Here are my feet, they have generously served me without much complaining for the best part of 60 years!
As you can see they are crooked, slightly gnarled and my now permanent black and blue toenails have a daily challenge of hanging on for dear life - I like to think of them as sweet black grapes ready to ripen and drop off the vine (gross). My feet tell a story and instead of being embarrassed by how they look I am now proud and grateful of how they have and still do continue to serve me.
As a four year old they helped me climb aboard a rickety wooden stool in preparation for reciting, dancing and singing “The death of poor cock robin” to the amusement and entertainment of my extended family whilst inside I cringed with embarrassment. However climbing up and down that stool gave me great abs and a head for heights.
In my early teenage days they assisted me in running around a hockey pitch whilst avoiding shin cracking and propelling me through the water during many swimming competitions (most of which I usually came second place). Around this time my parents thought it would be a really cool idea to join a local walking group of which the nicest part was dropping asleep in the back of the car on the way home from extreme tiredness or when there was a couple of distressing incidents when my sister nearly drowned someones dog and my Dad fell in the river and had to drive home in just his underpants - 20 mile hikes were not unheard of.
Then came the disco dancing in the most ridiculous platform shoes. Whilst I grooved and moved to Boney M, the Bee gees and Candi Staton my feet were always there, faithful, loyal and firmly attached to my legs.
When I was 14 I started working in a rather busy hair salon in Leeds on a Saturday ( my ruse to get out of the family walks) and here is where the real test came, tight narrow shoes, high heels and the beginnings of the dreaded chilblains and baby bunions. I used to get out of bed on a Sunday morning and my poor feet grumbled as I put all my weight on them but as courageous as they were they soon recovered and I was ready for the next disco.
I continued to stand on them for the next 21 years as I ran my own hair salon and very rarely gave my poor feet a rest and I have to admit during this time I really did abuse them with no thought or appreciation for the rather sterling job that they continued to do. My vanity and Ego refusing to wear sensible shoes as I was more interested in how I looked and how much taller than my 5’ 2” I was. Both my long suffering parents gave up on trying to make me wear what I thought were those hideous Scholls (I actually still think they are hideous).
They were the only friends that hung around whilst I pushed a colicky baby around the village at the first light whilst many pairs of feet were warm and snug in bed (mainly my ex-husbands).
My feet have carried me many times 25 miles over the Yorkshire 3 Peaks where I have witnessed glorious sunrises, magical sunsets and awe inspiring vistas. They once did object greatly and I limped down Ingelborough crying quietly whilst Gareth force fed me jelly babies and vowing never to do that walk again (you have probably guessed that I did).
My loyal feet have taken me up Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike plus many other mountains and several hundreds of miles in my time and my relationship with my feet continues to deepen as I now teach Yoga, balance on my paddle board and continue my sometimes rather gruelling journey which has also included two 50 mile cycles which I will never ever repeat as long as I draw breath.
They have been steadfast and loyal through tropical searing heat, force 12 gales, torrential downpours and minus 10 degrees when they did actually feel as if they had left me.
And as a chick that would never date a man that wore slippers (believe it or not, it was a total deal breaker) my soft, grey sheepskin slippers call softly from the back of the wardrobe like a long lost lover every time I come home, their reassuring words sounding like the Pied Piper leading me to slipper nirvana.
This year will see my feet raise more than £500 for charity as we take on The Great Northumberland Hike, walk the Nidderdale Way (52 miles), attempt an obstacle race where we plunge into muddy bogs and the race supervisors set our hair on fire and perhaps just maybe another 3 Peaks challenge!
Only last week we walked 26 miles along a canal, after 22 miles my mind was screaming GET ON THE BUS! but I distinctly heard my feet say “don’t you dare - we have come too far together, we can do it baby”.
And now I care for my feet, they get treated to a weekly salt bath, spend most of their day barefoot or encased in comfy trainers and every night I lovingly massage them with coconut oil.
So I propose a national feet adoration day a bit like we celebrate the birth of Christ, Mothers, Fathers and the attempted burning down of the Houses of Parliament ( time for another one me thinks). We could all post photographs of our feet and send them over priced cards and cheap manicure sets for no apparent reason except that they deserve to be recognised for their truly wonderful qualities and unstinting forgiveness.
OH FEET - HOW I LOVE YOU.