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FAN MAIL: CHRIS MELLO

“My name is Chris Mello and when I found out you were a pole vaulter I just had to write to you. I love what you’re doing with Stem Footwear. I was a pole vaulter in high school for two seasons and for a year and a half in college. I haven’t vaulted very high. my PR was 14 feet in high school and I never bettered it in college. Like you, I suffered from a host of injuries; heel bursitis, plantar fasciitis, posterior tibilias tendonitis, patella tendonitis, and the worst of all for me: compartment syndrome. I saw a number of orthopedists and other doctors and none of them had answers (some suggested it was in my head!). Needless to say, I was very frustrated. In college, I finally quit athletics all together because I grew to hate running so much as it was very painful. Well, after that I started hiking a lot more and found out that I could run on the trails without pain. Without knowing, it was because I shortened my stride and started landing more towards the midfoot. This year I started out running completely barefoot, and it has been wonderful so far. I wanted to do to much to soon, so I’ve had to back off a bit. I don’t know why I didn’t realize this earlier, but when I was younger and through high school I was always as fast as the fastest kids when I was barefoot, but throw on a pair of sneakers and it slowed me down.”


Regards,
Chris

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