Today’s topic is safety. It was March of 2012,and I had been training for 36 years at that point. I have always been very careful in the gym, never goofed around, warmed up, and never suffered any severe injuries in my life. Call it a freak accident. I was pulling some 45 lb plates off a machine (that someone else left on) at about face level. I didn’t see the 25 lb plate hidden in between two 45 lb plates. The 25 lb plate dropped like a guillotine onto my left greater toe. It hurt so bad, but I wouldn’t scream, I wasn’t going to let them know I hurt. I saw blood seeping thru my sock and sneaker and leaking onto the floor. I was so enraged, but by golly I was going to finish my seated calves raises with 250lb, then I’d go to the E.R. When I got there, they x-rayed it, and it was split open and broke at the tip in 5 places. They discussed suturing the tip back in place with metal wires running thru the wound and nail that you see. I didn’t want to go that route, and the ER doc didn’t really want to either. Also, it was split to the bone, so they also gave me an antibiotic so I wouldn’t get osteomyelitis (bone infection). I was scheduled to see a podiatrist/surgeon two days later. He said, if it had been a 45 lb plate that dropped from that height, they would’ve amputated it. If it had hit the big joint I was told, I would’ve needed surgery and a stainless steel pin through the toe and put into a cast. I suffered through phantom pains for years, even after it healed. BOTTOM LINE- First, I now always carefully inspect all machines I use, especially if left loaded with plates. Second, I always wear my high top Nautilus STEEL TOE sneakers when working out! They can withstand about 2200lbs p.s.i. of impact and will save your toes. I got mine on Amazon.com for about $85.00. I would strongly recommend you consider some for yourself. Your toes are worth it. Be Safe!