A Whole New Body, from the Ground-Up

When I went back for my “high school” reunion in North Dakota, after having been gone for 16 years (I left in the 6th grade but my BF was running the reunion), my BF’s mom immediately recognized me. By the way I walk.

I didn’t give it much more thought until about 2 months ago, when I realized I’d been walking too “heavy” my entire life. Well, not only had I been walking too heavy on my flat feet, but I also had been walking “heavy” like a supermodel, one foot in front of the other.

I learned something really valuable this week:

If one walks one foot too close to the other foot, one puts a lot of stress on the low back.

I didn’t/couldn’t realize how much stress my low back had been in until I started walking like I was on a set of hip-width railroad tracks 2 days ago. It felt like I was walking with my legs WAAAY far apart, but really, my feet were directly under my hips.

When I was a little girl, I had seen a TV show that explained how supermodels walk. I assumed that was some standard of beauty and I decided to walk like that from then on. The result of that decision was quite terrible: I developed bull-leggedness, and created quite a lot of torque in my lower spine that ultimately contributed to a severe weightlifting injury to a disk in the low back during college.

The first day I started walking with my feet a normal distance apart from each other, I noticed two things:

1. My low back immediately felt soothed, like it had more room, like it could relax.

2. I noticed that I got more approving looks from people. This is subtle and prone to bias, but I really think the way I used to walk probably looked unathletic and a bit weird. Now I’m looking more stable/powerful, even just a couple days in.

I don’t know how long it will take to adjust to the new way of walking. My bones in my lower legs will have to change shape, which will likely take up to 7 years. I have time, haha.