While on Wednesdays, there will be mid-week celebrations, Thursdays will be the time for expressing gratitude. We will return to failing on Fridays.

This week, my gratitude is extended to gel inserts for shoes.

I have flat feet, which means that my feet have no natural arch to them.  While I have been told that a few ballet classes could strengthen the muscles in my feet and thus cause them to develop an arch, I am not uninhibited or dedicated enough to pursue any form of dancing, even if it is for the reason of Health Benefits.

Enter the saving grace of gel inserts.  These marvelous things can be put into your shoes in place of or in addition to the sole of the shoe, to give you as much or as little arch as you need.  However, they can be used as a source of fancy foot comfort to help prevent/ease non-arch related issues.

My gratitude for these inserts has only been amplified by the experience of working for 8.5 hours today.  I was on my feet all day, which is no surprise.  However, the shoes required for my work uniform do not have an arch in them.  I was unable to hack the gel inserts down to my proper shoe size before going to work.  This meant, I had to traipse around in archless glory.

To give you an idea of how the pain from this spread, by the end of my shift, everything from my lower back down was hurting.  My feet were stinging even when I was standing still.  The carpool drive home took an hour, and even though I did not put any pressure or move my feet (except for a few small fidgets), the stinging pain did not fade away completely until hours later.

I’m lucky, though, because this is pretty much the experience I have every time I go to a water park.  I was mentally prepared for this exercise in flat-footed freedom, even though it would have been nice not to go through it.

However, my appreciation for gel inserts that magically prevent feet from hurting and make sure proper posture can be maintained in archless shoes has only increased.

And that, my friends, is something I am grateful for.

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