I was walking to and from my dentist’s office recently, about .8 miles one way, and I was reflecting on how there is not a chance a year ago I would have made that walk. Not only would I not have chosen to make the walk, but I physically wouldn’t have been able to.
In early 2010 I started experiencing terrible pain in my heels. I had experienced plantar fasciitis before and it did not feel like that. I treated it as though it was, though, for lack of any other ideas… long stretches, especially in the morning, wearing a brace at night, self golf ball and ice massage, etc., none of which helped. Finally the pain got so bad that I went to a podiatrist and was told I had heel spurs. And there started 3 years and thousands of dollars spent trying to figure out how to do any walking or standing without pain. I bought $400 custom orthotics, I had several cortisone shots, I had to toss my reasonable shoes (Danskos) and get more reasonable shoes (Merrills and Keens). I tried acupuncture, massage, Arnica and athletic taping. I had to give up my beloved boot camp and any other work out that had any sort of impact. I spent months in physical therapy. I spent $1500 a foot to get PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections that required me to be in a boot for a month on each foot. I had very little hope, by the end of this, that I would have any relief as NONE of these aforementioned treatments worked for me.
In conjunction with Chinese medicine plasters (which DID greatly help) AND losing 100 pounds (read more about that in a post coming soon), here is what I have back: My ability to walk. One could say I could always walk, but every step I took was agony. Every. Single. Step. I started walking on the outside of my feet to keep impact off my heels and then developed bone spurs there, too. I was so miserable. As I was walking home from the dentist, though, I was overwhelmed with such a sense of gratitude that I can walk now with little to no pain. I can work out regularly and at the intensity at which I desire. I can HIKE (one of my favorite outdoor activities)! I can do so many things I couldn’t do a year ago. And not just can, but WANT to.
So while “no pain, no gain” really refers to feeling the burn at the gym, which is a good thing, when I hear that statement, all I think is “no pain, so so so so much gain!”