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Stones in My Shoes

I walk a lot. I like walking and have probably spent hundreds of pounds (thousands?) over many years on shoes boots and other suitable – and not so suitable – footwear.

The running shoes I bought recently are by far the best trainers I have ever invested in. Maybe because I made time to have a proper assessment and trust those who are so much more experienced than I am to make the right decision.

Perhaps we could all be mindful of the old adage ‘if you fail to plan you may as well plan to fail’. Many of us can walk the mile in another man’s shoes but do we have the experience and evidence to use to facilitate meaningful change.

I have Berghaus walking boots which have withstood 10 years of walking – maybe a little less hill climbing than they were intended for but that’s because I moved from Dollar to North Berwick. More sand to boot.

As well as sturdy boots and shoes I also have a decent selection of socks. There’s little point in spending good money on great shoes only to wear inadequate socks and get blisters. I have been advised always to get socks that fit neatly just above the ankle. When I enquired as to why this should be, the response was that it would prevent stones getting into my shoes. Well maybe it’s just the way I walk (You can tell by the way I use my walk …) but it seems that no matter what I put on my feet I end up with stones in my shoes.

Perhaps there’s an analogy here: no matter how hard I try to get it right for the situation I’m in, something will come along to challenge or question my preparation and plans. I can take it on the chin because of my training and experience – not least learning from mistakes I have made – but are young people and adults with mental health issues and/or learning disabilities able to distinguish between what is absolutely right for them in order to progress or what is right (or easier) for the teacher/ parent/ carer?

I so badly want to get it right for our vulnerable young people – and I will. I just have to remember that there are too many people along the way who don’t stop and think and so really don’t get it because they are far too busy fluffing their own feathers in a show of arrogance and indifference.

Stones in My Shoes – a poem

you fit like a glove

upon my foot

Until

the thorn sticks in my side

a stone is in my shoe

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