Athlete’s Foot

Rushing into the nail salon for my 5 PM pedicure appointment, I took off my shoes and put my feet into the pedicure water. I began to talk to my nail tech, Tanya.  I overheard the guy next to me telling a story about a friend who was texting him, apologizing for something that had happened at a Poker tournament. I looked over at the storyteller’s feet in the pedicure basin next to me and thought, gosh, those feet have seen some rough days – yellowed nails and twisted toes.

Tanya leaned toward me and asked, “do you know him?” and pointed at the guy next to me.  I looked over at his face, and he looked at me, and I said, “no,” but seconds later it clicked! I looked back at him, the storyteller with the rough feet, and said, “ah, yes, I apologize – I do know you! How are you?” He smiled, and we introduced ourselves and then later, started taking selfies.

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RP meets MP, a chance meeting at the pedi pools

I sent the selfies to my daughters. I knew they’d be excited to see my chance introduction to undeniably one of the greatest Olympians of all time, Michael Phelps.

Today, a month or so later, my daughter, who’s training for a 1/2 marathon, sent me this Under Armour video, starring MP. She had watched the video and loved the message and knew I’d want to see it, too:

“It’s what we do in the dark that puts us in the light.”

The condition of MP’s feet was brought to light –

the innumerous hours of kicking off pools’ edges and through pools’ waters

isn’t seen by those of us who only witness an introduction and/or performance –

the athlete’s foot is only felt and truly understood by him, the storyteller, a committed, determined champion.


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