Several months ago, after years of whining, I finally consulted a doctor and was finally diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis on my left foot. For those who don’t know, Plantar Fasciitis is a very painful condition of the heel which is aggravated by extensive standing, walking, running, and weight-bearing (including my own) activities. It has been bothering me ever since high school but I’ve been ignoring it all these years thinking it was just natural fatique. It would turn out, since I’m slightly flat-footed, that I was really predisposed to such a condition. And those CAT/ROTC boots just helped aggravate it!
The doctor also said that this is pretty much irreversible but its worsening can be delayed by going through physical therapy, by wearing a customized insert (orthotics) inside my left shoe, and by considerable weight-loss via cardiovascular activities. The first two was easy. It was the latter which was the problem. It meant I had to lose more than 8kgs.
I love to walk. I love to run, and I was hoping that that could help but the doctor also told me to avoid impact sports in particular. I’d love to swim but the pool at the rooftop of my condo which is just a few meters long doesnt provide much challenge. I call that pool, a formality. And that’s when I considered my other old love, cycling.
How I Did It.
Living in the city has its perks but being able to bike safely is definitely not one of them. I had to do my sessions when the roads are less filled with cars. Plotting a good route around Makati that isn’t that boring was a real challenge but I really didn’t have any choice but be like a hamster. I couldn’t afford to just wait for weekend out-of-town trips and I wanted to be able to bike whenever I could squeeze it through my work.
And while it wasn’t really necessary, I bought a Garmin Edge 705 so I could keep track of my “performance.” It also helped push me whenever my speed was too slow, if my pedalling was too loose, or if my heart was racing too fast (that happens whenever I get a close call with a speeding car). It also has a calorie-burnt calculator but I have yet to find out whether it can actually be trusted. For what its worth, it does give me an idea that I’m indeed making progress.
So How Did It Go?
Well, 4 months since I started cycling again, my beer belly has started to disappear dramatically that people would actually notice! I definitely feel much lighter after losing around 5kgs, and the effect on my foot is very significant. I also haven’t had the characteristic morning pains and the need to take a pain killer! It’s a very liberating feeling and my only regret was not conceding to a checkup much much earlier. Heck, now, I even miss my whining! Hehe. Of course, while this may have worked for me, it’s still best to consult your doctor.
How about you? Do you have Plantar Fasciitis as well? How are you dealing with it?