Confessions of an overpronator
For years I was told something was wrong with me.
Not quite right.
I visited experts and they made recommendations. I would walk around their office, barefoot, and they would suggest different types of support and fixes. Maybe go into a running store and jump on a treadmill to be video recorded. They would play it back to me in slow motion. Zoom in on my lower legs and show me my faults.
These experts told me I did what is called “over pronation” They grabbed my ankles and pushed them inward and down, showing me an exaggerated example of what I do when I run. On the computer screen they pointed at my arch (or lack of) and said it needed some support to keep from collapsing.
Many suggestions were thrown my way. $400 insoles and different types of arch support. 15oz, inch thick, supportive shoes that lock my arch in place to hopefully prevent me from getting injured.
I thought there must be a better way. Is something really wrong with me? Is my body that abnormal?
No, I decided! Da Vinci said that my foot, MY FOOT, is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art! It IS strong and stable, capable of doing work by itself!
I decided to buy a pair of racing flats. Low profile shoes for a “neutral” runner. Hopefully these would let my body function how it was built. Allow it to strengthen itself, become an efficient running machine, and to run real!
I would later learn that there was no exact definition of what over-pronation is. Or even any real proof that it is a bad thing. In fact, we all pronate in some way, and there is no method of determining when it becomes overpronation. Pronation is a natural occurrence, and very necessary. It serves as a method of the body absorbing the shock of running as well as facilitating elastic recoil and energy return.
Now, years later, I am still an “overpronator”. However I have overpronated, injury free, for thousands of miles and multiple ultra marathons. My feet are strong and stable on their own!
And I run real!
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