Fun facts about life after 50, gender fluidity and femme footwear choices, and balancing all the injuries

I love this Louis CK thing about midlife injuries and physio and his “incurable shitty ankle,” especially the bit where the doctor tells him that it’s just this thing you now have to do for the rest of your life. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. But it feels real to me. It feels very real to my complicated knees. See Bad knee news for the back story.

But I think he needs to redo it for us over 50s because the real complications come when it’s not just one injury but two or three. Knees, back, and feet anyone?

My plantar fasciitis is back. (Did you know it’s also called “policeman’s heel”? That was news to me too. Thanks Google.)

I’ve got a good doctor on the case, Colin Dombroski. See his book on plantar fasciitis here. He’s the foot guy at my university’s sports medicine clinic. I like that clinic a lot since their goal is to keep people active and moving and doing the things that we love.  See Aging and the myth of wearing out your joints.

One thing that hadn’t occurred to me though was that my injuries might be in competition. The orthotics that help with knee pain might not be so good for my plantar fasciitis. So I now have one set for everyday use and another set in my running shoes. The everyday orthotics are in these fancy new Blundstones, and my lovey favourite Fluevogs are on the back burner or for limited party use only for while.

My Blundstones look like this:

Blundstone Super 550 Series Boot

My Fluevog Odettes (“an homage to every misrepresented Witch of the West there ever was”) look like this:

Odette

Now my life, my personal style, my gender roles have room for both the Blundstone and the Fluevogs. They might just represent the range from “sporty femme” (as my friend Ingrid once dubbed me) to “party femme.” But for this winter, I’ll mostly be the Blundstone person. That is, when I’m not wearing bike shoes, ski boots, skates, or running shoes.

(I’m way off topic here but if this stuff interests you, you might want to read my papers Fashion and Sexual Identity, or Why Recognition Matters in Fashion – Philosophy for Everyone: Thinking with Style edited by  Jessica Wolfendale and Jeanette Kennett  and “Those Shoes Are Definitely Bicurious”: More Thoughts on the Politics of Fashion (in Dennis Cooley and Kelby Harrison (ed.), Passing/Out: Sexual Identity Veiled and Revealed (2012).)

Thanks Alice, for this!

Okay, seriously now, back to sports injuries. I’m stepping back from fashion, and gender, and shoes.

So there’s this tension between the knee injury, which isn’t really as Louis CK gets right, an injury at all, and the recent flare up of heel pain. It’s not a knee injury because it’s more the way my knees are for the rest of my life. They won’t get better. The exercises don’t make them better. They allow me to keep moving. Thank you sports doctors and physiotherapists.

But that’s not all of it. There’s also a tension between heel pain and my much loved standing desk. See Celebrating my standing desks. If I stand too much it makes the heel pain worse, but if I sit too much I hurt my back. So I’m back and forthing more than I usually do between sitting and standing.  Let’s just say there’s a lot of moving and stretching and changing of footwear in my life right now.

I’m hoping this is me come spring!

About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

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