I’ve competed in marathons and races since I was a teenager. Sure, it’s harder now that I’m in my 50s, but I once saw a 90-year-old woman in a marathon. If she can do it, any of us can.
I always kept this in my mind as I’d put on my running shoes each morning, determined to get my run in first thing.
But something started changing. I’m not exactly sure when it did, but gradually, I began to notice weird things with my feet.
In particular, I noticed their shape was changing. I thought that maybe it was something that just happened when you start aging.
My doctor said that wasn’t the case.
“You have bunions,” he explained, pointing them out at the base of my big toes. “You’re going to need surgery,” he advised.
“I’m in a marathon next month,” I protested, but he shook his head.
“I’d withdraw if I were you. This problem won’t just go away.”
It was probably rude of me, but I just walked out. Actually, I ran. I ran down the hall and through the parking lot until I got to my car. I sat there and cried.
What was the point of living if I couldn’t run?
Running was my escape, my way of dealing with my problems. I’d run and I’d feel better. And then I could face everything.
Without running, how could I face anything though? I couldn’t even face myself.
I got home and stared at my feet for a long time. How could they become like this? How had they gotten so out of hand?
Most people with bunions complain about the pain. I’m not saying mine didn’t hurt…they did. But I chose to ignore it. I’ve always been stubborn in that way.
Unless you’re a runner, you might not understand. But if you have some sort of hobby that keeps you going in life, imagine if you were told you couldn’t do that anymore. It’s devastating.
Some people drink. Some people smoke. I run. It’s my therapy.
I went out to the trail to run but halfway through, I could no longer ignore the pain radiating from my bunions.
I sat on a bench by the lake and tried to imagine a life without running. That did it for me. I’m not the kind of person that cries, but here I was feeling sorry for myself.
I’m also not the kind of person that easily opens up to others. Which is why I was surprised by myself when another runner I’d see from time to time came to check on me.
I’d never really noticed much about her when I’d seen her before. But up close, I could see she had the well-weathered look of a runner, one who looked older than me.
“Are you hurt?” she asked. “I have first aid in my bag,” she started opening up her satchel.
I hardly recognized my voice when I told her, “The doctor said I can’t run anymore.”
Now she sat down next to me and listened intently as I told her the whole saga. How I’d competed as a teen, how I ran as an adult, how running was my coping mechanism and my everything.
She nodded sympathetically and said, “What if I told you I have bunions too? And I’m still running!”
I was stunned. What did she just say?
“But…how? Did you have that surgery?”
“No, I didn’t. I started wearing these socks…” she started to tell me.
“SOCKS?!? Oh come on. How could socks help?” I grumbled.
“My doctor gave them to me to try. He had samples of them at his office and wanted to see if they could help before trying surgery. They helped me so much that we canceled my surgery date,” she explained.
I really had my doubts, but I was also willing to try anything to keep running. She had an unused pair in her bag she handed to me. I looked them over. The tag said, “Sock Align” and they were the strangest socks I’d ever seen. Each toe was separate which was so weird.
I’d switched shoes, added inserts, and now was arguing with my doctor about running and needing surgery. Could this other runner really have the inside track on how to beat bunions.
I learned her name was Janine, and she told me that I could put Sock Align on underneath my regular socks. I decided to put them on right then and there. As I laced back up, she was running off. “I’m sure I’ll see you around soon!” she called out as she zoomed away.
I decided to get up and head back to my car. As I started walking, I felt light in my step, like I did before these bunions happened to me.
So I picked up the pace. And I picked it up some more. And before I knew it, I was running.
I loved the socks from Sock Align so much that I ordered a 5-pack of my own. I wear them every day, even when I’m not running. Not only have they kept my feet from hurting but they’ve also corrected the weird look of them, putting them back to their natural alignment.
Janine was right. And my doctor was surprised by the results. I’m still amazed that these socks helped me stop the pain in my feet and fix my bunions.
At the next race, I saw Janine there. It’s totally out of character for me, but I hugged her. I couldn’t thank her enough for giving me these socks. They allowed me to keep running, and there’s no better gift in the world to me.
As a runner, having material that wicks away sweat is so important. Sock Align does that while properly aligning your feet. The separate toes help keep everything in proper position and take away the pain from bunions.
I wear these socks every day now. Whether you run or not, if you have bunions, you need to try them. They’re even more of a steal right now because they’re on sale for 40% off!