This Little Piggy Went All The Way Home; How to walk with a broken toe

I should not have chased the squirrel in my garden wearing flip flops all the while talking with a friend on the phone. Lesson learned. I fell and broke the end of the bone on the tip of my big toe on the left foot. Ouch! The crash and burn was so big, it nearly took my left elbow out and and for sure the lower two bones in my left leg, the tibia and fibula were knocked out enough, I had to adjust them both back in place.

The dilemma this broken big toe left me in is that you absolutely need to big toe to walk on. If a small toe is broken, we don’t have to rely on them as much for springing off the foot and balance as much as it is crucial for the big toe.

Problem: I knew I was going to be traveling by plane in one week and I needed to be able to get into closed toed shoes while traveling. Imagine someone bumping it in the airport with their suitcase, whew!

Upon urging from a friend to get new shoes one full size too large, I went to Costco and landed a great pair of $29.00 slip on Sketchers. The problem again, was I could barely get my toe to accept having something even touch the tip of the broken bone. I used a small bandage rather than the large one I had been wearing. The other problem was I started limping again because of the tendency for the toe to touch the inside of the shoe.

Feldenkrais Practitioners® love a good problem and this is what I did. Instead of limping around that foot, I dropped my pelvis down, a la’ Nancy Haller’s suggestion and activated my glutes, a la’ Marsha Kramer’s suggestion. I did not tighten them or flex them. All I did was bring them back into the picture of my whole self and walk. I noticed that when I limped my pelvis went out arched behind me, therefore a very lax derriere. As soon as I invited my glutes to be involved in the whole picture, all gently so, I could walk with ease and absolutely no limp.

How many people get gluteal amnesia? No wonder people lose their butts as they age.

The silver lining to this broken toe, I learned that I want to keep my rear in in shape and in place, and what a good job it does to keep the wonderful integrity of my walk more normal.

Take that, Ja Lo! I’m getting my butt back.

Elinor Silverstein
Feldenkrais Method® Teacher, Movement Intelligence® Teacher/Trainer, TTOUCH for You®

One Comment

  1. I loved your workshop in Tel Aviv the other day, Elinor! You told this story and others, always getting over your message in a loving and connected way and bringing Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ ideas and outlook to life so vividly. I’m still excited!

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