Last Tuesday I stepped way outside my comfort zone today and joined a blog link up hosted by Patty from My No Guilt Life and April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere. As it turned out I had a blast linking up, so I’m doing it again this week! Check them, and the other fabulous bloggers who’ve linked up, out as we talk about one of my favorite subjects. Shoes!
I do love shoes. I have been overweight for most of my life and shoes were a ‘safe way’ for me to indulge in fashion and feel pretty. There are no guides as to how to dress your ‘foot type’ to obsess over – it’s the one shop a fat girl can enter and not feel out-of-place or an object of unwanted attention. You get to just pick the shoes you like, try them on, and, if they rock your world purchase them with no judgement.
I can still remember my first running shoes. They were pink Nikes purchased at the outlet store because they were under the heading ‘running’ and felt ok when I tried them on. I chalked the knee and ankle pain I felt that first week up to being out of shape and pushed on. The next week I asked all knowing google about ankle + knee + leg pain after running /walking. It took less than 10 seconds for the Big G to tell me how much choosing the right running shoes mattered. It seemed I should go to a running store and get a professional fitting. It took another week of agony before I got up the guts to go to a running store and ask for help.
Armed with my Google imparted knowledge I worked up my courage and headed off the Running Store in Ridgewood. I even wore fresh socks in preparation of being asked to walk around without shoes.
The Big G was correct – and walk in my socks I did. I learned I over pronate and was offered a selection of shoes which would correct the problem. The sales man – who could not have been nicer – assured me the ‘right shoes’ would make a significant improvement in how I felt during and after a run. Following this advice I left the store with a pair of New Balance 860’s. Yes, the shoes made a huge difference and they’ve been my shoe of choice ever since.
What sticks in my memory, more than the shoes, is how kind the people in the store were. This was when I learned how welcoming and inclusive runners are – of each other. I was terrified that the sales staff would question how many miles I logged each week, how fast I ran, how long I was running… how long, how much, how many… I was literally sick with worry.
The reality is that I wasn’t asked anything other than to walk a few feet. It seemed to be assumed that I was shopping for running shoes because I was a runner in some way, shape or form… and that was good enough to be welcomed and encouraged. I’ve held that memory for a long time and it’s picked me up when I’ve felt less than more times that I can recall.