The credit card sizzled with electricity. Long flames leapt from the card machine and we all ducked to avoid being burned to a crisp. I punched in the PIN and a bolt of lightening shot from the sky as the clouds opened to a hail of choir voices all singing "Praise Be To The Podiatrtist, Praise beeeeee!"
***snaps fingers*** and we're BACK IN THE ROOM!
Sorry about that. I'm still getting over the shock of over a hundred squid being torn from my grasp at the podiatrist yesterday, but you know what? It was WORTH it. Allow me to tell you why? Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin......
My right leg has been giving me grief for about two months. Groin, knee and shin pain ingredients all adding to the "Injury Soup". As you all know Mr Physio did his bit and essentially hastened the recovery of my awful lower back pain as well as putting my leg through, what felt like a mangle. "Get thee to a podiatrist" he said. And lo, the good runner Dan mounted his trusty scooter and rode to a town called Hampton, where he brought gifts of VISA cards. I buzzed the bell and Tess, the Poddy opened up. "Hang on a wee minute will ya Dan, I'll be with youse in a sec" - she's from a Northern Irish town which coincidentally, I know very well, having lived in the Emerald Isle for a few years of my childhood. I took a seat.
After a short time I was lead into the room and she got my file out from the last time I visited her - about a year ago. I told her the problems and she said ;
"Gimme dem feckin' orthotics a wee minute." She took them out of my running shoes and pulled a face. "JAYSUS FECK!" she exclaimed. "They're totally f***ed! That's gonna be the main problem. Get up on the couch."
She spoke soooooo fast, even I could hardly translate and I'm half bloomin' Irish! The main thrust of it all was that I'd completely worn down the supportive structure of the orthotics, so new ones were constructed for me. Amidst all the constant chatter (which was hilarious) she pulled my legs and feet about in a sort of chiropractor'ish way. God knows what that did - probably realigned joints that felt a bit left hand side? Dunno, but then she gave me a few tips.
"Shorten your stride a wee bit Dan. And widen your gait just a wee bit"
"Widen my legs you mean? You mean like this?"
I stood with my legs about 3 feet apart and she burst out laughing!
"Jaysus NO! Yer can't feckin' run like that yer eedjit! You'd look like a bow legged farmer chasing a bull! I mean, just be aware that yer legs should be a wee bit wider than you're current running form."
She described that when I'm running, my right leg kind of spoons out to the right, before coming back in line to land on the ground. If I could widen my gait just slightly, it would stop this "spooning" effect and thereby keep my running form in more of a straight line - the result being NO MORE PAIN! The old knackered orthotics weren't supporting me anymore, making my right leg land in a "twist". This ever so slight twist was what was causing the groin probs. But she wasn't finished yet. She got her scissors out. And that's not a euphemism.
From her drawers......sorry.....from her CHEST of drawers she produced a roll of strapping tape.
"Royt den. I'm gunna strap yer right foot up which will hold yoouse in line a wee bit better. Take note of what I'm doing cos you can do this yerself! I'll flog youse a roll of tape too!"
She put a strip of tape from the back of my calf right down and under my foot. Another strip underneath my foot to the top of my foot. Another strip around the base of the foot. Once completed, I felt secure and oddly, FIXED! It was like someone was holding my calf and foot in line. She told me to walk up and down whilst she eyed me with her professional Irish gaze.
"There ya! Yer foot is walking in a straight line now and yer not flailing about!"
I paid her (see top of this post for dramatic version), waved "ta ra" and mounted my trusty scooter......FAST FORWARD to this morning and I went for a run. A 5K. I remembered her tips. I shortened my stride and imagined my legs to be a few cm's wider than they normally would be. My strapping was on. My new orthotics were solid, firm and comfortable. Despite having to take TWO walk breaks owing to my fitness having dropped off a tiny bit over the past two weeks, I completed it in 31'20. Now that is SLOW for me, because usually I'm always under 30 mins on a 5, but I felt a bit breathless at the end of it.
But the greatest thing was......NO PAIN! And there's still no pain. The strapping, orthotics, running tips had worked! I had got my blood flowing once again on a run. I had sweated away some toxins. I had burned some calories. I felt absolutely fantastic and positive.
Suddenly the £120 doesn't seem too drastic after all.....
Thanks for reading