Find a Mentor…
Then Emulate That Person

But first, the backstory. Zeus gave a bull to Queen Pasiphae of Crete, which she slept with. As a result, Pasiphae gave birth to a half-human and half-bull. That caused a myriad of problems for King Minos. What would he do with a Minotaur? He decided to use the Minotaur and had Daedalus build a labyrinth near his palace at Knossos.

Minos was an autocratic ruler of Crete and controlled the neighboring islands and Greece. He forced King Aegeus of Athens to send seven men and women to him each year. If they did, Minos would not invade Athens. Essentially, the fourteen Athenians were given to the Minos’ Minotaur as sacrifices. Once anyone got into the labyrinth, there was no escape. They merely got lost in the maze until the Minotaur found them and then devoured them.

Theseus, son of King Aegeus, devised a plan to stop the annual sacrifices of fourteen Athenians. He was a driven person who wanted to help his Athenian people. Therefore, Theseus became one of the fourteen people sent to Crete, where the Minotaur of Minos would devour them. However, Theseus planned to kill the Minotaur.

As luck would have it, Minos’ daughter, Ariadne, saw Theseus, and they fell in love. She, too, produced a plan to help Theseus in his quest to kill the Minotaur. Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of string, which he would unwind as he ventured into the labyrinth. In that way, he could kill the Minotaur and find his way back to her along with the other Athenians.

Theseus and the Minotaur in the Labyrinth

Theseus and Ariadne’s plans were successful. Theseus saved future Athenians from being sacrificed and devoured by the Minotaur.

That is the backstory. I was lost in the maze of life due to my minotaur. It wasn’t a half-human and half-bull, but its pain was killing me. My minotaur was plantar fasciitis. I had a pain that hurt so much that I couldn’t walk around. I used to take my Irish Setter for a walk around the lake on which we live. It would take an hour early every morning to circumnavigate the lake.

However, when my foot started to cause a lot of pain, I merely googled foot pain. I diagnosed my problem, which was plantar fasciitis. Having figured out what my minotaur was, all I had to do was find a podiatrist. So, I googled podiatrists near me. Then I had to pick a podiatrist from a couple dozen choices.

I selected Dr. El-Samad. Why? I assumed that any foot doctor could manage my plantar fasciitis. I picked him because I am tired of racism in America. Some Americans don’t like Asians, people from the Middle East, and/or Muslims. Dr. El-Samad was from Lebanon and was Muslim.

I went for my first appointment and told him why I was there. I assumed that any podiatrist could deal with my plantar fasciitis. I was there to thumb my nose at racism. I mentioned to Dr. El-Samad that I am alive today due to an Asian doctor saving my life due to prostate cancer and a Middle Eastern Muslim who saved my life due to a traumatic brain injury. Additionally, most doctors I have had in the last dozen years were black, Hispanic, Asian, or Middle Eastern/Muslim.

Dr. El-Samad accepted my diagnosis and my reason for me choosing him. What fascinated me about him was that he was like Theseus. He was driven to address problems like my plantar fasciitis. Nonetheless, while he concurred with my diagnosis, he wanted to look beyond the obvious. Were there other reasons for my minotaur problem? So, he took the thread in his hand and journeyed in the labyrinth to find the possible minotaurs in my foot.

As I listened to him present his treatment plan, Dr. El-Samad said he wanted to explore all the possible reasons for my diagnosis. We went step by step through his search, including an MRI and an EMG. As the result of his journey into the labyrinth of my foot, he discovered that much of my pain was tied to tarsal tunnel syndrome. Following in the steps of his predecessor, Theseus, he eliminated both of my minotaurs.

Therein lies an example of the importance of finding a mentor and then emulating that mentor. Dr. El-Samad did, and I can walk again.