, Crocs has more than 500 retail locations and continues to grow.

Since 2007, Crocs has donated more than 3 million pairs of shoes to people in need around the world as part of its global Crocs Cares corporate social responsibility platform.

Headquartered in Niwot, Colo., Crocs has more than 4,000 employees globally.

Crocs is traded on the NASDAQ stock market (NASDAQ: CROX).'

Holey Moley, that’s a lot of CROCS ! Who would have thought a squishy ugly shoe resembling a clog that had turned into smurf shoes would have taken off and become a worldwide success, way back in 2002. The first pair of crocs I saw was in the Sand Dunes of Rosslare Strand many moons ago. I thought they were pretty ugly back then and I think they are pretty ugly now. We had a pair of sludge green crocs resident at our back door for years. They gathered cobwebs, dead flies and dust at times but were pretty nifty for gardening, mowing the lawn and quick runs in the rain to the barbeque (ours stays out 24/7 365 days a year and used in all weathers. Nothing better than fillet steaks in December cooked on a BBQ). Everyone wore them; no matter what size shoe they took. They were handy, practical, and versatile. Those sludge green crocs ended up lost, probably buried somewhere in the garden by our dog. Crocs make for an Indestructible fantastic play toy for any puppy. Dog toys should be made of the same stuff!  Ugly sludge green Crocs. Fast-forward to late July 2016 and a pair of bright blue size 7 crocs are in my rucksack as I climb the steps one foot at time onto flight Fr1958 from Dublin to Nice. Me, my boot and my crutches taking those steps, carefully, no snazzy arm candy, just my flowery backpack. Its practical. The slow person in the queue, the liability in case of emergency.  Feeling aged and old. 48 hours after the appalling atrocity in Nice, my incapabilities are insignificant. I’m alive. After evacuating the Car hire building, due to an unattended bag scare and after a long tense wait (people had ANXIOUS etched on their foreheads) for our car, we finally arrived at our apartment. It’s after midnight. Its definitely still Gin and Tonic time.  Frozen lemon slices are a godsend. I lean on the balcony to take in the night air, the smells, the balmy warmth ...only to drop a crutch through the railings and watch it spin and land in the shrubbery of the garden three floors below. An empty apartment. Never seen anyone go in or out of it. The Concierge is off duty until Monday. He has a spare key. It's late Saturday night. Tears, pain, difficulty walking without both crutches. Feel like a right plonker. Don’t give me that "you right eejit look ". Great start to a very long anticipated holiday. I’m alive. I’m a lot better off than many people a few miles down the road. Go to bed. Feel 110 years old. Tired and annoyed...with myself. 

Despite the awful atrocity that had visited Nice a few days earlier and despite a feeling of sadness that still hug over the Cote D'Azur, the sun still shone and the sky was that same beautiful Azure Blue. Life goes on, innocence, children, families, holidays. I had intended writing a blog while on holiday but just couldn't get my head around writing about myself and my experiences since so many innocent people had had their lives destroyed only a few miles up the coast. 

August 5th and its now 3 months since my Foot surgery. 3 long months of recovery and rehab, slow progress, slower than I had anticipated, but I've come a long way since those first weeks in May. The Boot and crutches came on holidays and I must admit, the only plus to being on crutches and wearing a boot while travelling is that you get zipped through security in jig time!  The ugly blue crocs became my new best friends. My smurf feet. Getting in and out of a swimming pool and getting in and out of the sea are not easy when you have one foot that has very little or no power and you still can't push off from that recovering foot. Balance is atrocious and you feel 110 getting into the sea and 125 getting out. Here come the ugly blue friends, waterproof, anti slip, buoyant and comfy. Thanks to the friends who suggested using them for pool and beach and boat, thanks to the friend who gave me her own Blue Crocs used after her own foot surgery. Good advice and used every day from shower to poolside to beach and more. Those ugly blue crocs fast becoming little superheroes.

The bones have healed, the new arch in place with its new scaffolding, the nuts and bolts and screws and staples slowly becoming at one with the muscles and tendons and ligaments and the swelling has reduced hugely. I still limp, I still use crutches when out and about, there is still pain on walking and the forefoot is very rigid but I'm slowly starting to feel like me again. Short bike rides, pool sessions and DRIVING short distances have given me back my independence and my freedom. There are days when I wonder will I ever be "normal' again, days where I think I'm doing really well and then days where I think I’m going backwards but there have been moments during some days where I forget about the new foot, until I get up to walk! My consultant said I didn't believe him when he told me last November that this would be a 6-12 month rehab. I do now. I won't know if this will have all been worth it for another while yet, but I’m motoring on in hope. I long to join my friends on hill walks and the freedom of a cycle to Jousee with my cycle Group but I've a long way to go to get to that place and have come to realize how impatient I am.

The big black boot was finally put away in the attic yesterday, another stage completed.

 The Bright Blue Crocs are at the bottom of the stairs, not resigned to a puppy's secret burial place in the garden but ready to be packed into my pool bag or awaiting my next beach adventure or maybe just as a reminder of how lucky I am, lucky to have amazing friends and family, lucky to be able once again to swim in the sea, ride my bike and play out in the garden with my grandson. My ugly blue Smurf Shoes. Another step closer to Louboutins ! Some day, some Day but for now Ill settle for my Asics or maybe aspire to get into a pair of Clarks.