Archive for September, 2007

Taped Toes and Tull

I shouldn’t be surprised by the athletic life I am attempting to lead.  Isn’t that the ‘real’ reason I moved to Boulder?  Since last month I have settled, somewhat nicely, into cross training.  I can swim a mile now with only a few seconds clutching the pool sides, okay many seconds.  I can run on a steep mountain trail reducing the number of trips and falls to a mere four per nine miler, okay five.  I can ride 45 miles and only have the bike chain drop off once on a major incline, okay twice.  But in my defense the bike seat is too low.

All this fun and frolic is causing a bit of stress on my once lithe body.  Suddenly I am stooped over when I get up from a sitting position. While driving I am wriggling around in the driver’s seat, not attempting to find my cell phone, I’m trying to locate that one minuscule inch on my backside that doesn’t cause me pain. After many excuses, advil and interference with my one true love, running, I follow my trainer’s advice and head to the chiropractor.  Never having sought out this medical advantage before I am anxious to try having exhausted the physical therapists and masseuse of the past.  “Dr. Josh” (Names have been changed to protect the innocent) is precise and methodical and best of all athletic so he understands when I insist that I’m not giving up a thing!  We go through the body analysis much as a mechanic takes the car out for a test drive.  Unlike those excursions, my body really shows where it is broken and limited.  Several xrays and toe touches later Dr. Josh slowly and deliberately applies tape to both feet.  He asks that I keep the tape on for at least three days and guarantees I will notice a difference.  I’m elated, no excrutiating exercises, no advil cocktail before, during and after a workout and the prospect of at least a minute shaved off my running time.

Sunday morning dawns bright and clear another one of Colorado’s 3oo sunny days.  Our unofficial bike group assembles at 8 am. at the East Boulder Rec Center.  I’m going full bore today and actually ride my bike to the meeting place.  Chain comes off on the 9th Street climb, I’m late and greasy but nothing is going to dampen my spirits I’m taped and I’m ready to roll!  Its a large group today, eight dedicated riders and me.  I have learned through all this training stuff that I am rather slow to warm up.  The legs aren’t reacting quite as quickly this morning, the breathing, perhaps a tad harder than usual but I write it off to the bottle of wine I split the night before.  After all wasn’t I admonished “one or none”?  Once I am warmed up there’s no stopping me, I am outta here.  Now somewhere around mile thirty I’m getting a tad bored.  The mind is starting to meander and thoughts of food are creeping in since the gum I swallowed on the last hill did nothing to curb my appetite.   I decide everyone in this group is far too serious and it is time we lighten up and the best way to do this is to sing.  I peel off my best chorus of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” but everyone gags.  Yeah, Avril is a bit hard to take.  I try Buffet, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” is afterall a mountain climbing staple.  Same reaction from the gang.  So I pull out my never fails rendition of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”, the ‘snot running down his nose’ gets them every time.  Soon we are all crooning Tull and cruising down life’s highway.  Yeah life is good.

Once back at our starting point I am anxious to remove my shoes and inspect my miraculous feet.  I am a real athlete now, I’ve been taped!  No sooner do I get my shoes off than one of the cyclists remarks on my tape.  I beam up at her as if I have just won the gold  in Bejing.  “Wow” she exclaims.  “You’ve been taped!  How are your bowels doing?” My what?  Did she say bowels?  “Yes, the chiropractors believe in pressure points and your taped feet indicate that he is trying to relieve your bowels.”

Oh my god!!!!  I went to a formal dinner party on Friday in cute little sandals just to advertise that I was a Boulder athlete with taped feet!

Climb On!


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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.