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O My Achy Feet

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O My Achy Feet

Some people have pretty feet. Others have ugly feet. By the time you’re afterfiftyliving, we all have rebellious feet.

Look at it this way. Our feet put in an average 5,117 steps a day or about 912 miles a year. That means by the time you’re after 50, you’ve walked about 45,600 miles or over 16 times the distance between your favorite ice cream shops in New York and Los Angeles.

That’s a lot of mileage for a pair of 26 bones. Wouldn’t you rebel?

Instead, like an out-of-control President, we insist on complete, unquestioning loyalty from our feet. Ask Spicey and Sessions how that works.

We coddle our aching feet with baths, massages, and pedicures. There are deodorants, socks that wick, and foot creams with names like Bliss Foot Patrol and The Naked Bee Restoration Foot Balm. We can invest in an electronic foot massager or a human foot reflexologist, both promoting natural healing.

You can even get fish spa therapy where you dangle your feet in a tank. Live fish nibble at your dead skin and other debris, to create “healthy feet.”

To make matters worse, we decorate our aching feet with torturous appliances called shoes. Some are cool and comfy; others are downright scary.


There are a lot of legends about feet and shoes. Perhaps the best is the story of “Buy American” Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. Each year, The First Daughter has about 200,000 pairs of shoes manufactured in Southern China. Our American Patriot-ess made a lucrative deal with Huajian Shoe Factory where employees are paid about $1.45 per hour to work 10+ hours a day, 6 days a week, and unpaid lunch and dinner breaks. Labor activists are jailed if they complain.

There’s no better way to Make America Great Again.

There are a lot of famous feet – like Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” when he became the first person to walk on the moon. What about Big Foot, the large, hairy creature said to wander the Pacific Northwest forests? For the more competitive, feast on Emma Watson, who was chosen as Number One on the enviable “Top Sexiest Celebrity Feet” list by WikiFeet.

Naturally, with fame comes scandal. In 1986 the world was horrified when First Lady Imelda Marcos and her dictator husband, Ferdinand, fled to Hawaii during the People Power Revolution in the Philippines. She left behind a collection of 3400 pairs of shoes and a coveted mention in the Guinness World Records.

Twenty-five years later, Celine Dion quietly admitted in Vanity Fair to owning over 3000 pairs of shoes. “Some people do drugs,” she explained. “I buy shoes.”

How about people who trade shoes for shoeless? Certainly not Ivanka’s favorites. It’s been reported that Former President Jimmy Carter went barefoot until the 7th grade – but what can you expect from a Democrat? In 2012, Marc Anthony performed in concert barefoot. Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia won the marathon gold medal and set a world record in the 1960 Rome Olympics – running barefoot.


In deference to our barefoot heroes, The New York Times published a health story, “Foot Pain In-Depth Report.” It revealed that 75% of Americans have foot pain at some time in their lives. Most foot pain is the result of shoes that don’t fit or force the feet to do something unnatural, like wobble on spiked heels or walk with super pointed toes. After that, achy feet might be the result of a medical condition, high-impact exercise, or . . . age.

Yeah – afterfiftyers are at high risk for foot problems – and that’s not fake news. As people age, feet widen, flatten, and padding wears down. The skin becomes dryer. Balance and function might be affected.

O my achy feet.

The truth hurts. We keep podiatrists in business; Dr. Scholl’s overjoyed; and orthopedic shoes have become oddly stylish.

Ben Franklin advised, “better slip with foot than tongue.” So don’t complain.

We’re stuck in the same sand.

Dr. Jeri Fink, author, photographer, traveler, and family therapist, challenges the creaky myths of aging. She believes that now is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, people, and places. Visit Dr. Jeri at,,   or to enter her world of discovery, fun, and insights. Her fiction project, Broken, is a series of seven thrillers that defy tradition. She is presently working on Book Web Minis – a series of fun, fast and positive mini books (50-70 pages long) where readers partner with the experts. Check it out at

She tells us: “I challenge the art of writing by merging fact, fictional elements, interactivity, and photography into nonfiction mini books. I draw from my training in social work, experience in individual and family therapy, professional research, and passion for exploring positive psychology. My 32 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements, and active online presence all reflect who I am today.”

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