Exercise with Caution

My foot injury hurt, but it was nowhere near as painful as wearing ugly shoes

I am the least athletic person – although there was the time I ran a marathon.

Ran is perhaps too strong a word. I completed a marathon, how's that? I did it back in 2000 because I was sick and tired of being the least athletic person. I wanted to prove I could do something completely out of character. And I did. And yay.

After my marathon, I pretty much did nothing else for the next 10 years. I'd occasionally attend a yoga class or go walking, but, in general, I just kind of watched myself splat out. I was married. Someone already liked me. Splat.

Then, in 2011, my husband no longer liked me. And I was suddenly out there and available. Did I mention my body shape was kind of splatty? So one lonely evening, I saw an infomercial for a workout DVD. Two things that should not happen together are "lonely evening" and "infomercial." It's a recipe for all kinds of mishap.

But the thing is, the DVD really worked! You changed up the exercise you did every so often to confuse your muscles, and let me assure you, my muscles were super confused before I even started. OMG! Why were we moving around all of a sudden? No one had told my muscles about my divorce.

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And I would so tell you the name of this DVD ... if it weren't for the part where I got injured.

A few months in, I was delighted with my weight loss and perky buttal region (look it up in advanced medical journals. "Buttal" is 100% a word). But then I started to notice my foot would be a little sore afterwards.

Then I started to notice my foot would be a lot sore afterwards.

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Then, one day, I walked in flats for six hours at a fair and I liked to have died. I was in agony.

It turns out I have plantar fasciitis, which is a really common foot injury for middle-aged people. Okay, it's depressing enough to have something common. Couldn't I have at least some exciting rare thing? And then it has to be a middle-aged ailment? The whole thing was humiliating.

The doctor told me that I had to wear a sexy brace to bed, and do stretches in the morning, and to knock it off with that jumpy workout DVD and … are you sitting down?

Wear bad shoes.

She gave me a list of the shoes I could wear, and I was to wear them exclusively for three solid months. As soon as I woke up, I was supposed to put them on, no walking around shoeless.

I jumped online and Googled the shoes. Women attending Lilith Fair wore sexier shoes. Miss Grundy from the "Archie" comics wore shoes with more appeal. I might as well have given up altogether and gotten old-lady, bone-colored Velcro sneakers.

I mean, the shoes were all bulky. They weren't even nerdy chic. They were just ugly and bad.

So I wore the brace. And I stopped the workout. And I did the stretches. But I could not bring myself to wear the shoes. I know I am vain and stupid, and that limping around like an idiot isn't particularly sexy. But oh. Don't make me give up my cute shoes.

Fast forward a year later: My foot seems to finally be healing on its own.

And I'm writing this while I wear some fabulous black mules.