I’ve been wearing a soft foot brace for a tiny fracture below the fourth toe on my left foot. I wear it especially when I run to support the foot and to try to avoid further injury at the very least, if not promote healing. The brace does its job, while at the same time definitely making its presence known. I feel it as the appendage it is. While it keeps my foot compressed and still, it also creates pressure on the bottom of my foot and after a couple of miles, this is irritating. Today, I ran without the brace. In the first few steps, I felt a twinge of unease in that foot and nearly turned back to get the brace, afraid I couldn’t do it on my own power. I kept going, gingerly, slowly, cautiously. I gained my stride, the discomfort disappeared, I ran my entire distance sans brace. As usual, I find many running metaphors suitable for advice on life.
In life, as well – the things that we think support us actually do constrain us helpfully. They also can constrict if too tight, held onto too long, or do not honor our own power that lies just beneath the bands that tie and bind. What is holding you closed right now? Is it money you’ve borrowed, a salary you just have to have, a relationship that keeps you safe but chafes at you where your own power meets the road you’re traveling? Then try a few steps on your own – no support, no artificial structure. Just you, your power, your honor, your will. Although it might be uncomfortable at first, you just might find yourself hitting your stride quite quickly, and you will flourish in the movement, and in the knowledge that it’s all being done with your own, unfettered power.