The podiatrist was a bustling little man with frizzy gray hair. I nearly expected him to shake my foot when he introduced himself.
He asked what was wrong with me. I told him that I can't walk without pain. Yes, I've been running a lot. No, I haven't been stretching much. He narrowed his eyes, then hustled me down the hall for an x-ray. After glancing at my foot bones exposed on the translucent black photo, the little doctor concluded that I have very flat feet.
I showed him my uber-minimal New Balance trail running shoes. He picked one up, flexed the thin rubber sole, and threw it on the ground.
"Those are like nothing. No. Nope. You can't run in them. We'll get your foot taped up and then get you some orthotics with arch support." Then he disappeared for a while.
He hurried back in, eyes narrowed. "And make sure you stretch. Don't be stupid. Stretch your calves." Then he gathered his clipboard and left to the attendant, who tried very hard not to destroy her manicure while she wrapped my foot in athletic tape.
I am an idiot. Stretching? What a stupid thing to forget.
Thinking back, I've had problems with tight calves before. In fact, I've had similar calf issues four times before. I should know by now that I need to stretch them.
I can follow a training schedule like nobody's business. But when a problem comes up, I like to bulldoze straight through it instead of acknowledging it at all. My body-awareness needs some improving.
Dear Calves and Extensor Tendons,
I'm sorry I've been neglecting you for so long. You, me, and the foam roller will start spending more time together now.
PS, I'm really glad you aren't a stress fracture. That would've ruined my week.