June Renew: Day Five
I start today with this video and the question posed in it, as I’ve been asking myself the same question. I don’t like how I’m walking lately. I bob instead. I’m like a first grader with a too-heavy backpack. Like I just toddled off the bus and had to walk fast because I sat too close to a boy I liked. It’s just not a very womanly stride, so to speak. But I also don’t care what I look like. I’m just fixin’ to get home. My ambulation is purely mechanical at this point. There’s no need to swang or attract. And noting made me want to try harder than when I noticed my lack of ankle. Lately, my glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, because heaven knows…
But I do now. Or whatever’s going on down there. And it wasn’t always this way. I used to think of my legs as my most muscley part, and now it’s as though I just bounce around on stumps. I want to look like I’m equipped enough to carry the heaviest of loads, and a set of chubby ankles doesn’t really provide that. Last week I tried to prove to myself that I’ve still got it, that I could wear heels well and walk anywhere with them. People noticed them at work, as they did my entire pantsuit. Me dressed up nice has become the exception, not the rule. One of my co-workers even remarked on how my heels matched my purse. “These things don’t go unnoticed,” she told me. I was feeling so positive and not chubby in the ankles that I decided to strut the mile home in heels. I was doing fine as I headed west, but as I turned onto my avenue to walk uptown, I felt I had made a huge mistake.
My feet really hurt. They were pinching me. I was walking so slow, not out of breath, just not wanting to carry myself home. The extra weight made a difference. The lack of ‘leg day’ in my exercises made a difference. And as I took a seat on the market’s outdoor patio chair, I wondered if I even wanted this to be me in the first place. Was I really a dress-up-and-go kinda gal? Or was it just a once-in-a-while thing? And just how much effort do I want to put into my appearance, anyway? I work overnights, who’s going to care if I’m dressed nice? If you walked into my home, would you expect to see me dressed to the nines, or completely naked? Because all of these things are conceivable options. And a change of shoe won’t be enough to make them real. There’s still a lot of work to be done before this leg of my journey begins, and I’ll only make real strides once I’ve found the perfect footwear.
I still do want to work on my walk, though. I need to keep the shoulders back. Chest out. Hips under. At least have a moment of good posture, as I go home and stay off my feet. Cut me some slack, I’ve been sitting all day. How about this: One day this week, I will find a time to turn one of these half-hours outside into a thirty-minute walk. Just to work on my gait. I’ll still attract and swang, even when I don’t mean to, but it’s not about that right now. Where I want to go is less about what can be done in the physical. I want all of it combined, and that’s the only thing worth pursuing right now. I just have to get the walk down pat first. Keeping the body (and ankles) slender enough so that one day it may turn into a run. Any kind of run. Just as long as we’re in sync when the other shoe finally drops.