Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tread Lightly

If the show “Big Love” was based in running shoes rather than wives, I would be the star.

When I stumble down the stairs in the morning, I resist turning the lights on in the hall as long as I can. The dog will wait at the top of the landing in full anticipation, tail and butt wagging before committing to the trek down. I slip into my coat, take one heavy sigh, then turn the knob. If I’m lucky, nothing will tumble out of the closet. If I’m even luckier, my “dog walking shoes” will be right on top of the pile. I’m rarely that lucky. So I get down on my knees and start rooting through shoe after shoe, chucking them aside like socks, just trying to find a match. Worst case, I give up and flood the room with light, killing any notion that I might still be asleep.

Finally, ah-ha, a match. I pull them on, listen for the machine gun rattle of the dog’s collar as she shakes out and bolts headfirst down the stairs to go outside.

The point is: I have too many running shoes.

Yet, I’m happy to introduce you to the newest members of my running shoe family: the ASICS 2160s (Storm) and the ASICS 2150s (Lightning).

You see, since joining runnerdom, the gift list has never been hard to make. I normally answer the question, “What do you want for [insert holiday here]?” with: new shoes.

My father-in-law has my size and brand saved on Road Runner Sports and my parents just let me send them the link with color choice.

Who doesn’t love new kicks? I’m still getting over the aversion to new “things” going on your feet. For 17 years playing hockey, breaking in new skates usually required a package or four of moleskin and weeks of blister therapy. But when you find a pair of running you shoes you love, the break-in period is minimal.

So, over Christmas, the family and I got to talking about “just how many running shoes do you have?”

“Well, let me think,” I said, readying my fingers to tick them off. “There’s the pair I got for my birthday two years ago, the pair I qualified for Boston in, the pair I ran Boston in, the ones I got for Christmas last year, the ones I got for my birthday this year, the ones you just got me, the ones Rachel’s dad just got me, and of course my magic shoes. So…eight pairs.”

Naturally, they’re all in different states of use. And I love them all for various reasons. Some have no tread, others have holes in the upper. Some are caked in mud, others are pristine. The hard core ones have a few blood stains. Some are relegated to dog walking, others for the gym. Some are ok to run in but only come out for special occasions, such as the snow or muddy trails. Others only come out for speed workouts and races. Does this sound right to anyone?

There’s that great scene in Pulp Fiction right after John Travolta asks Harvey Keitel to say “please” and Harvey Keitel pretty much tells him what he can do with that. John Travolta walks past Samuel L. Jackson, puts a hand up and just says, “I can feel your look.”

In this scene, my wife would be Samuel L. Jackson because I could feel the look. And it was telling me, get rid of some of those shoes.

To aid this process, I left a pair at my parents’ house for my dad to drop off at their local running store. We shared a tender moment before I walked out of the room…out of each other’s lives forever.

On Friday, when we go to pick up packets for the Fairfax Four Mile, I’ll bring a bag of shoes with me to donate to the local Pacers store that I believe go to Shoe4Africa. It’ll be a sad goodbye. I can already picture myself cross-legged on the floor in front of the closet, clutching each pair to my chest and recounting the “trials of miles, miles of trials” in each shoe. The PRs, the disappointments, the new trails, the old favorites. There may be pictures coming to a blog near you…for posterity sake.

Am I alone? How many spouses shoes do you have?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...