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is that a pebble in my shoe?


Roughly three years ago, at the age of 36, I acquired my first callous on the bottom of my right foot. I have been a runner on and off all my life and not once I have I discovered a callous on my feet.

I feel the need to define, for the purposes of this discussion, what I consider a callous on the foot. I believe everyone over the age of 15 or 20, has a callous on the outer edge of the big toe, a bit below the bottom of the nail bed and away from the rest of the toes. That's just wear and tear and is to be expected. So yes, I have one of those on each big toe and it causes me no harm. I consider it a shock absorber and appreciate its willingness to make my life a bit more comfortable.

I am talking about a build up of hard skin on the flat part of the bottom of the foot that causes pain, once it builds to a particular level. This is what I have been experiencing for the last three years.

I've heard that some women's feet grow a bit after a pregnancy or two. I had been using the very same pair of running shoes I purchased before my first pregnancy when the callous appeared. This is what caused the issue (as I had been through two pregnancies when the intruder appeared), according to a marathon runner-in-training at the Running Fit shoe store I visited back then. So even though I bought new shoes, it appears once you have a callous you always have a callous.

The next thing I did was visit my family doctor to see what his assessment was. He suggested I visit a "health and beauty store" to purchase a pumice stone. I had to laugh when he said "health and beauty store" because it made him sound like he was 82 years old and not sure how the female species worked, but had heard some rumors. In reality, he is one year older than me and has a wife and five daughters. So he should be pretty comfortable around the female genus. Maybe he sensed I was a bit nervous with my toes just swingin' in the breeze.

Anyway, I did purchase a pumice stone at Meijer, the local food and anything-else-you-might-need store (not quite the perfume-laced "health and beauty store" I imagined the good doctor was referring to) and have been filing away ever since. I usually go to work on it once every four or five months. This would be after a good two weeks of noticing it as I walk.

I suppose I should have more of a maintenance mode when it comes to this thing, but I don't like having a callous. It's annoying. I've never had one before. I don't like having to "take care of it." Yes, I could have much more intense problems, issues, what have you and I realize that. I am thankful that I have functioning feet and legs, for that matter, that allow me to get a callous.

But it just feels like a stray, three-legged shaggy dog that has adopted me as its unwilling owner. I would love to take it to the Humane Society and be done with it, but I guess that's not an option.


2007-03-20 at 8:13 a.m.

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