Some Relationships Just Shouldn’t Be Revisited
When I left you for barefoot running three years ago, I swore I would never return. Last Monday was a perfect example of how well I keep my ultimatums (or don’t). You know as well as I do that you and I have always had a tentative relationship. I have never appreciated how much you cost, and then you insist on being replaced too soon. Considering the climate I lived in for so long, I also didn’t appreciate how much you made my feet sweat. You were so much more attractive and well-received than my current running shoes, but that wasn’t enough for me to keep running with you. I’ve kept you around for when I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity or do other things which might ruin my valuable shoes. (I’m sorry. I know that’s selfish.)
I tried you out again because I’ve recently learned that pants are not as offensive as I thought they were. Weather below 60F has helped me realize that certain pants (especially those with a high percentage of spandex) are not the jerks I thought they were. I thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt too. Also, my most recent pair of toe shoes are especially thin. I bought them at the beginning of a Orlando summer, unaware of my impending move north. They are not up to the 20-30F weather that I run in. Also, I recently tripped (for like the thousandth time) and tore a small hole in them that is only going to get bigger.
I took you out on a good day. I gave you the best chance I could. It was an evening run. I’d had coffee and food before but not so recently that I would get a stomachache. The weather was chilly but not unbearable. I have been running on a consistent basis, but I had rested the day before. I remembered gloves, pants, a long-sleeved shirt, my house key and music. Really, how much more could you expect of me? I want great shoes that will support me through any day, terrible as it may be, but I recognize the part I must play in our relationship.
The first thing I noticed was how much you weigh. I’m sorry. I know it’s not politically correct to talk about weight nowadays, but seriously, you need to cut down on the midnight munching. It isn’t that you aren’t attractive. You are beautiful, more beautiful than my creepy-looking Vibram FiveFingers, but you are heavy. Your weight has reached a point where it conflicts with your lifestyle. I’m not sure if you’ve always weighed this much, but you definitely inhibited my speed and stamina. My thighs are still sore from our time together. My thighs never hurt when I run, so you are definitely to blame. I felt like I had to overcompensate for your weight, like a high-stepping pony that’s recently been shoed. By the end of our time together, my knees were also hurting. I was actually a little worried that I would suffer long-term effects from our 3 miles.
You aren’t a complete failure. You kept my feet dry and warm in the wet terrain (which my mesh Vibrams can’t do), and you didn’t fatigue my lower leg tendons. Maybe if I wore you my calves would not be so beastly huge. Probably not. Even the best of relationships can’t change genetics. As I said, you are also very attractive. The thing is, I can’t be with someone based on their appearance alone. Sure, everyone says we look good together, but you have not changed and in some ways you have gotten worse. You hurt my knees and my thighs. You don’t encourage my lower legs to protect my knees and shins.
I can find a pair of Vibrams that are light, supportive and painless to wear but are not as thin as my current pair. You have inspired me to do so. My summer Vibrams were just that. Summer love. I need more stable relationship for this winter, a pair of toe shoes that are warmer and sturdier. The timing of our trial run was perfect, because Vibram is currently holding a sale on a lot of their shoes. Thank you for our time together, you enabled me to first run and I do appreciate that. Maybe if you work out a bit more and become more flexible, I can run with you again. I have no hard feelings towards you at this point. I’ve forgiven you for the shin splints and knee pain. I’m past that. If you ever feel like you have your life together, let me know. But this time, I need proof that you’ve changed before we go out for a few miles.
All the best,