Stories of research, nutrition, and nature

Barriers into opportunities

Time for confessions. I have plantar fasciitis.

Didn’t even make it three weeks before breaking something. Fortunately, it’s not lethal, dementing or contagious, just pretty damn painful and limits my freedom.

In layman’s terms, plantar fasciitis is heel pain caused by inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. That’s what you get for overusing your feet and not giving them proper care. Frankly, I blame last weekend’s beautiful weather which tempted me to a long jog on too hard surfaces. This week, I’ve been limping around with gradually worsening pain, still stubbornly walking to campus and back. For those who know me, it probably says something about the level of the pain that I decided to go to a doctor already today.

The people at Cornell’s Gannett healthcare center confirmed my self-diagnosis. They were also extremely friendly and projected the feeling of caring. Still, I find it kinda funny that the nurse measured my temperature and blood pressure, also asking when I had my last period. Some kind of screenings probably, but hey, it’s just my heel that’s hurting!

Anyway, the remedy is ibuprofen, stretching and rest for at least a couple of weeks. A concrete barrier to the types of physical activity that I’m used to doing – basically anything that involves being on your feet. It’s slightly frustrating, but it actually makes it easier to try out something new, since there are plenty of opportunities in Ithaca. Not sure if I’d have gone to that yoga class tonight if I would have had the option to just go for a jog whenever I felt like it. I’m glad I went: got some exercise with a dose of mindfulness, and felt relaxed and better connected with myself afterwards.

And being temporarily lame justifies accepting a ride home from a social gathering, providing a chance to chat a little bit more on the way.

Some barriers are, of course, stronger and more permanent. Even then, one can always decide how to look at them. Could there be some golden opportunity lurking nearby?

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