It’s Life or Death: Make Caring for Your Feet a New Year’s Resolution
Posted by Jenn F. on Friday, December 21st, 2012
Americans are notorious for broken resolutions. By mid January, most of us will have given up on our plans, victims of routine and winter ennui. I take resolutions very seriously. I see New Year’s as a real chance to do things differently, to take stock of my life, and to change the things that make me unhappy or unhealthy. I buck the trend: it’s usually March or April when my resolutions crumble like so much dried up fruit cake, before my very eyes. But sometimes, my resolutions stick. When I was 23, I wanted to quit smoking. I’d tried before and failed and I felt horrible every time I lit a cigarette. That New Year’s, with the help of friends and family, I did quit, and I haven’t smoked a single cigarette since. The reason I kept that resolution: I really thought, deeply, about why it was so important. “What is the meaning of life?” I asked myself. “Living well, loving, and following your dreams,” I answered. You can’t do those things when you feel sick from smoking, when you get lung cancer and spend your years struggling to breathe.
This year, my resolution is to take care of my feet. They often hurt from my shoes, I have a mild ingrown toenail I’ve been ignoring, and I can’t remember the last time I had a foot massage. And here is the real live or die lesson that’s going to make this resolution stick: My feet carry me through my life. I can’t live well when they are in pain. I can’t effectively pursue my goals when I can’t run comfortably with the wind in my hair. And I can’t even begin to address my other resolutions (losing weight, exercising more) if my feet are unhealthy. I have big dreams. I need healthy feet to achieve them. Here’s how I plan to do it.
I’m replacing all of my high heels with comfortable, stylish flats that have adequate arch and lateral support. Why do I wear heels? I wear them to appeal to a cultural ideal of beauty. Why does this matter to me? Honestly, deep down, it doesn’t. It’s just that I, along with many women in America, feel like I have to conform. I’m not doing that anymore. The world can accept me with beautiful, comfortable flats, thank you very much.
I’m going to the podiatrist. It’s time to fix the problems I have before they get worse. It’s always better to visit the doctor early, when small adjustments and low-cost treatments can have a real effect. Try The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900).
I’m going to treat my feet like the princesses they are with a foot massage. There is nothing more soothing than an hour-long massage. They deserve it. And if Ryan Gosling is available, I won’t say no.
I’m going to take the time, every day, to appreciate the healthy feet at the end of my legs. It’s so easy to take something for granted when it doesn’t get in your way. By remembering to appreciate how fortunate I am to have reasonably healthy feet, I’ll remember how important it is to always take care of them.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.