Ow! Memories…..

A conversation about working under extremely uncomfortable conditions reminded me of not only those times in the Army when weather conditions were terrible, but also my boot issues. To start with, while I was a bit of a tomboy, that did not extend into being athletic. Going into the Army and being as small as I was did cause a number of issues. Actually, my first boot-related injury was while in ROTC. The single field exercise I went on included tromping through some swampy water. They had no boots to come close to fitting my size 4.5, so extra socks in the smallest size they had might have worked if I hadn’t a) had to wear them as long as I did and b) maybe if we hadn’t gone through the water with God knows what kind of bacteria. Anyway, multiple blisters that burst, then became infected was not fun.

Moving forward when I was at Fort McClellan for initial WAC training, they did at least have size 5. What none of us knew was women’s boots were not designed with the same support as men’s. In all fairness, we were among the first group of women who were expected to do more running. So, not liking to run anyway, when I began to experience pain in my ankle, I ignored it. Then it was both ankles and when I literally couldn’t walk down the hall without leaning against a wall dragging my feet, I agreed I needed to go to the clinic. Achilles tendons strained in both ankles; common for women. Had I known, I would have gone in immediately. They did later do away with women’s boots in favor of better support. And a number of years later, medical people finally convinced the Army running in boots was a really bad idea and proper shoes were allowed for physical exercise. Oh, it was running three mornings a week and alternate exercise two days a week.

There was another time I won’t describe, but you get the idea.

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