A few weeks ago I had the chance to work with Andrew Nelson. Andrew Nelson is a Physical Therapist in the Methow Valley of Washington. Brian and I were visiting his parents and finalizing wedding preparations after our final races in Sun Valley. Brian has wanted me to work with Andrew for quite a while and this was the time when he was available.
When I went in to see Andrew I learned a lot about bio-mechanics and how your foot alignment can altar the rest of your alignment in your entire body. Andrew looked at my feet extensively and found a number of weaknesses. I have been able to use my muscles in my lower leg to compensate where my feet failed to support me. My feet seem to collapse as soon as I put pressure on them. This leaves me with a lack of balance and coordination that is crucial for Nordic Skiing.
Andrew developed a kind of Footbed/ Orthodic for my feet that puts me into a more stabilized position. I can now generate much more power off of each step, stride, etc... when my foot has a more rigid platform to push against.
The results have been awesome in my training as well. I have never used a Footbed or Orthodic before so I was a little nervous about how my body would feel and how my knees and other joints would respond. So far everything has been excellent. I have found my balance and stability increase and my glide and power on skis to be extremely positive.
I never wanted to think that I would have a deficit in my alignment or ligaments that would inhibit me but I guess this is all a part of being an athlete and growing older :)