Shoe training and body modification

by Rachel Wagner

The middle of the summer had already passed. I knew I was buying my last pair of sandals for the year. You could feel the cold looming in the air, tho it was still weeks away. Still, I couldn’t imagine going four more weeks with the same shoes from the past couple months. I needed these bright blue mules I found. They had a low heel and a very sexy shape. It was a perfect, fun color. Nice and simple otherwise. Easy to slip on, went with everything. They were great.

But the first day I wore them (the same day they arrived in the mail lol), I noticed that they definitely pinched my feet. I had like four blisters that were essentially open wounds that night. They hurt bad, especially in the shower. Still, I wasn’t giving up on those shoes. I put bandaids on and kept it moving the next day. That worked. Then I’d try them out with no bandaids, and my skin would tear open again. More bandaids, more cuts, and in a couple weeks I made it. I could wear the shoes raw dog, no problem.

Some shoes are just like that–you have to break them (and your feet) in. Toughen that skin, get used to the new angle of your ankle, adjust to the height of the platform, wear out the materials a lil. You just have to do it. And sometimes it’s not so dramatic. Like right now I’m breaking in a pair of black booties, which are generally comfortable, but they are tight around the top of my foot. Sometimes I leave them on in the house, just to get them more ready to wear.

When I started jogging again last year, however, I realized that it wasn’t just my ankles or knees or feet getting repositioned with every purchase–it was also my calves. Within a few steps, I could feel a tight lil rubber band back there, stretching from the back of my knee to my ankle. I was like oh wow. Maybe people were right about heels shortening your tendons. Meanwhile, on top of the heel habit, I also hadn’t ran much since middle school track, so it made sense for that motion you do when you’re running in sneakers to feel new.

I decided to keep running but to just not push myself too hard. I stretched. I didn’t run fast. I walked about one fourth of the way on each lap around. I also only did a few laps like that before calling it a day. Even if I had more energy and wanted to keep going, I stopped. Switch over to the bike or I’d just be done. I did that at the park pretty much every day in the middle of the afternoon with my son riding his bike in front of me. This was last summer, before the blue shoes. But yea, a couple weeks later, the feeling in my calves grew faint. Then it was gone.


Other pieces by me: Cardio is mad addictive & Men at the park & Notes from a woman followed to her car in the dark & Another day 5

My books: Jacob’s Hip: Poems & FEM: New Millennium Beauty & Fashion & Abandonment Issues: Alive in New Jersey & Back Like I Never Left: Dating as a Single Mother

My bookstore: Ten Dollar Books

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