Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Running Away with Exercise . . .
"Take off your shoes, roll your pant legs half way up your calves and walk that way," he said pointing.
I didn't ask questions. He didn't seem like the type that really wanted the fat man who dared to venture in to the leading running outfitter in Wichita to push back in any way.
I took off my shoes. I rolled my pants. I strutted my stuff.
"That's enough," he said. "Come back to me."
"What size do you think you wear?," he inquired. (This is how I knew I was out of my element and it was obvious - he was giving me a "what do you 'think' you are here for vibe)
"12, I think," I thought aloud.
He came back with a stack of running shoes (don't call them sneakers). I hated the first pair. Tight. Metallic blue accents, weird tongues, those super round laces that don't stay tied. I said nothing. Put them on. Walked it out. Told him they felt "tight" - he looked at me with the appropriate amount of annoyance (the fat man WAS giving him some pushback, huh?) and said - they should be tight through the arches and at the heel - you need one thumb of room in the toe. Told me to tap my heels. Measured. Sure enough, one thumb. At LEAST I knew my shoe size.
Three pairs later I had what he thought was my "winner." I told him about the running magazine I had picked up and that they had told me to get a totally different sneaker - er SHOE, RUNNING SHOE - one they had on the wall. I clarified that I was a bigger runner and that I needed it because . . .
"They don't know your stride style," he interrupted. "And why do you keep calling yourself 'heavy' and 'bigger'? Have you recently gained some weight?"
"No, I don't think so, I mean . . . I don't think I've lost any lately but," I stammered. "Actually I've lost about 300 pounds in the last two and a half years. I'm down to 230 - which makes me obese and heavy accordingly (I smugly pointed out for some stupid reason) and I want to get down to 199 by late November. I have recently started exercising (I've either walked, run or both 13 of the last 22 days (I personal record, for sure - and one he didn't really seem all that impressed with) and I, for some reason, am 'drawn' to running. I feel like I have to try it and embrace it. To feel light and fast and thin. To try to be light, fast and thin. It makes me feel mellow and calmer and I don't mind it as much as I was sure I would."
"Yeaaaaahhhhh," he mellowly uttered. I noticed his physique for the first time. This guy was clearly a runner - very trim, long, lean muscles, tanned face, neck and forearms, Popeye legs, Nike watch, etc. "That's what I'm talking about. The WORLD would be a better place if everyone just ran for 15 minutes once a week - forget more consistently. Good luck with that - let us know if you want to join a running club, we can get you set up with other beginners."
I unrolled my pants, put my real shoes back on, had him write down the specifics on the shoes (I'm getting the lingo) he suggested I buy (Wifey is going to get me some kicks for my birthday/Father's Day, I have been told) and thanked him for the words of encouragement and the help.
Then I went home and obsessed over the Asics GEL-Cumulus 10. I dreamed of them and how great they will look when I take my first outdoor run in them last night. I've priced them out on 15 different web sites (but, truthfully I am going to have Joy buy them from the store in Old Town because I want to a) support the local business and b) give the guy a nod for the support he showed me). They are about $40 cheaper than the shoes I was going to buy and the colors are much more in line with my personal preferences anyway (yes, I DO care what my running shoes look like when appearing inches below my shorts or pants).
I officially have a problem - I am getting EXCITED about working out. I am running away with it . . . or it is running away with me.