Gotta Be The Shoes

I decided today it wasn’t worth it. All the sweat, all the pain and anguish, all the hard, hard work. It’s not worth it. I decided that, but I did it anyway. I took a big breath, and did something that scared the heck out of me:

I went and looked for shoes.

This whole running thing is going to be expensive. I know it. $100 running shoes every few months? Not something I’ve ever budgeted for in the past. Shoes, in general, aren’t in my budget. Right now I have six pairs of shoes:

  • Tan Loafers (my work shoes)
  • Winter boots
  • Everyday sneakers
  • Workout sneakers
  • Black loafers
  • Riding shoes

I think this is the largest amount of footwear I’ve ever owned. I got the two pairs of sneakers from my late step-father. My mom kept trying to foist his clothes off on me, and even when I weighed 240 pounds they were too big for me. Besides they were old man clothes. I took the shoes mostly to keep her from bugging me. The black loafers I got when I bought the suit I wore to my son’s wedding.

The suit, by the way, was the first suit I had purchased in several decades. When you lug a camera around for a living, there’s very little call for one. Can ya tell I’m not much of a fashion plate?

So getting running shoes puts me right out of my comfort zone. Not only do I have to go and purchase clothing, but clothing for a specific purpose, about which I know nearly nothing. Fortunately, I’m becoming more comfortable with being uncomfortable, so I steeled my nerves and walked into the store.

I chose a small little shop not too far from my office which specializes in equipping triathletes. In my mind I expected some sort of snob who would belittle my goals. Of course, what I found was a genuinely nice man whose own goal was helping folks like me reach their goals. I also told him I was just starting my search, and wasn’t going to leave with a purchase today. He spent a lot of time with me, discussing the functions of running shoes and different types of supports, and even got me onto a treadmill and videotaped me running on it to show me why I would need the type of shoe I will eventually buy.

And then I tried on some shoes. The first few were okay. Each one had something that didn’t feel right to it. One rubbed me on the fibula. Another squeezed my little toe. But one…wow. Very comfortable. I think I’ve found my shoe…the first step on my way to running.

Get it? First…step? Yeah, I went there. It’s a running joke!

I didn’t buy the shoes, mostly because I told myself I wasn’t going to buy today. But I did have him put them aside with my name on them. There’s other running stores out there and I may try and get to some of them this weekend. But I think I found the ones I want.

Of course, one of the things that sets me apart from most 50-somethings who decide to do triathlons is that I also have to shop for a leg, but that’s a story for another day.