“A bad habit cannot be thrown out the window, it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time”
As I touched on in a recent post, lately I’ve been focused on trying to permanently correct my walking and unsteady gait. I’m at that point in life where it’s exhausting to constantly worry about tripping over my feet, struggling to carry things when I walk, not being able to walk in a straight line, etc. After 20 years of dealing with an unsteady gait along with other walking-related issues, I’m determined to fix these issues once and for all.
In order to achieve my goal, there are several bad habits I’ve developed overtime that need to be broken. One in particularly, which is probably the hardest to break, is that I have a tendency to walk on my toes. Years ago, when I first re-learned to walk, I used to fall all the time mostly because weakness in my legs and poor foot placement. As a last resort measure to keep myself from hitting the ground, I started to walk on my toes. Overtime, toe-walking became the norm and how my body would compensate for not always being able to control my foot placement. Toe-walking became a learned behavior and how I taught myself to adapt to my situation.
Although toe-walking at first seemed helpful, I’ve come to realize it actually increases my risk of falling. It has also caused my ankles to become weak and has made it very difficult for me to walk in a consistent heel-toe motion. So basically now I have to break a 20 year-old habit, learn to not walk on my toes, and instead walk heel-toe. (not confusing at all)
As I consciously try to walk heel-toe and avoid walking on my toes, I can’t help not get frustrated at myself for wasting all those years creating this bad habit. Toe-walking has negatively affected my walking in many ways! But the thing is I have to let it go, be patient with myself, and remain committed to breaking this habit. It is often through our mistakes that we learn the most about ourselves and are able to change for the better.
There are some days where everything seems perfect and my heel-toe motion is on point. But there are also days when I struggle to stay off my toes and feel extremely discouraged. Days like that I can hear my therapist shouting in my head “Get off you toes! Get on your heels!” As annoyed as I feel at times, like I’ll never walk normally, it’s important to push forward; remain dedicated and determined. Even as I write this, my heels are on the floor while my toes are in the air, as if I’m about to take a step. Not sure how much that will help with walking but at least it helps my bran become familiar with that feeling.
So maybe I developed a bad habit overtime, that’s in the past, I can only focus on improving myself now. Once you hit rock bottom, the only place you can go is up. But the only way to do that is through discipline and constantly being aware of the issue. It’s like trying to lose weight or eat healthier, you have to make a conscientious decision. After awhile, it just becomes second nature and turns into a good habit. What are some of your bad habits?
“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit”