If the shoe fits
I've been having knee problems just this past week, and I haven't exercised since Tuesday. Yesterday I took my youngest to the park, hoping to meet some moms from the homeschooling group. The park was deserted, so I walked laps around the playground while I attempted to read a biography of Mao. I estimated that the distance was about 1/16 of a mile. Then I counted my steps as I walked my laps, and based on what I know from my hardcore pedometer step counting days, I was pretty much spot on. I only got 8 laps in, though. Once other people came to the park I was afraid of looking too...well, too much like a lazy exerciser. Like the type of person who walks from the car to the house and says, "boy, I'm pooped." Purposeful lap walking while reading a biography just seemed a little too much like calling attention to myself.
I thought my knee was getting better, but last night my ankle started hurting and I finally traced the pain to the outside part of my upper front calf, where the muscle attaches to the bone. It feels almost strained, and my numb left foot is hurting more. My foot has been numb ever since a disk ruptured in my back, so I think that is causing all the problems. Today, though, I wondered if my new shoes weren't exacerbating the problem. I wore my Birkenstocks today, just to see.
But my back and leg issues are not the point of this entry. No, the point is to bore you with photos of my feet in shoes and to prattle on about the most comfortable shoes, and my ankle insecurities.
I had never heard the term cankle until very recently. The next day I was in the bathroom, trying to take photos of my ankles. My husband just rolled his eyes and told me I was practicing some sort of reverse narcissism. Nothing reverse about it, it's vanity through and through. You may not be able to tell from this photo, but I don't have cankles. I do have the feet and ankles and, well, every other body part that you might expect in a 260+ lb woman, though. So maybe for that reason, it's taken me a little longer to get visually used to these shoes.
When I was first wearing them, I saw them peeking out from the flared legs of my jeans and I flashed back to childhood. I felt like I should have been wearing a peasant top and my poncho with the fringes and the pom-poms. I briefly tried clogs when I was 8, but I kept falling off them and I sprained my ankle. I never wore them again.
Yesterday, at the park, I fell. At this point there were a lot of mothers and children there for the playground games. None of them were the women I knew from my group, but I saw one that I remembered from my time at K4J. K4J=Kids for Jesus. My oldest, Molly, has been doing the K4J Bible School since my friend started it at her church. I firmly believe in lighting a candle and cursing the glare, so I end up taking a job with the bible school just so I can complain and feel put upon. I had to take a Protecting God's Children class in order to be the snack preparer, and it happened that I was in the same class as the woman now before me in the park. She had a copy of Ann Coulter's Godless: the Church of Liberalism, so I knew it was the same woman.
She annoyed me in the class, and I was at the park as part of the liberal homeschooling group and yet...I felt this need to talk to her. I walked past her once to see if she would say something to me. Before I was leaving, I decided to go up and talk to her. As I was walking back her way, my foot somehow slipped off the curb and I fell smack down on the sidewalk right in front of her. And then we had a lovely conversation. Turns out she grew up in the Bay Area. Who'd a thunk it!
Now my leg hurts in a new way, but I don't know if it's the shoe or the fall or the back or a combination. Remembering what the salesperson said about the skin oils, I decided to work on the big scuff on my shoe on my drive home. I walked past the conservative mom's vehicle, easily recognized by the 2 pro-life bumperstickers, and got in my own. I took my shoe off and put it on the seat next to me. Occasionally I would rub the scuffed part on my face trying to convey those oils to the shoe. I'm not as gifted anymore, with the dry, middle-aged mug I now possess. At one stoplight, I took the shoe and rubbed it right down the side of my nose. I avoided the possibility of eye contact after I realized how this must appear.
So the shoes, yes, the shoes. I have a number of photos of my ankles and feet in shoes. Am I going to somehow tie in my daily anecdotes with my ankle and foot obssession? Goodness no. But I'll be happy to add more photos of my feet in shoes.
So this is the photo that begs the question--do my feet look fat in these shoes? I think what's going on here is that these shoes don't cut across the narrowest part of my foot. I love the lines of feet, how they flare out from the narrow point near the heel. But the eyes are drawn to the middle of the foot making my whole foot seem about the same width.
Now these Birkenstocks, between the way the end of the foot widens and the fact that the top comes further back makes my feet look a little wider--which in turn enhances my ankles. These Birkenstocks are pretty comfortable, probably the third most comfortable shoe I own. The first is either my Adidas or my Wolky sandals.
Ah, the Wolkys. I went into a little store in Encinitas to buy some Birkenstock sandals, and I chose these instead. They are so comfortable I can wear them for long walks outside or on the treadmill. I love the closed heel, and the way the bed has completely cradled my foot. They have wonderful arch support. Unfortunately, these shoes are really breaking down after the years of wear I've put on them. I would love to get a new pair. Plus the strap across my ankle with the middle part of my foot exposed is more attractive, I think.
The last pair of sandals I bought were these Merrills. They were pretty comfy, but you can see how my toe hangs over the edge. I got them for half price, which was a good thing considering the upper has ripped away from the lower on the left shoe. Molly told me they look like boy shoes and I told her it's because they are. I like the look of bigger, heavier shoes on my feet. I think fat people with tiny feet--like my sister with her size 6 little dogies--look a little overbalanced. I like the grounding look of big feet.