They gave me the boot.

Jeff Gaura
I am proud to be a part of this organization

At the end of the last race, I was ready to make the pain in my foot stop. Fortunately, I had some pain killers, and they worked just perfectly. Before they started working, I was ready to cut the darn foot off.
The problem was mobility, not just running or cycling. I couldn’t even walk on my right foot. Every few steps, my toes would feel like I was plugging them into a wall socket, with that zap of electricity traversing the 3rd and 4th toes on the right foot. The only method of walking that worked was to put all of my weight on the outside of my foot, and walk with a limp.
My wife got me the first available appointment at Anthony’s office, and it didn’t take Anthony long to create a treatment plan.
“I want you to wear a boot to immobilize your foot for the next three weeks. You can do anything exercise you want to do, so long as you do them in a pool and your feet aren’t holding your body up,” he said.
“Can I do Yoga or Pilates,” I humbly asked.
“No. And you can’t run, bike or dance, unless it is on a stationary bike, wearing sneakers. Don’t put on your cycling shoes,” he said.
I wanted to yell out, “But mom!!!” as it felt like I was being punished for bad behavior. He smelled me out.
“I can tell this is going to be hard for you. You need to let the damage in your foot heal, and wearing this boot is the best way to make sure that healing happens,” he said. These were not just words from a medical practitioner but words of Wisdom.
It is now day 4 of wearing a boot that limits my foot’s mobility. I still get at least one instance a day of that electric zap feeling in my toes, but once a day sure beats once every few steps. I have literally two full weeks left before I can take it off. I am ready to be done with this boot, but I am not even halfway through.
My wife has worn a boot a couple of times. She assures me that it gets better and the awkwardness of putting it on just to go to the car, taking it off to drive and putting it back on, just to pump gas will become manageable. I really should be grateful that I have this as an option….people in most countries don’t have this sort of medical tool at their disposal.
I lose my gratitude for the high tech nature of this boot when I try to walk and realize that I can’t do it like I used to.
There are holes in my upcoming life, as a result. I can’t do the Richmond Half Marathon with my son. I can’t do the hiking trip with the scout troop next weekend. I can’t go hiking with my friends the weekend after that. No biking into town. No cycling trip the beach before Thanksgiving. No nothing.
Yet, I need to rest. My recent past had me going to dag gum hard, and some time away is in order.
The pull towards future events creates enthusiasm and joyful anticipation. I have an ultra marathon coming up in January, and the Duathlon racing season starts in February. Nationals are in April, and the World Championships are in May. I am taking the scout troop on a long distance canoe trip this June, and my youngest son and I are gong to knock out some more Western state high points later in the summer. I will have forgotten this boot by then.
Hold up. Did I really just put “World Championship” in my calendar? My wife asks me that-with a “you are counting your chickens before they are hatched,” comment. In fact, I have already talked to my oldest son about joining us in Spain next summer.
Hope. Nothing motivates a person like hope. Sure, at 21st place, I am not guaranteed a place on Team USA, but others who are on the team assure me that there will be openings that trickle down to 21st place, based on history. For this reason, I have hope.
Anthony said I can do anything that I want to do in a pool. Is this an invitation to take up swimming and migrate from Duathlon to Triathlon?
Stay tuned.

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