So, Friday a week ago, my active release therapy doctor grabs a jar of marbles, indoor flowerpot stones actually, and sprinkles about 40 of them on the floor. “Pick ‘em up, and put them back in the jar,” he says. “No, with your left toes, not your hands!” It seemed impossible. My toes don’t seem to have a lot of curl, flexibility, or strength, but I gave them a try. It seemed to take about 10 minutes, but ultimately, I got them in the jar without cheating too much. “Practice!” said the good doctor.
So, on the way home, I stopped at Target and bought a jar of them. And I started practicing that night. I didn’t try over the weekend during travels to New York State for my sister’s memorial service, but picked it up again last Tuesday and had been doing it at least once a day. I added my right foot, which was so pathetic that it made my left foot seem great, ironically enough. Maybe it is because all of the work on my left foot has improved its flexibility.
The first few times I tried this, my hands and face were screwed up so tight, like one of the first year students at the Hogwarts School in “Harry Potter” trying to turn a frog into a teacup. “Marbelum leviosa!” I would mutter under my breath, lips and face tight as a drum. It didn’t seem to help. I was terrible at it.
I’ve seen little improvement in my foot pain, but here is one area that I have seen a ton of improvement in: picking up marbles! In less than a week of really doing this, I have gotten fairly good at picking them up with my left foot. I collected 40 of them today in about 2:50. My right foot is still pathetic, but not as much so. So, I will keep on collecting my marbles with my foot, and expect to see improved toe strength and flexibility. Who knew that losing one’s marbles could be so useful?