Candis and I headed down to our local Rec Center this past Wednesday night because they were doing free gait analysis sessions for runners and I have always subscribed to the premise “if it’s free, it’s for me.” The gentleman who appeared to be performing the analysis immediately gave off the impression that he was a smooth operator. He had slick, dark hair and was more tan than anyone in the northern hemisphere should be in March with the possible exception of George Hamilton. His movements were fluid and calculated and I immediately decided that I didn’t trust him at all. He completed his own character assassination when he introduced himself to me as “Dr. D.” It seemed strange that he would avoid using his last name, especially when he later introduced himself to my wife and gave her his complete last name.
We had a brief discussion and I could tell by the way he threw around words like “alignment” and “adjustment” that he was a chiropractor i.e. not a real doctor. Then he asked me to take off my shoes and socks and run on the treadmill while he filmed it for a couple of minutes. Having never run barefoot, with the exception of chasing my wife around the bedroom (high five myself), it felt strange. My stride didn’t feel right. I was up on the balls of my feet much more than I normally would have been, and in the quarter mile that I ran on the treadmill I never felt like I settled in to my stride.
We looked at the footage on Dr. D’s computer and he informed me that as far as my stride, everything was centered and looked good (I’ll say). I didn’t over-pronate or supinate or coagulate, I was just plain average. The one thing that he did point out was that my right elbow seemed to flail out to the side a little more than my left elbow and this was perhaps due to the fact that my alignment was off. I could see where this was heading. He informed me that they were holding a runner’s clinic next week covering things like gait, alignment, and various tips for runners to make sure you’re running with the utmost efficiency. It was not a free clinic.
I didn’t feel like Dr. D ever really told me what I could do to fix my right elbow flail and he even seemed to avoid directly answering some of the questions I had for him. He kept telling me that they were going to cover some of these things at the clinic. It was like I was talking to a politician. I declined to sign up for the clinic because I didn’t see how I was going to find the solutions to the glitches in my individual gait by paying to sit through a generic presentation to a bunch of fellow dupes.
I was beginning to wonder if this had been a complete waste of time when my wife made it all worthwhile. Once she had finished her barefoot gait analysis, Dr. D asked her if she had ever been to see a chiropractor before. “Yeah,” she answered without realizing that Dr. D was probably a chiropractor “but it was totally worthless.” Just like that she trampled all over his ego, and she did it without any right elbow flail at all.
*This post does not apply to Jared Lawson, who is a level headed and legitimate chiropractor.