August 2

“My feet are getting tired just STANDING in your shoes,” my fabulous trainer Barbara said to me.

That sounds like a metaphor for life – as though someone was saying “Lordy – walking a mile in your shoes is TOUGH, my, how I admire you!” (Don’t we all want to assume that we cover gracefully about how hard our lives are? Oh, if they only knew, we think, and imagine the medals and accolades we would receive if someone realized that we’d been to the bank AND the post office while REALLY having to pee. Such martyrdom!)

In fact, Barbara had commented that I tended to stand on the outsides of my feet. Instead of attempting to correct my posture, I (of course) whined that it was the SHOES – see?? They’re all THICK under the arches! (And they are. I stand by that statement.) (Stand. Get it?)

Because she knows she is right and has x-ray vision and can see my bones through all impediments, Barbara said “Okay – do it without the shoes.”

(The “do it,” by the way, was a highly remedial exercise involving touching a fat workout ball to the ground, standing from the squat, and reaching the ball overhead. This is the kind of exercise that makes me giggle, because it’s simultaneously incredibly easy and yet also impossibly hard – like rubbing your belly and patting your head. I do these exercises while giggling through mutters: Arches down. Pelvis neutral. Abs engaged. Ribs down. Use the glutes – the GLUTES. And then, because I cannot accomplish all this, I giggle. Whoops – missed the abs. “And the arches,” says Barbara.)

So gleefully, I took off my shoes. I always do better when barefoot because A. I live my life barefoot and B. I’m always trying to show Barbara that I should NEVER have to wear shoes and laws should be rewritten to make exceptions for me. (Seriously: Why CAN’T I be barefoot in a restaurant? It’s not as if shoes will stop me from tracking in something nasty from the sidewalk – and if you’re protecting me from something nasty on your floor, shouldn’t that be my choice?)

Then Barbara, because she is a badass from the DNA out, asked if she could put on my sneakers. Ew! How much would YOU have to get paid per hour to put on someone else’s hot, icky sneakers??

Admittedly, I wear these sneakers ONLY when I’m at Body Dynamics; I put them on in the car once I’ve parked out front… sometimes I put them on in the waiting area. Not a shoe fan. So, they aren’t as nasty as you might think. But still: Warm from the body, so again: Ew.

Wide-eyed, I nodded. She slipped her elegant runner’s feet out of her shoes and into mine and immediately made me get back to squatting and lifting and other remedial, hugely simple exercises that somehow leave me dripping with sweat.

After a long, distracting discussion about a click in my shoulder (“Keep your chest open when you lift. No, pull your wing bones back and in. But keep your shoulders down. Now where are your headlights?” That’s Barbara-speak for have I again allowed my pelvis to drop forward, and away from the carefully-won neutral position; the answer is always “Damn it!”), she suddenly said “My feet are getting tired just standing in your shoes.”

That made me howl like a loon, just barking with laughter in the large work-out room while others nearby looked in to make sure I hadn’t slipped into hysteria as surely as I’d slipped – again – into improper pelvic alignment. Barbara, who is naturally quieter than me (isn’t everyone?), was also laughing, and agreed that she hadn’t intended such a profound statement when she spoke.

So now she’s going to research minimalist shoes for me.

Is it any wonder that I just LOVE giving those people every red cent I earn? I am constantly entertained!

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