Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wherein We Go Back For More! The Second Boot Fitting.

We skid until four with Rob, and then headed over to Park City for my second fitting with Brent. He asked me how my feet felt, how the boots felt after skiing in them for a day, and I showed him the pic of my white feet on the camera. This is a bad thing, apparently!

We talked about what felt good and what felt bad, and he went to work. The first thing he did was put my feet in the boots without any liner in them to see where I naturally touch the shell. He drew inside the boot with a sharpie, and then put the boots on an infra red heat device to soften the plastic. He punched out the side of the boot where my pinky toe had fallen asleep, and gave me a “pleasure dome” for my big toe, which is essentially a huge cavity in the toe box. My toes are incredibly sensitve, and I had always thought that all my shoes and boots fit as well as they could, it never occurred to me that I might have truly special needs for my feet! I have exposed them to frost bite three times, and have restricted and frozen them so many times, and broken so many toes so many times, that I have truly sensitized them. Apparently, they shouldn’t be in agonizing pain that you just have to suck up all day long every day. I had also assumed that in order to be comfortable in boots, I just needed big, sloppy boots that didn’t touch my feet at all. Brent asked me if there was ever a time that my feet didn’t hurt, and I told him it was only when I had been barefoot or in my Ugg boots or slippers for more than a full day after an activity.

All my shoes hurt my feet, including tennis shoes, trail runners, hiking boots, climbing shoes are agonizing, you get the idea here.

I had seriously considered getting my toe nails on my big toes permanently surgically removed so that my feet wouldn’t hurt in my shoes or boots, but Brent suggested that this would be a bad idea as it would simply expose the nerve bundle more. Perhaps, instead, we might simply wear boots that fit our feet. What a concept.

Meanwhile, Brent molded a gel foot tub to create custom foot bed liners to put in the boots. The goal of all of this being first, to get comfortable in the boots, and then, to get the knee tracking with the feet in your power zone.

Brent took my boot apart, and guess what we found out? One of the boot plates had already been worked on! Someone had ground it down flat, and the other one wasn’t ground at all! Bizarre. I had skid on them all day and didn’t even notice, but of course, as we will discover in the next fitting, a difference of two millimeters under foot changes your movement patterns! But I get ahead of myself, we are still just making the foot beds!

Brent made my knees line up and then built up the arch so I won’t A-frame any more, and started gluing different densities of foam to the molded liner, designed to support me just so. We got about as far as we could, and made an appointment to come back the next day after all the punching, grinding and forming had been done, to fine tune the fit, and then get on to the alignment portion of the fitting.

We headed out from the fitting over to Joe’s for beer and a slide show on all the fires he was in over the summer. It was amazing to see the huge trees they cut down, and the incredible hard work these guys do, hiking till they puke nearly every day, carrying 24 pound saws, digging, cutting, in the heat, and in the rain and snow. No glory, either, these are the guys out in the middle of the wilderness working on 200,000 acre brush fires. Thanks, guys! I’ll try to get Joe to send me some pics so you can see what they do. And YES, there are a couple of girls on their crew!

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