Rest, Hokas, and Prayers for David

There was a time a few states ago when I was experiencing significant pain in my right foot. I performed surgery on my shoe and walked through the pain until it went away.


It’s now David’s turn to experience significant pain. He has learned that he has something called a psoas and assuming a correct diagnosis, he has firsthand–or is it firstfoot?–knowledge of a condition known as plantar fasciitis.


Shoe surgery is not likely to help David. So as for now, this is our healing plan:
1. Rest, heat, and ice in Jefferson City, Missouri on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
2. Buy yet another new pair of shoes for David. I would like him to try out the Hokas. I’ve been wearing a pair since Albuquerque (about 925 miles). My cross country coach and marathon running brother swears by them. We’ve heard more than one person say that Hokas are great for people who put in big miles. At 120 miles per week, I think we qualify.
3. Turn David’s pain over to a higher power.
4. Ask you to pray and send all the positive, healing energy you’ve got to get David back on the road.


We’ll be on the Katy Trail between Jefferson City and St. Louis, which means the next week’s worth of running will be on a softer surface. We’ll likely walk most or all of that distance to give David’s body a chance to recuperate.


David and I want to complete our run for GMO-Free USA. So do a whole lot of other people. I don’t know what we’re going to find around the next corner, but I pray we’re both on our feet, running strong and filled with the strength we need to complete our run and mission.





Brett Wilcox is the author of We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie. Brett and his 15-year old son, David, are currently running from coast to America coast promoting a GMO-Free USA. Brett and David blog at Brett wrote this blog in Jefferson City, Missouri. Support their run and mission at

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10 Responses to Rest, Hokas, and Prayers for David

  1. David Warady says:

    Most everyone on this list ( can truly emphasize with what you’re going through. You’ll figure this out, the two of you, and you’ll be looking back laughing with the experience you gain going through it. It’s a tough road but you’ve already proved you’re more than ready for the challenge.

  2. Lynn Wilbur says:

    Hi Brett,
    I am just now recovering from plantar fasciitus after 1 1/2 years of misery (mine surfaced while I was running on the treadmill during the winter). I would like to share my thoughts with you for David’s recovery/mitigation, perhaps some ideas are ones you’ve already covered:

    1. Have him stretch the heel by pulling at the ball of the foot toward him. He can also use a strap, laying on his back he can put his leg straight in the air with the strap around his foot and rotate the ankle left and right by pulling the strap. I felt the most relief if I stretched for at least 15 minutes after working out each day.
    2. splint his foot at night with the foot in the flat position. From what I have read (and gotten relief from), the heel is relaxed in the flat foot position. You can find sleeping splints at a local drug store, the cost is around $40 but well worth it.
    3. I found that ice and heat massages worked better than simply applying ice and heat. Freeze a plastic bottle filled with water and have him roll the bottle under his heel and arch while he is sitting down during a rest. Conversely, take a stainless steel bottle and fill it with hot water (test the temperature, not too hot so as not to burn his skin) and have him do same. For me, the ice provided the best immediate relief while heat seemed to provide long term relief. Hot smooth rocks (like river rock) work well too.
    4. As you are probably aware, the best advice is to rest and not run for awhile. Since that is not an option, my advice is to run on unpaved, soft dirt or grassy surfaces as much as possible.

    I stopped running altogether while I was self treating my PF. I tried ibuprofen as an anti inflammatory, which worked to reduce pain but I tended to overdue my exercises and the resulting inflammation and pain were worse. I have started to run short distances again after 1 1/2 years, but my PF flares up now and again, although it is nowhere near as painful. Hope this helps.

    BTY Henry and I want to make a donation when we get an income going again, we still have the SCUBA tanks and plan to send them out for hydro testing. I have ma visual cylinder inspection certification and I checked the insides of the tanks; they looked good enough to send off for testing.

  3. Martina Kurzer says:

    Brett and David,
    Congratulations to your achievement. Twenty miles a day, that is amazing.

    I am sorry to hear that David has to tackle with Plantar Fasciitis. I would like to add to Lynn’s suggestions. I have never experienced this condition myself, but heard from others that movements of the feet and ankles as if swimming with flippers helped best.

    David, this works best if someone reads the following text to you. Do the movements slowly and take many brakes. These exercises are more about reeducating the brain than exercising muscles. When you are familiar with them, you can do them every now and then throughout the day.

    Start with the good foot first. Extend and flex the ankle. Do it slowly and mindfully. Then include the toes in the movement, like this:

    Extent the ankle, and when it is stretched to a position where you feel the first resistance, add the movement of the toes. Extend them as well. Imagine you would pick up a pencil from the floor. You might actually try that (later).

    Then slowly flex the ankle, and when you are at a point of resistance where you could go further if you wanted (but don’t), stay at this initial point of resistance. Now flex your toes as well. Pull them in the direction of your shin. Leave them in this position and slowly extend the ankle.

    Repeat this movement, still with your better-functioning foot, and very slowly move the entire ankle and foot in one beautiful slow wave-like movement. From one complete and full extension to one complete flexion, complete meaning both the ankle and toes and flexed/ extended.

    Now try this with your hurting foot. Make sure that you only move in a range that does not cause pain. This is very important. If it hurts, move less. Totally forget the mantra “Without pain – no gain”. If you can’t move at all because of pain, imagine the movement. Imagination is a very powerful tool.

    Do the movement very slowly, and don’t think that you need to do a lot to be successful. Quality and mindfulness count more than quantity.

    There is a variation to the movement. Try with the good foot first.

    Extend the toes in a neutral ankle position. That means curl your toes under in the pencil pick-up position. With the toes extended, extend the ankle as far as you can without pain or pushing through any resistance coming from muscles or joint. When you are in the fullest extension of the ankle, move the toes from extension into flexion – in the direction of your shin- and slowly flex the ankle. It sounds more complex than it is. Just do it, slowly and mindfully. Track with your attention what your foot and toes are doing. Make sure you stay within the realm of comfort. When your ankle and toes are comfortably flexed, move only the toes, curl them under, then extend your ankle. You can imagine that the toes lead you in this movement, they are always a bit ahead of the ankle. Toes extend, ankle extends, toes flex, ankle flexes.

    Now try this with your hurting foot.

    For clarification: flexion means that the joint moves towards your core, extension is the opposite, away from you.

    Please don’t be intimidated by all the words. These are fun movements, and who knows, they might help you get over the pain.

    This is called Awareness Through Movement (R) and is based on the work the Moshe Feldenkrais (1904 – 1984) which I studied for four years.

    Something else: when you do this movement, and especially when you are running, make sure that your jaw is loose and moving. With other words, try to not clinch your teeth. If you are afraid of biting your tongue, put its tip against the roof of your mouth. You might try this for short sections. This sounds weird, but it helped a client of my teacher’s, Dr. Frank Wildman (Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education (R)), get immediate relief of her long-lasting problem with Plantar Fasciitis. This does not mean it will work for you, but it doesn’t hurt trying.

    I send you lots of healing energy. You need it. Rest and sleep are great healers, too.

    With the best wishes from a sunny Sitka, and greetings to Kris and Olivia,

    Martina Kurzer

  4. Emrys says:

    Hey guys do you do any foot strengthening exercises? Maybe look into that 🙂 Good luck!

  5. Caroline says:

    Please look into homeopathy. Here is an article with remedies for foot problems.

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