Bradley Dempsey (right), a senior communications major at William Woods University, sprints the final lap of the “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” to benefit the Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV).
The following is a first-person account, written by Bradley Dempsey ’08, of Bowling Green, Mo.
As a former high school cross country and track runner, I thought I was accustomed to feeling the pain that comes at the end of a race. My feet were always sore as I approached the finish line, while repeating to myself, “Just one more mile, just one last turn and the race will be over.”
On April 5, I learned what real pain is, as I walked in high heels for the first annual, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” at William Woods University.
My fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, and another fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, collaborated to raise money for the Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV), by strutting our stuff in high heels for a one-mile walk.
Six members of Phi Gamma Delta, 10 members of Pi Kappa Alpha and two university staff took part in the walk. We collected donations from various faculty and staff, parents, sororities and local businesses and raised more than $500.
Participants wore a variety of high heels, including red pumps, pink sandals, brown sling backs, heels with straps, knee-high boots, etc. The one-mile course wove all around campus. As the walk started, a few guys decided they’d be tough and sprint in their heels. About 100 feet later, they regretted it.
We walked together throughout the entire course; well, most of us did. A few couldn’t take the pain of walking in high heels and lagged behind. Less than quarter of a mile into the walk, everyone was complaining about the pain. Somehow, I managed to keep my composure.
About halfway through the walk, I started to get the hang of it. I learned that if you don’t put all your weight on the back of your heels, there’s a better chance you won’t fall down. I had my close calls, especially at the beginning. I looked like a fool through the entire race, along with everyone else, but I kept my balance and didn’t wipe out.
As our last lap of the race drew nearer and we approached the Senior Lake bridge to conclude the walk at Dulany Auditorium, I decided give the crowd something to cheer about. A walk, even one in high heels, should be finished strong and proud.
As I crossed the bridge, I was yelling at everyone, “Finish strong.” Then I proceeded to sprint up the hill to Dulany, still wearing high heels. I can honestly say, it was the most painful way to finish in all my years of running.
My feet were very sore at the end. During the walk, I managed to kick myself in the legs, cutting them. There rub burns from the straps, which weren’t too bad. The bruises the heels left on my feet were the worst part.
I consider myself lucky though. Of all the participants, I think my heels were the only ones that were too big for my feet.
Overall, it was a good experience. If it takes a bunch of fraternity men wearing high heels to raise money and awareness to help end domestic violence, then that’s what we have to do. This program has a lot of potential to become bigger in the future and be something that both chapters can always been proud of.
One thing for sure, I will never understand how women can wear heels on a daily basis.