“When I wear high heels I have a great vocabulary and I speak in paragraphs. I'm more eloquent. I plan to wear them more often.” – Meg Ryan
It was February 14th.
I sat on my bathroom counter placing yet another Band-Aid on my blister-covered feet. My thumb pressed into the adhesive, and then I let my feet dangle over the side of the sink. With my dress unzipped, subtle traces of mascara flaked under my eyes, shoulders slumped, and head drooped, I let out a huge sigh as I looked down at my high heels asleep on the floor. They were exhausted, and so was I from yet another night out with him. Our seventh date to be exact.
I had met him a month ago at a nightclub. I was out with my best friend and she had protested when I originally showed up at her house in Converse and jeans. "You're not wearing that out. Here, wear these," she said as she delicately tossed her rhinestone-studded 5-inch stilettos on her fluffy white down comforter—in my direction.
"You need to have more fun and live a little," she winked. I was post break-up, and she was right. I needed to get my je ne sais quoi back. Perhaps the stilettos would give me just the boost I needed.
That night at the club, I saw him from across the room. My eyes had done a few rounds around the dance floor before I noticed his piercing gaze. Our eyes met and before I knew it, my hands were interlocked with his.
"I like your shoes," he whispered into my neck. I smirked. I didn't have the heart to say they weren't mine, and in fact weren't me at all. And that ballet flats and Converse were my preferred shoes of choice and I actually felt like a little girl playing dress up. And that the shoes belonged to my gorgeous friend to my right—the one with “legs for days.” And that if he liked the shoes then he should really be dancing with the girl they belonged to. I didn't say any of that. What was the point? I probably wouldn't even see him again, or so I thought. He pulled me in closer and before I knew it we were making plans to see each other the next day.
Each date was marked with a new blister. Every time I opened my closet, my neglected Converse shoes whimpered to be chosen. But I ignored their pleas and tried to explain that it wasn’t them and that it was him. I was having fun and for the first time in a long time, I felt sexy.
But for Valentine’s day, our seventh date, I asked to do something a little more low key. I wanted a chance to really get to know him. So far, we’d had six dancing dates and no real conversation. He didn’t know much about me at all, actually. For example, he didn’t know I thought peanut butter and chocolate proved that soul mates do exist, or that my parents were still together. All he knew was the way my hips moved to a good song or that a good sick joke could and will always make me throw my head back and hands in the air with pure joy. So for our seventh date, he agreed to a quiet dinner, and I contemplated wearing flats but opted for the heels remembering the way he looked at me the first night we met.
While at dinner, I noticed his disinterest in anything about my life. He didn’t ask questions or involve himself in the conversation. But every time I crossed my legs, he would take special notice and touch my hand.
“I like your shoes,” he said again.
“Yeah, you’ve said that before,” I replied.
“Well, I only like girls who wear heels. I appreciate that you know how to dress like a woman,” he finished.
It was at that exact moment, I knew exactly where I wanted to stick my stiletto. I also knew this would be our last date. It was kind of a relief really, since my feet were killing me.
So there I was, finishing my night sitting on my bathroom counter staring at my heels. In retrospect I should have known better than to date a guy who liked someone else’s shoes. But regardless, I felt different that night than I had a month prior. I felt different—good. Different—better. Different—great, actually. The heels don’t make the woman but the heels can heal a woman by making her remember that she deserves to feel sexy—and I did. I felt just that. I picked up my stilettos, walked into my living room, turned on my computer and joined match.com. You never know, right?
Kit's Stiletto Stretches
The truth is, high heels are obviously not the best for your feet. But telling a woman to not wear heels goes in one ear and out the other. So instead of telling you all about the problems with heels, try these tips to help heal your feet after a night out on the town:
1. Frozen water bottle:
Before you got out, stick a small plastic water bottle (one with ridges) filled with water in the freezer. When you get home, wrap the water bottle in a paper napkin, place it on the floor and roll the arch of your foot over it putting gentle pressure into the arch. It helps to decrease swelling and relieve tension. Feel free to use a tennis ball or baseball instead (but you don’t need to stick those in the freezer)
2. Wall stretch:
Take off your shoes and walk over to a wall. Facing the wall, with your heel on the floor, lift your foot so the ball of your foot is pushing into the wall and gently apply pressure to stretch the foot.
3. Knuckle Roll:
Sitting down, create a knuckle with our hands and flex your foot. Begin to apply pressure to the arch of the foot with your knuckles and massage through the foot.
4. Hamstring, calf muscle, and Achilles stretch:
Hold a large towel at opposite ends and lie onto your back. Lift your left leg into the sky and place your foot in the middle of the towel. Flex your foot and try to get the leg as straight as possible using the towel as gentle resistance. You should feel a stretch all through the back of the leg. Holding this position, point and flex your foot ten times. Then circle the ankle, maintaining resistance with the towel, ten times in each direction.
Note: These exercises are also great for anyone who works out a lot or has tension in the feet from walking too much.
Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood's hottest stars are addicted to Kit's unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit's clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, "with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh." Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness