(If you're new here you can read the article describing my project.)
Summary: This week has been fantastic. I was able to make major progress in getting out of the orthotics. Lots of focus on Pose walking and trying to ingrain the basic concepts of Pose movement into walking: erect posture, falling, quick foot cadence, relaxed limbs.
Details: I’m old enough to know it’s not good to claim victory too early, but I think this is one of the weeks I’ve been waiting for for a long time. I experimented with not using the orthotics and the feet responded really really well. In actuality I was getting an indication this was going well when I pushed the “Publish” button on last week’s report. I considered putting some of this positive news in that report, but I wanted to let this week unfold and see if it really stuck. It apparently really has - “stuck” that is.
On Wednesday I decided to try an experiment: How long could I go without my orthotics? Over the last few months I think I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing the little signs through the day when the feet are getting tired, so I wasn’t very worried. I decided, when I started to feel those leading indicators, I would throw the orthotics back in the shoes and be sure things didn’t get out of hand. Well, I went the whole day. No pain whatsoever. I was completely stunned. The next morning (which is when I often feel the impact of the previous day) I still felt 100% pain free. So I kept going…..and I made it completely through that day, too! I was doubly stunned.
A major mental breakthrough this week was the realization that everyday movement, just not running, can contribute a lot more to the foot pain than I realized. I came to this via input from Jeremy (the Pose coach I’m working with) and also the Pose forum. I believe using core Pose techniques during my daily movement contributed to my ability to get out of my orthotics so quickly. The Pose techniques, whether applied to walking or running, enable a form of movement that is much less stressful on the body. It takes advantage of gravity to propel us, which then enables us to not have to do things like use various muscles to push us forward. One of those body areas we often use to push us forward are our calves and feet – toe-off if you will. Pose advocates picking up the foot (since you’re falling forward). Have you ever been walking on a sidewalk and up ahead seen a patch of ice? Most of us alter our gait to walk across the ice patch. That’s because we push off when we walk. A good Pose runner or walker doesn’t need to change their gait when they are on ice, because they’re not pushing off. Walking and running on ice is often used to help people understand the Pose concepts and perceptions.
Progress was also made on the basic drills. I believe I’ve graduated from “Pose Stance Training School”. Below are two pictures. The picture on the left is my first attempt at the basic Pose stance, which is done incorrectly. The picture on the right is the correct stance. The main things to notice in the correct stance are straight posture, slight knee bend and weight over the ball of the foot.
I’ve been doing 30 min walks in the Pose shoes to really focus and practice the Pose techniques. Those seem to be going well.
Actually – that’s about all I have to report for this week. I’m still a bit anxious about what the upcoming no-orthotic week has to bring. I’ve really been looking at those devices with mixed emotions. I view them as the key to helping me cure the immediate injury of PF, by giving my feet rest and support for the healing process. However, they’re also things I wish to get rid of. I keep hearing the words of my Podiatrist from quite a number of months back: An orthotic is really a splint. Splints help us heal, but the real goal is to get rid of the splint. Pose, and patience, I believe, have really enabled me to get rid of them.