As of late, the concept of rest, you know that thing we should all be doing but don’t have time for, has come up in both my reading and yoga practice.
Books like Peak Performance by Stulberg and Magness and Deena Kastor’s Let Your Mind Run stress the importance of rest, and sometimes that means total and complete rest for the body or hurting body part.
And last week, in a yin yoga class, which is basically all resting poses (my favorite kind of yoga), the yogi talked about the importance of rest and how we need to give our bodies permission to rest so it doesn’t have to get hurt to get the rest it needs.
I found that concept fascinating. My body might be staying hurt so I slow down and take care of myself.🤯
As ever willing to get healed, I took it upon myself to find a way to fully rest my achilles. After a little research, I discovered there’s a boot will take most of the stress off of the achilles to completely rest the tendon.
So I did it. That’s right, I ordered an actual ortho-boot from amazon and strapped it on. The boot is about as stylish as a grandpa in his sweatpants.
Upon seeing the boot, onlookers either offer sympathetic eyes in a kind of bummer-about-your-foot way, or avoid eye contact altogether and snicker while passing.
I’ve come to believe the boot is my penance for the times I put my dog in the cone of shame. It’s looks stupid and makes me feel stupid. Karma.
So what’s happened over the five days I’ve worn the boot? Quite a bit actually. Healing has happened. Instead of waking up in the mornings with a painful achilles and sometimes painful fascia, I wake up feeling like a might have a healthy, albeit a little weak, ankle.
But not everything is all roses and unicorns. When in (and out of) the boot, the back of my leg from mid-calf to mid-hammy burns with tightness. The back of my knee often aches and sometimes various muscles along the back of my leg spasm at random. Mild spasms, but spasm nevertheless.
These are newer developments. Less achilles pain, but more back of the leg tightness, enough to burn and throb, plus the spasms.
To help with these new symptoms, I’ve introduced several leg stretches in the morning, afternoon, and evening. In the morning, before I put on the boot, I start with a runner’s calf stretch for three minutes.
After the boot is assembled and strapped on, I prop it up on the kitchen table and lean in for a total back of the leg stretch. I stand there for the duration of a song or two, enough for the tightness and throbbing to stop.
Then, I switch to an inner leg stretch, moving from the table to a chair because I am not flexible at all, and sit there with my boot stretched out wide for two to three minutes, consciously breathing through all of it.
Overall, I can say that my body is still working through the trauma of the injury or whatever it is trying to work out of my system. I feel like the plant-based diet has been helping the healing, but has not healed my injury.
I had my doubts, but after four weeks on a plant-based diet, I’ve found the food to be delicious. I’ve fallen into a comfortable routine with my favorite breakfast and dinner foods. Fresh berries, granola or oatmeal, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for breakfast. Bean, legumes, rice, and a variety of raw and cooked veggies for dinner.
It’s a little scary to say out loud, but I’m not sure I can go back.
When I first started this little experiment, I followed several plant-based and vegan accounts on social media. I avoided PETA and a few others that were too graphic in nature. I wanted recipes not a loss of appetite.
Still, what I didn’t expect were the simple unintended consequences of seeing vegan messaging in between the recipes. As an example, how weird it is that humans drink cow’s utter milk considering we’re not, you know, baby cows. And how pigs are sweet and as smart as dogs.
Baby anything is cute so I get the marketing spin, but the science is what really got me. The amount of hormones and puss in dairy – milk, cream, cheese (oh god not the cheese!), ice cream, and yogurt are all incredibly overwhelming and disgusting to boot.
The fact that red and processed meats have been labeled by the World Health Organization as Group One carcinogens, like tobacco or plutonium, is mind boggling. That’s like having a cigarette or two at the ballpark. Again 🤯.
I can’t go back and pretend I didn’t learn these things. These facts are part of my reality now, as distasteful and inconvenient as they might seem. I prefer the truth anyway.
Two more weeks to go. 🌽🍇🍏🥬🍉🥕🥒🍑