Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hanging up the heels

I recently attended the wedding of my godson, a beautiful affair that left most of us tear-eyed. The festivities were day-long, and of course I wanted to look my best. I dug out my high heels which I haven’t worn since, well, another wedding sometime ago.  A reasonably high pair of sandals during the day, and fancier shoes in the evening. There was a lot of standing around and imbibing of cocktails before the event, and I thought I did pretty well. I congratulated myself that I had cleverly minimized the amount of walking around on those heels by having my car jockey-parked and taking the elevator instead of climbing up and down the stairs. I did feel twinges in my lower back as I was walking but it wasn’t until I got home that I fully realised how badly my spine was aching, from just those few hours of wearing heels. I suffered for many days after as well.

How did I ever spend entire days on high heels in my youth? I could go from work all day to dinner and parties all night and then repeat the whole process again the following day.

I was diagnosed with a slipped disc a number of years ago and did undergo physio-therapy and chiropractor treatments to help ease the discomfort. I’ve tried yoga and pilates, had massages and acupuncture treatments. With regular exercise and by sleeping on a wonderful mattress, I’ve managed to limit the pain, but one thing I realise I should never do again is wear high heels. It just puts too much pressure on my spine and I suffer the consequences.

Now when I open my shoe closet, I do look longingly at the few pairs of heels I have left that I can’t bear to retire, including (gasp) my wedding sandals! I’ve also given up wearing the close-toed flatties that constrict the bunions I have. I just thank the heavens that I live in a year-round tropical climate that allows me to wear sandals all the time.

Yes, welcome to my world of FitFlops, the ingeniously designed sandals that allow me to walk in them all day, pain-free. Featured as one of Oprah’s favourite things, they do make quite a number of claims, with patented technology that’s supposed to tone and trim your legs, improve core muscle strength, encourage better posture and burn calories, among other things. I don’t know whether that’s all scientifically proven, but I can attest to the fact that I don’t feel tired when I walk in them.

So I’m resigned to wear flat sandals when I have to be somewhere fancy, and other times I’m schlepping around in my trusty FitFlops, from the wet market to meetings and even church. I figure I’m in my fifties, I’ve put in my time on high heels, and I deserve to wear whatever’s comfortable.

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