“Philosophically,” I said to my Saturday morning 9:00 AM Circuit training class at West Point Grey Community Centre in Vancouver, “The foot is where you end and the universe begins – Or where the universe ends and you begin, depending on your point of view.” The class is conducted in the weight room, and I have a habit about giving them fitness lectures throughout the class.

This morning, the topic was the importance of feet.

I was telling them that I had an epiphany about my own physical problems that had been manifesting over the past year. These included knee pain. I thought I had arthritis. My MD said there was no evidence of it, but he prescribed a medication for it. Then I got more.

I thought that everything must be related to a callous that I had on my foot. I told them that I made an appointment with a podiatrist. He took one look at my feet. Then he looked at my application, then back at my feet. “What do you do for a living?” he asked.

“Jumping jacks,” I said.

He got me to recite all of my jobs over the past 30 years. When I got to archaeologist, he said, “Do you dig with those things?”

It turns out that I had been abusing my feet since I was in elementary school, and it was my fault.

When I was about 9 years old, I was marched off to Simpson Sears department store to by new runners. They were so bad that nobody could get near me. My parents were worried about me becoming a hermit. When I got to the store, the salesman tried to approach me.
“What size,” he gagged.

“I don’t know.” I said

He walked me over to a machine he called and X-ray machine and treated me to a fascinating view of all the bones in my feet. He hid from the toxic fumes on the other side and used a pointer to tell me that you measure size fro the big toe. That way, your middle toes will scrunch up and you can use them as traction to increase your running speed.

That sounded good to me. I learned something new. I learned that toes should be scrunched up to work effectively. That ws my first lesson in biomechanics.

Back in the Doctor’s office, I learned that I was given exactly the wrong information. I should have used my middle toes as a gauge to buy shoes because they’re longer. He stretched my claws out to prove it. Now there is a huge callous on the forefoot because my toes can’t straighten out. “That’s also why you’re having knee problems, and that’s why you can expect to have hip problems later on. It’s like you’re walking around with a rock in your shoe, and compensation means wear and tear where things ought not to be worn and torn.”
He shaved the callous down, and I found that my knee pain subsided.
There are two ways to correct the problem: orthotics and surgery. I recommend orthotics. Surgery hurts.

As a result, I will be forking out $400 in a week or so for an orthotic. At that time, I’ll ask what size shoes I should be buying. Maybe he’ll let me peek at my toes through an X-ray machine.

Mike Broderick WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he FOUND employment for people with physical disabilities.
He remains an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105
If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates .
Apparently 22% of companies in the Greater Vancouver area will be hiring within the next month. Get your resumes ready.



  1. Says:

    Been there, done that. I was on my way to $300 orthotics when I de died to give Dr. scholars one more try, stepped on machine, bought c 45. $50 That combined with podiatrists insoles has alle iated 90 percent of foot pain. Good luck. Sleeping foot brace did no good

  2. Sharon Says:

    Good story, Mike, and good conclusion. I get frustrated at people who were flip-flops and complain that their knees or whatever hurt. And, of course, you did it all with humor.

  3. Leopoldo Jenquin Says:

    This design is steller! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

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