Game Changer

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By Heather Zollman

Friends, I found something that has changed the way I walk.  It creates more joy in my body and has been sitting in my closet for a couple of years, until now.

I keep feeling and thinking…Game changer!

I recently had an appointment with a Physical Therapist.  She is skilled at helping people with a variety of body situations.  I made the appointment looking for help with strengthening the pelvic floor and ideas for unlocking my low back.

I have been learning ways to relieve low back pain for decades!

My daily routines includes...
  • 5 Yoga poses on each side of my body before getting out of bed
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Earthing
  • Qigong
  • Walking
  • Ice bathing
  • Drinking a gallon of water
  • Getting plenty of vegetables
  • Using myofascial tools to help loosen my neck before bed
  • Ayurveda routines such as oil pulling and dry brushing

If you’re thinking, “How do you get all this in in a day?” It’s actually pretty simple.  I practice them, get used to them and sprinkle them throughout, so they turn into habits.

Summer and I talked and then she watched me get into different positions such as standing, balancing on one foot, bending and walking.

She then told me where my body alignment was off.

It’s so interesting where the mind goes.  I immediately thought, “How did I not recognize this?  I work with bodies all the time!”

Yet I do it in a different way.

For a split second my ego kicked in, thinking I should know it all.  She said right away to let that go.  I’ve heard it before, when I put myself in physical therapy a few years ago looking for answers for other things.

I’m better at letting it go now.  I’m curious and always eager to learn.

She explained what she was witnessing with my low back, ribcage, and breathing.  We talked about how I walk.
She mentioned she drove past me one day while I was walking through town.  She said, “It looked like you were in pain.”

I probably was.

All the things I do for myself are incredibly helpful!  Yet, I knew there was a missing link, which was why I was in her office.

My core has been infested with scar tissue for years.  No doctor talked about how to prevent and care for this after 3 c-sections, abdominoplasty to bring my separated muscles back together, and an umbilical hernia repair. 

It continues to be a healing journey.
So, what’s the big game changer?
Breathing into the low core, which doesn’t happen naturally for me, because of scar tissue, how I hold my body, and MY SHOES!

Summer asked if I was married to my Brooks Glycerin GTS shoes. 

Yes.  I order them every 6 months.  Remember, I am very into routine!
She suggested I look into a more natural shoe with less of a heel.  She explained that when we have a thicker heel, our feet are pushed to the front, putting pressure on the toes.

Which is why I have to immediately stretch my bunion, toes and feet when I get home from my walks.  Even with all the stretching I do, my hamstrings are always tight.

I went home, loaded with information and excited to have homework. 

I also send people off with homework after personal and life-coaching sessions in the studio.  Clients see and feel change when they do the work daily.  I was now a client and was ready to jump in.

The next day I had a realization…I had a pair of the shoes she was talking about sitting in my closet!

I bought them a few years before, because they were good for earthing and help us step naturally. 

I never wore them.  My teenage daughter walked in when I was trying them on, and immediately said, “What the heck are those?”

They were on clearance, and bright purple.  I laughed and totally forgot about them!

It was time to give them a try.  I was a little hesitant, because I’m taking my first group on a Yoga & hiking retreat in Sedona, Arizona in a couple of weeks.  What if they screw me up?  What if my body doesn’t like them?

I tried them anyways, with the intention of alternating between shoes to allow my body to get used to them. 

One week later…I am all in!

My Xero brand shoes are changing the way I move my body, along with my homework I’m working on daily.  All of this mixed with my daily Yoga, Qigong, earthing, etc is AMAZING!

I went for a walk today and found myself smiling, in less pain, and feeling so much joy and gratitude.

I walked along side of paved sidewalks, because the shoes feel so incredibly good on the Earth.

They feel great on pavement too, but I love the softness and natural feeling of the softer ground.

Benefits I am feeling from wearing these shoes: 

  • I am aware of my posture and am training my body to move a bit differently, softer, more aware.
  • My hamstrings and low back don't feel as stiff
  • I don't "waddle" (as my kids like to put it) as much when I walk.
  • My arches feel fantastic and softer.
  • My glutes and calves feel stronger
  • My toes have space and feel great
  • The softness and freedom I feel in my lower back is incredible and I am looking forward to wearing them in red rock land when we hike in Sedona.
  • The greatest part is I feel even closer to nature when I wear these shoes.  I crave adventuring and heading into places to feel the ground with them.

It’s fascinating!

These shoes are now my best buddy.  So if you see a girl walking around town in bright purple, different looking shoes, smiling giddily while walking next to the sidewalk instead of on it.  It may be your friend Heather.

Joyfully moving our bodies?  Nature is definitely here to support us in doing just that.

Be Inspired & Enjoy the Journey!