Every time you take a step, your foot rolls forward, shifting your body weight onto the ball of your foot as you prepare to push off into your next step.
In this process, your big toe takes on the vast majority of the load of your weight. Since breaking my big toe a few weeks ago, I’ve come to really appreciate this fact.
The thing is, I’m on my feet a lot during the day. My job requires a good bit of walking and standing. I’ve even been known to sometimes break out into a jog, demonstrate a mean crabwalk, and perform various other physical activities to help kids develop a keener awareness of their bodies in space.
So far this school year, I haven’t been able to do those things without a good bit of discomfort. Who knew the big toe played such a vital role in providing successful school based occupational therapy?
To add insult to injury, because I fractured the big toe on my right foot, driving to and from work and between schools during the day has also become less than enjoyable.
Worse yet, one day this past week, my husband was out of town, which left me responsible for driving nearly 2 hours to our daughter’s soccer game. I’m not a fan of Interstate 81 on a good day, but the stop-and-go on this particular day wreaked havoc on my toe.
By the time I arrived at the soccer stadium, I wasn’t in a very good mood.
It’s been crazy to think about how such a tiny bone holds so much importance in my daily life. I haven’t been able to complete many of my daily occupations in a way I’m accustomed.
My husband has tried his best to pick up the slack. Only once did we find our 16-year-old daughter’s shirt in our 9-year-old daughter’s dresser. To be perfectly fair to my husband, the crop top’s length did appear better suited for the daughter who is a full foot shorter than her sister.
The truth is, this toe injury has been much more of a nuisance than I could’ve ever imagined. I believe I’ll have a newfound compassion for my husband this November when he overindulges in venison and adult beverages and comes home hobbling around with gout in his big toe.
Although I’ve always thought of it as a hunting season malady, historically gout has been called a rich man’s disease. Now, I understand how having hired help would be beneficial when inflicted with a toe pain that leaves you sitting more than you’d like.
To be honest, I’ve developed a greater respect for the tiny, little bone that has proven so vital in keeping the spring in my step. In fact, from this point forward I think I’ll no longer coin very annoying things as a pain in the backside.
No, I’m confident that greater than being, as the kids call it, “butthurt” is being great toe hurt.