Who says you can’t win pro sports championships after 30?
Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is a common problem that causes pain in the heel and sole of the foot. This condition can last anywhere between a week or two, however if left untreated, it can lead to extensive problems that can last months or even years.
The most common symptoms of PF include:
- Shooting pain under the bottom of the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- A tendency for increased pain in the morning
There is no single treatment for plantar fasciitis. However, most clinicians will agree that the most important factor in treating this condition is to stop the condition from getting worse and getting to the root cause of the problem. If the cause is not highlighted early, then the condition is likely to deteriorate – leading to further problems.
PF is often caused by inappropriate footwear. Many people suffer with feet which have a fallen arch and/or feet which over-pronate. This can result in mini tears and derogation to the attachment point beneath the heel. Therefore, by wearing footwear with little to no arch support, it can damage the plantar fascia. Flip flops & Ugg boots are examples of shoes that have very little arch support, thus a contributing factor in triggering the onset of PF.
Women can also be at higher risk of developing PF through wearing heels. Ironically, it is not until women stop wearing heels that the problem usually arises and becomes noticeable. Frequent use of heels can shorten the calf muscles so when new footwear is selected such as flip-flops – over stretching of the fascia can result. This is because the calf muscles become unusually tight which leads to increased pronating of the foot.
Perhaps the best treatment for PF is Physiotherapy. A Physiotherapist will adopt a variety of techniques in order to not only reduce the pain, but to also work against the root cause of the problem to ensure that future instances of injury are minimized. There are other methods of treatment available such as sports massage and acupuncture, however physiotherapy offers a comprehensive form of treatment that is widely successful. Patients can also reduce instances of injury and help strengthening their plantar fascia through simple exercises. However, if the condition is caused through using inappropriate footwear, then the easiest solution is to use shoes with superior arch support.
This goes in the file of “oh no they didn’t.” Seriously adidas, what the hell were you thinking?
The shackle shoe. It’s a sneaker with a rubber shackle attached to it.
On the adidas Facebook page they presented an image of the offensive shoe (called the JS Roundhouse Mids) with the caption: “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
Not surprisingly, adidas received some criticism. If the shoe didn’t invoke painful feelings of slavery, it brought up thoughts of prison and bondage.
In the first smart move they made since the inception of this horrible idea for a shoe, adidas apologized and decided to withdraw the shoe from the marketplace.
What do you think? Creative and whimsical? Or disturbing and offensive?
It happened so fast I wasn’t even sure what had exactly had happened. All I felt was a blinding hot pain in my right calf muscle. I had a history of rolling my ankles and was used to the sprains and swelling that went with it.
This time was different. My ankle had rolled underneath me while I was walking down a flight of stairs and all of my weight had come straight down, pinning my lower leg between the weight of my body and the sharp corner of the step I was on. At the hospital, I was informed that I had torn my Achilles tendon.
I was sent home in a walking boot and a pair of crutches. The doctor had instructed me to keep ice on the area as much as possible to keep swelling down and promote healing. After the first day of trying to keep ice cubes on my leg, I was frustrated. I couldn’t get up and move around much as it was, but then to have to keep ice on it all the time was quickly pushing me over the edge. I am a very active person and I don’t like being tied down to a chair.
I was almost out of patience when I remembered a product I had used in the past, when my muscles were sore and I needed to ice them. I used a Runner s Remedy cold compression. Like the name sounds Runner s Remedy makes compression wraps for runners. They have different types of wraps for different injuries. Lucky for me, among the different styles they had Achilles tendon compression wraps for runners.
Once I started using my new Runner’s Remedy cold compression, I noticed an immediate change in how my leg felt. On top of that, the frustration of having to sit still and hold ice cubes or an ice pack on my leg was no longer an issue, as Runner’s Remedy leg packs go around your leg, kind of like a sock and they provide a pocket that the ice pack slips right into and stays in place. This gave me light support along with the ice therapy that I needed.
I still use my runner’s remedy cold compression wrap when my leg starts getting sore and each time I do, I am grateful that I have it.
I remember when I was very young, and I was very focused on 10 and under tennis. It was my only hobby and after-school sport after I got out of elementary school class. USTA junior tennis was also something I was involved in. I remember purchasing kids tennis racquets with my mom. There is something so fun about starting tennis for the first time. You see a lot of kids that you knew at school the day before, and it is easy to start up a tennis match with them when you get to practice. There are always reliable instructors on hand to help make those match-ups that are so fun to play.
10 and under tennis is really the best time to start, because it is a great time to get a handle on the basics and learn the ropes. You can really get a feel for what it’s like to be a tennis player when you’re younger and learning how to do the basic moves. You won’t be so overwhelmed with all the stress of playing right when you’re so young, and it will be easier to really enjoy the sport and get the hang of it. USTA junior tennis is where it gets a little tougher. You have to continually purchase kids tennis racquets throughout your life as you’re growing up and you have to be purchasing racquets on a regular basis. You need to have the racquets at all time, so that you’ll always be playing your best. If you don’t have the right racquets, you can’t ever play at your best.
I remember way back when I was a little child, and I had to go to the store and purchase new racquets. We also had to purchase shoes, shorts, and shirts. We were very cool about the whole thing, because my mom was a professional tennis player. She was a very good player, and she taught me all I needed to know when I played tennis as a youth. It was so fun to really get to know the sport through someone I knew versus just having to get all the information from the instructor every time. That was pretty tedious to have to do it that way. I had a lot more fun when I was a youth and was learning the sport versus when I was a bit older and had to play in professional practice. It was just so much harder to do it back then.
I have a confession to make: I am a total Olympics nerd. When the Olympics are on, I will watch anything that happens on television that has anything to do with the Olympics. You name the sport or the newscaster, if there are five colored rings and that famous “Ba Baa Ba Ba Ba Baa Bammm” theme music playing, I’m watching, fascinated.
Now the London 2012 Olympics are almost here and I could not be more excited. I love the Winter Olympics, of course, but part of me adores the Summer Olympics even more. While this may sound shallow, part of the reason I enjoy the Summer Olympics is my not-so-secret admiration for the athletes. Specifically their beautiful, strong, healthy bodies.
I think you know what I mean. Watch the swimmers this summer at the London Olympics. Look at their lean muscles, firm, clean lines, and the power with which they pull themselves through the water. There is a beauty to the sport and the athletes that is very real and very simple.
Of course, this applies to other sports at the 2012 Olympics as well. Those track and field runners are astounding in their speed and strength. The men and women performing those twists and turns in the gymnastics arena may be small, but they are compact and they are tremendously talented. There is nothing like someone defying gravity through pure athleticism to make me feel proud, jealous, and nearly speechless with admiration.
Another reason why I am looking forward to the London Olympics is the fact that these athletes inspire me. I find it very difficult to be happily lapping a bowl of ice cream into my mouth while I watch these men and women who are the very embodiment of a healthy lifestyle and the best of American sports. Instead, I will watch the 2012 Olympics with rapt attention and then I will lace up my running shoes and head outside for a nice long run.
No one is going to mistake me for an Olympian around my neighborhood, not with my old workout clothes and steady-but-slow running pace, but in my mind, I do have something in common with those Olympic athletes. I enjoy feeling my body work and perform. I enjoy being healthy and strong. And while no one will ever put me on an Olympic team, I can feel a kinship with athletes around the world who enjoy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is, after all, something of an Olympian in all of us.
Last year, I started a weight loss program. My goal is to lose 40 pounds—and I’m almost there. My favorite tool, and the thing that helps me the most, is my Soleus sport watch. I love it for six different reasons.
Reason #1: GPS sports watch. I hate using the same roads for walking and running day after day. One of the things that I enjoy most about exercising is exploring new paths. I never know what awaits me at the end of them. My GPS sports watch got me home more than once.
Reason #2: Distance tracking. The second reason that I love my Soleus sport watch is that it keeps track of my distance for me. I am following the Couch to 5k running program. When the program started calling for me to travel a certain distance, my sports watch made it easy. I basically had a pedometer right on my wrist. The pedometer made it easy for me to know how far I had traveled, without having to use the same path each day.
Reason #3: Pace and speed tracking. The third reason that I love my sports watch is that it keeps track of my pace and speed. The program I follow requires me to move at a certain speed for a given distance. My Soleus watch makes these calculations for me. I can just glance at my watch and know if I need to move faster, or if I can slack off just a little. It keeps track of both my current pace and my average pace. This gives me the extra encouragement that I need, not only can I see the pounds melt off on the scale, but I can also see my pace improving.
Reason #4: Calorie calculation. In all honesty, I cannot say I always love this fact, the watch automatically calculates my calories burned. My goal was to lose 40 pounds. I knew that calories out had to be more than my calories in. With the watch, there was no cheating. I knew exactly how many calories I had burned.
Reason #5: Correct time. The fifth reason I love my sport’s watch is that it always tells me the correct time. It’s a great watch. And, it’s pretty enough that I wear it everywhere I go. It keeps me counting down the minutes towards exercise time.
Reason #6: Historical Speed. The sixth reason that I love my watch is that when I began training on a track it kept track of how fast I moved during my last 100 laps. This offers great encouragement as I can see myself continually getting better. I love knowing that even when I feel like things are not improving, they actually are getting better each day, especially as the pounds keep melting off.
Strange things happen every day, and when you put professional athletes and tens of thousands of fans in the hot August sun in Queens, New York, weirdness is bound to follow. Here are some of the more interesting things that have happened over the years at the U.S. Open.
Most of you still remember the 2009 U.S. Open when Serena Williams lost her cool. She was playing Kim Clijsters in the semi-final. The linesman foot-faulted Serena on her second serve. Serena then let loose one of the most shocking rants in the history of professional tennis (giving many spectators fearsome flashbacks of John McEnroe). Apparently Serena said, “If I could, I would take this ******* ball and shove it down your ******* throat.” The linesman told the chair umpire who called the tournament referee. A disgraced Serena lost a point and lost the match.
Tennis isn’t usually thought of as a dangerous sport. But, in 1983, 70-year old linesman Dick Wertheim was fatally injured. Stefan Edberg was playing Patrick McEnroe. Edberg’s serve sent a speeding ball straight into Wertheim’s groin. Wertheim fell, hitting his head on the hard court and fracturing his skull. He died from blunt cranial trauma, a direct result of his injury. Edberg, only seventeen at the time, went on to win six Grand Slams.
At the 1979 US Open John McEnroe was playing Ilie Nastase. It was the fourth set. McEnroe was serving. Nastase held up his hand to signal that he wasn’t ready. McEnroe, never known for his patience, served anyway and the umpire gave him the point. Natase started complaining, 10,000 yelling fans joined him. Natase wouldn’t shut up and was docked the game. The crowd went crazy. People started throwing stuff onto the court (mostly trash). The cops were called to restore order. Seventeen minutes later Nastase was asked to resume the game. The one-minute service time period went by and still he refused. Unsurprisingly, he was disqualified. The crowd was still going nuts; fearing an all-out riot, the umpire was replaced and the match was continued. Not that it mattered, McEnroe won anyway.
In 1977, during the match of John McEnroe and Eddie Dibbs, a gun went off. James Reilly, a 33-year-old fan innocently watching the match in the stands, was shot in the thigh by a .38 caliber gun. Turns out Reilly was hit by a stray bullet fired from a gun outside the stadium in Queens, NY. The game was delayed while Reilly was taken out of the stands and out of the stadium. When McEnroe and Dibbs were told why the game was delayed, Dibbs is reported to have said: “I’m out of here.” To keep the players from leaving and the game from suddenly ending, the umpire lied and told them that a fan was in shock. McEnroe won the match. Afterwards, the umpire confessed that he was correct the first time, and that a fan was shot, not in shock.
The 1977 US Open must have been an exciting tournament. Renee Richards made her debut in the women’s singles, against Virginia Wade. Seventeen years earlier, at the 1960 US Open, Renee made her debut in the men’s singles, as Richard H. Raskind. After a sex-change operation, and a ruling by the New York State Superior Court, Richard/Renee was allowed to come back to the US Open, the same tournament, different division. When she played as Richard Raskind he lost his first-round match. When she played as Renee Richards, she also lost her first-round match.
In 1960, Richard H. Raskin played in the U.S. Open men’s singles.
In 1977, Renée Richard played in the U.S. Open women’s singles.
They are the same person.
Thirty-five years ago, Richards won a major legal battle to play as a woman in the U.S. Open.
ESPN recently showed a documentary called “Renée”—about Renée Richards and the impact she’s had. Renée was truly a pioneer. People are still shocked by transsexuals today; imagine how difficult it would have been to fight that battle in public in the late seventies.
While she was definitely a pioneer, the saddest part is wondering what would have happened if Renée faced the same battles today. You would think that we would have made bigger strides by now. It’s unfortunate that we haven’t.
Have you seen Renée? What do you think?
A few weeks ago we talked about movies that inspired us to start exercising. This week, we’re talking about movies that simply inspire us—to do anything.
Our first list is inspirational sports films which are not based on true events. These films come only out of the imagination of the people who created them. That doesn’t make them any less inspiring.
Most Inspirational Sports Films (NOT Based on True Events)*
2. The Natural
3. Field of Dreams
4. Bull Durham
5. Slap Shot
6. Breaking Away
7. Coach Carter
8. Jerry Maguire
9. The Sandlot
10. Major League
So what do you think of our list? Did we get it right? What did we miss? What do you disagree with?
*This list is in no particular order.