many moons ago, i did what may have been the one and only thing i ever regret, i broke my big toe. and it's not the fact that i broke it that i regret so much as how.. i got angry. and instead of kicking the person i was angry at, i took it out on an inanimate object that had no give. silly move. not only that but i jammed it so hard that all of the joints were compressed, and for years after i had nothing but aches in the toe knuckles, and no feeling in the outer half of the toe itself.
a lover of barefoot living, i was disappointed that i had to wear shoes more often to protect the toe with no feeling. i would hit it off of things or get it caught when i trip around town. when hiking i would wear shoes or sandals with hard toe caps [keens], but that still had flexible soles. it wasn't until Vibram came up with the fantastical idea of 'toe shoes' as i call them, or Fivefingers as they were so appropriately named, that i found my happy medium. these are now my everyday footwear besides at work [must wear steel toes, yuck!] or in the deep chill of winter.
...but! i have discovered that with the addition of toe socks, i can wear them out in the cold, as long as i keep a good pace, my feet stay toasty warm. and thanks to my awesome parents who decided to get me a pair of froggy toe socks as 'tradition' every year since before i can remember, i have lots to choose from.
anyhoo.. what i was getting to with the toe and the shoes... i have been wearing them for a couple years now, and slowly, 3 years after the injury, i started to get feeling back in my toe. pain, lots of pain at first, but feeling no less. i think that returning to the natural motion of walking sans shoes, it has allowed my toes to fully bend like they're supposed to, and i regained some flexibility in the joint. if ever i go wearing boots all day for weeks at a time [winter], my foot becomes stiff and the joint aches more than it would usually. it doesn't ache constantly anymore which is nice. i hope that if i keep the joints flexible by continuing to run 'barefoot', i will prolong my ability to walk without intense pain in my foot.
it was another cold one today, the canal was finally frozen over. i could definitely feel the cold under my feet up on the path. i'm finding now that i can run for longer periods at a time without losing my breath. the [mostly] quitting smoking is paying off. i still have a butt every once in a while, but it's certainly no pack a day. i can focus more on making distance and enjoying the view instead of catching my breath every few minutes. speaking of view..
..it's kinda strange to see ice on the canal anymore. it wasn't quite cold enough last winter, and it was a sight to behold when i noticed that rocks had been thrown upon the ice without smashing through. wow, a real winter, sorta! well i'm glad i started running just in time to enjoy it:)