Eric loves me.
He really, really loves me.
I know this because, at least once a week, he massages my feet for 1.5 hours. Not 15 minutes. Not 1 hour. A full 1.5 hours.
My feet aren’t hideous, but they aren’t the prettiest part of me either. I have two black toenails in a state of perpetual death from running. All my toes shed layers from their tips each week due to their running shoe captivity in humid Houston. The cracks in my heels are as deep as the cracks in the dirt around our drought-ravaged and water-rationed yard. I walk around barefoot more than I should on floors swept and mopped less than ideal, leaving a dark stain on the bottom of my feet with little fuzzies and pebbles clinging to my skin. Unless I’ve just showered, I’ve probably either recently been immersed in chlorine or had on a pair of running or (worse) biking shoes, so my dogs always have a distinctive aroma.
Eric doesn’t mind. He rubs them anyway. He buys special creams and lotions to try on them. He endures sitting positions that are hell on his contorted vertebrae, the one that he refuses to have fusion on, because he can take the pain.
I love Eric.
I really, really love Eric.
So I let him massage my feet. I suffer through 1.5 hours of excruciating pain as he digs his thumbs deep into my tight arches, crunchy with scar tissue. I bite my lip to keep from begging him to stop when he trenches up the sides of my aching achilles tendons. I manage to hold still even if he works the knots, the knots he finds where none should be, leaving angry blue/green/black bruises behind, because I can take the pain.
He loves me. He wants me to triathlon with him. And I love him. I love bicicyling and running and to be with my husband. (I also like walking, which wasn’t a real picnic when the plantars was at its worst, either)
We both hate the plantars fasciitis that kept me from running for 18 months.
So, I stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch. I tried a million expensive therapies that didn’t work, and twice that many wraps and shoe inserts. I wear Strassberg socks on both feet some nights. I roll my arches on an oh-so-hard golf balls. I don uber-goofy compression socks for my runs. I rock VFFs and Newton’s instead of traditional running shoes.
And Eric massages my feet.
Because he loves me.
And I.AM.BACK. I’m up to 9 miles. Very, very carefully. Thanks to my husband.
p.s. And who knew someone who looked like this would turn out to be both the strong and sensitive type? (Does that make him bipolar, I wonder?)