November is all about being thankful, and there’s a lot to be thankful for. We’re thankful for our feet, which make many wonderful experiences enjoyable, and sometimes even possible: like spending time with family, travelling, or taking a stroll in the crisp autumn air. Good Feet employees share why they’re thankful this season. Because it’s the simple things that matter.
Angelina, who is celebrating three and half great years with Good Feet, discovered the arch supports after years of foot pain. She says she was finding that each summer she was running a little less than she had been able to the summer before. “Running was like drinking water [for me], and not being able to run was devastating…I will never forget the first day I got my supports. I just stood up right out of the chair with no pain! Then I was walking with no pain!” The arch supports allowed her to return rejuvenated to her routine. She remembers no longer having to tell her son to wait for her “motor to warm up” before they could do something. She could be ready to go in no time! She likes to check in to see how they’re doing, and celebrate with them, thankful that she can relate to their transformation.
Assistant Manager Stephanie of Tualatin has been a Good Feet fan even before her long career at Good Feet. She’d had three reconstructive surgeries on her feet by the time she was four and as an adult was injured when a drunk driver hit her car. Her arch supports helped her recover and gave her support during two difficult pregnancies. Now, her sons are ten and thirteen, and she’s onto her newest project: redoing her house. She says she puts on her old Brooks sneakers with Maintainer arch supports and is ready to go. She and her family also recently visited Seattle, where they did a lot of walking…comfortably! She’s thankful the arch supports have been able to help her throughout the many phases of her life.
Stephanie once considered a career in physical therapy. When physical factors made that impossible, she still wanted the opportunity to spend her time helping people and making a difference. That’s why she feels like she’s found a perfect fit at Good Feet.
Team member Will is similarly thankful for Good Feet. Injuries to his back had plagued him with back pain for many years, and improper alignment throughout his body made things worse. He found the arch supports extremely helpful and says “I couldn’t be more thankful for all the relief they have provided.”
He’s also thankful that he gets to spend his professional life educating people on the importance of Good Feet, and all the arch supports can do for people. Thanks in part to his arch supports, Will is able to enjoy an active lifestyle today, hunting, fishing, and hiking. And he’s also able to spread the opportunity to be active with everyone who comes into the store, which is yet another reason to be thankful!
No matter how you spend your time–whether it’s keeping up with your kids, planning a hiking trip or working on a project–you can feel your best while doing it. Good Feet arch supports come in a wide variety of styles to help meet you wherever you’re at. Now, what are you thankful for?
“Oh boy, am I thankful!” Mella T. says. She’s reflecting on her long journey with Good Feet arch supports.
She first went to The Good Feet Store approximately eighteen years ago, shortly after her husband passed away. She was trying to manage her household, but her back was really bothering her. She thought her back trouble had something to do with her posture. She spent a lot of time searching for a solution, even going to an orthopedist for help.
But she still didn’t know that her back problems were related to her feet until she happened upon a Good Feet store. At Good Feet, she learned about the importance of her feet and how they affect the rest of the body. And last year, Mella was finally diagnosed with Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction. Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction is often called ‘adult acquired flatfoot’ because it is the most common type of flatfoot developed during adulthood. The dysfunction can cause a progressive flattening of the feet as well as pain, swelling, and ankle rolling. Her podiatrist thinks it may have stemmed from a broken ankle at age eleven and thought it was a good idea that Mella was using her Good Feet arch supports.
Mella remembers how they felt a little funny at first. “It was like walking on a marble,” she says. That feeling, she realized, was just the arch support doing its job and supporting all the arches in her feet. Within a week after getting her arch supports she felt a lot better. “I was able to stand without pain. That was a wonderful experience. So I’ve continued to use them routinely.” She attributes her ability to stay on her feet to her arch supports. She also appreciates how Good Feet’s maintenance plan means she doesn’t have to worry about her arch support upkeep. She only has to call Good Feet for help!
With Mella’s feet taken care of and feeling comfortable, she’s able to take on the demands of daily life. Part of her time she devotes to taking care of her four cats. She also likes to visit her son who lives in Washington State near the Cascades. When she visits, she enjoys hiking there. She also likes hiking in the Appalachian Mountains.
Mella acknowledges her arch supports have helped her throughout this journey. “I’m very thankful I noticed the store,” she says. Being thankful is a common theme here at Good Feet. Because sometimes, it’s the things we take for granted that are the most important.
Over the month of October, I’ve been fortunate to speak with a lot of people who excel in their field. From a reflexologist who makes it her goal to understand her clients through their feet, and a dancer who has expanded a passion for dance into a successful business, to a yoga instructor who believes in making yoga accessible for all, and an aerial artist who is spreading the joy of movement to young and old.
I’ve been bucking the fall routine of settling into old routines by branching out to try new things. And I’ve learned something to be thankful for this November, when we’re all thinking about what matters most.
It’s always fun to watch people who have mastered their craft at work. Skill is a neat thing to witness. Behind someone doing something they make look easy (from cooking a delicious meal to playing a sport) is a lot of time and care. And a lot of practice.
As anyone who has devoted themselves to studying something will know, practice isn’t always easy. It can be a struggle too. At Chrysalis Aerial Academy, owner and instructor Caitlin cautioned her aerial arts students to be aware of the soreness they’d likely feel after class. Aerial arts is a term that encompasses a wide variety of acrobatic activity but typically involves aerial silks, long pieces of fabric that are hung from the ceiling that make it possible to twist and contort into various positions The effect is nothing less than magical, but the trick lies in making the hard work look effortless. The time between starting an activity and getting good at it is an important and challenging time. For a while, things may be difficult, if not seemingly impossible.
During class, I thought about my own clumsy experience as a beginner compared to the person who gracefully slithered up the silks, completed two full splits and an inversion, and appeared to exert no effort at all. But Caitlin, owner and instructor at Chrysalis Aerial Academy, said that the “lag time” between beginning and being good has its own rewards too. “People are amazed at what they can do in one practice.” That can encourage them to push ahead, thus building strength and skill.
This lesson, so evident in aerial arts, is also applicable in life. Good things don’t always happen overnight. In November, at this time of harvest and reaping what was sown in spring, it’s helpful to pause for a moment and be thankful for things that grow over time, as well as the initial spark that starts them.
That’s why I’m thankful to have been able to interact with such motivated individuals who are bringing their passion to others and building communities around these shared passions, whatever they may be. I’m thankful to have learned that opportunities abound, and that preconceived notions–of ability and possibility–are made to be discarded. And I’m thankful because these opportunities always start with one: an interest, a curiosity, an idea.
Trying new things is like riding a bike. Once you build up a little speed, the pedaling gets a lot easier. There are sayings about this, too, like how starting is the hardest part of any task. Fear of the unknown contributes as well. But once you get in the swing of things, there’s no challenge you can’t tackle.
Many times, it’s easy to overanalyze. What will this be like? How would it be if this happened? But all that anxiety leaves little room for productive action. This October, in the spirit of trying new things, I’ve had the opportunity to go beyond my comfort zone. And I’ve been realizing the anxiety attached to trying new things is no longer enough to dissuade me. I dropped into an introductory partner dance at The Viscount dance studio in Portland, Oregon, and learned about more than just dance with instructor and studio owner, Sarah Riddle…I learned the reward of trying new things.
The class laid out some of the basics of dance. Sarah explained the different roles of leads and follows, and how each is essential to dance overall. To me, the terms used to connote a hierarchy of dominance and importance, but that’s really not the case. Each role is essential, and each depends on one another to make the dance as a whole look good.
My partner, a seasoned follow, was learning to lead, and because this was my first experience with partner dance, we were both experiencing something new. It reminded me of starting a new job, or making a new friend: it takes some time to learn the expectations of the role, the proper way to move within the role’s boundaries. It takes a moment to find the beat and learn how to communicate. But once you do, the rhythm is rewarding.
I found the beat with my eyes closed in one case. The instructor explained how sometimes it’s easier to follow when your eyes are closed because instead of searching for cues in your partner’s shoulders or expression, you’ll feel the cues. And much to my surprise, I did. I didn’t know I wasn’t going to trip or be led astray, but I took the chance, and was rewarded: as I reported the following day to a friend, it was the first time I’d actually felt like a good dancer.
It’s no secret that gaining momentum is hard. But it is possible. Try something new once, and if you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, try something else. Exposing yourself to one opportunity opens itself to another, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first. You never know what you can do until you try.