Today is National Storytelling Day. When I saw this in an email this morning, I thought of the perfect blog post. This story was first told in the 5th edition of Fixing Your Feet back in 2010—and it’s in the 6th edition too. Right in the front of the book.
This is a story about being proactive. I hope you’ll take the time to read it. Here’s the story.
I received an e-mail from Nathan, who lives in the Kimberley region of northwest Australia. The week before, he had finished the seven-day, 250K stage race known as Racing the Planet: Australia. Previously Nathan had finished some marathons and ultramarathons, the longest one being 100K. Of the 185 starting competitors in Racing the Planet: Australia, only 118 completed the race, and most competitors had problems with blisters from the first day.
Three months before the race, Nathan bought Fixing Your Feet. He read it and learned a great deal about what he needed to do in preparation for this grueling event. Importantly, he learned how to deal with the problems he had experienced in earlier races. He learned how to pre-tape
his feet and had the right tapes. He taped his feet three times during the race. He carried seven pairs of Injinji toe socks and Teko merino wool blend socks to wear over the toe socks. He used a lubricant at the start of each day. He used Sorbothane insoles for added shock absorption. For
river crossings, he took off his shoes and socks and, once on the other side, cleaned his feet and reapplied lubricant. Each evening he cleaned his shoes and insoles. When he got into camp each day, he dried his feet and coated them with iodine and, in one instance, benzoin, to dry them further. He watched his electrolytes to avoid swelling of his feet and hands. For him, the race was an enjoyable experience.
Nathan was proactive from the beginning. Contrast that to others, who did not have adequate protection for the wet conditions, did not know how to use the contents of their “required” foot-care kit, did not pre-tape, used the wrong tape, had not conditioned their feet and bodies for the weight of their packs, and were reactive to problems.
Nathan wrote, “I realized that the part of the book that focused on working on your feet prior to a large event really had an impact on me. After reading people’s stories of soaking their feet, removing calluses, and filing their toenails, I was motivated to do the same on a near-daily basis. It also motivated me to work on my ankle strength and my calves to help my feet. I suppose if I had not done this prep work, all of the taping, lubricants, toe socks, and so on would have helped some, but it might not have made such a difference. A lot of people have asked about the race and the blisters ‘I must have had.’ I just laugh and tell them that I didn’t get a single one.”
Nathan thanked me for getting him through Racing the Planet: Australia, a very tough event. I commend Nathan for doing things right. I hold Nathan up as an example of how to use the material in this book. I could not have found a better example of being proactive. I challenge you to do likewise.