Thursday, May 1, 2008

4 A New Attitude & Maybe Also A New Pair of Sneakers!


I'm happy to report that the old "Corey" is slowly coming back again. Crabby, angry, petulant, & totally stressed-out Corey has left the building, & has been replaced with a much cheerier & (yesssss, finally!) happier version. And this is no small part due to my return to running & some other developments, which I hope to be able to share with you soon.

Yesssss, it feels good to be BACK!


On a completely different note, both my friend & I need new running sneakers & have decided to make a joint trip sometime over the next week or so. And I have to say that I'm really looking forward to this trip. Not only is it an opportunity to indulge in one of my favorite (OK, scratch that, second favorite!) high-endurance sports -- er, um, shopping! ;-) -- but it's also a chance to help my friend, (who's basically a newbie runner), so she can find a kick-ass pair of running shoes! (Finally, I can put my knowledge of running sneakers to good use! ;-) )

When it comes to buying running sneakers, I'm like a kid in a candy store. Don't ask me why, but I just really look forward to getting new running sneakers. I love talking with the salesperson about shoe "technology" & the merits of "this pair of shoes versus that one," etc., etc. Yes, I'm such a geek, even when it comes to picking out running shoes. ;-)

At any rate, it's important to be knowledgeable about what's out there on the market, in order to pick out the best/most suitable pair for one's feet & stride. And like any good "product hound" worth their salt, I will usually do my research before I walk into a store, to get a sense of the latest & greatest running sneakers currently on the market, etc., etc.

But it's not just all about the shopping experience either. It's also about the anticipation of picking out that special pair that'll be with you for some odd 300 miles or so, & also about that sentimental attachment that some of us runners form with our running sneakers -- Oh, the memories of the journeys we've taken together! ;-)

The feeling I have about my running shoes is somewhat comparable to the sentimentality that many runners have towards their race T-shirts, race number tags, or other race-day paraphernalia. However, the one big difference is that your shoes are not about one day or one race, they literally carry you through all of those experiences. ;-)

And those are just a few of the reasons why I get really pumped when it's time to buy running sneakers.

So, do any of you have similar sentiments about your running shoes? Do you have any favorite pairs that also hold fond memories for you? Please feel free to share your stories & recollections!


Footnote: Now, I'm obviously not some superficial ninny, & realize that ultimately the bonds we runners have with our fellow fellow runners are way more important than "bonding" with a pair of shoes when it comes right down to it.

However, I think most of you get that what I'm really alluding to here is that the sneakers are merely representative of the memories of these running experiences. They are a hallmark, or a placeholder -- if you prefer -- of those experiences, but not a replacement or substitute for those memories.

And don't worry, I don't have a problem parting with my sneakers once they've outlived their usefulness -- If they can't be used for yard work, gardening, or some potentially muddy outdoor pursuit, or recycled for charity, I can certainly chuck 'em right in the bin when the time comes. ;-) After all, they are only shoes. Sniff, sniff. ;-) JUST kidding.

It's not like I'm suffering from a mild form of "pack-rat-itis." I might be sentimental when it comes to my sneakers, but I also realize that there's a dividing line between memories & (most) material objects. And there's also a clearly drawn line between being reasonable about what material objects a person decides to hold onto & what they are willing to throw out. And then there are those people who just get plain wacko about it. ;-) As in, they are clutching their material possessions so tightly that you'd probably need to pry their fingers away with a crow-bar. And then issue them all little white uniforms & start pinning their cloth-covered hands to their shoulders. ;-) You'd probably have more luck getting them to clean out the contents of someone else's house than getting them to unclench & give up a few of their own. ;-) No wait, come of think of it, that's probably not a very good idea either. Why encourage them to find junk in other people's houses, so they can just drag it over to their own homes?! Hahahahaha.

Speaking of which, ever watch those home-makeover/organizing shows like Clean House or Clean Sweep? Now there are some real pack-rats on those shows, eh?!!!!

I assure you that no 1-800-JUNK truck will be pulling up to my house anytime soon. ;-)

Speaking of which: That makes me think of those tacky, sensationalized "news" shows that feature "hoarders" or some other frightful DSM manual categorization. Hahahahaha! ;-) OK, it's really no laughing matter, but then again, there's something so pathetically funny about it, nonetheless.

Most people can relate to having messes or piles of stuff in their house that they need to sort through or clean every so often, but can you imagine having so much junk in your house that you can't even find your way to the door?!

I can't help but picture this gigantic animated 50 foot ball of junk -- with shoes, clothing, CDs, papers, etc. -- chasing after these people like it's some big bad googlely-eyed monster! ;-) It's like that scene from the movie Brazil, when the piles of paper take on a life of their own & chase poor Mr. Tuttle & ultimately "consume" him. But anyhow..... What the heck was I talking about? Oh yes, running shoes! ;-)

OK, well I hope you've had fun reading this little tangent. Have a good night & I'll check in with ya later.....



Blaine Moore said...

I don't have any particular attachment to my shoes - they serve a purpose, I love them while I wear them, but once they have reached their limit I will recycle them without a qualm. I don't need them hanging around or try using them past their usefulness - only leads to injury that way!

It might be easier for me to let them go since I rotate between 3 to 5 pairs at a time.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Blaine,

With all the running you do, you certainly do go through a lot of pairs!

I agree with you that running shoes are there to serve a purpose, & that it's not a good idea to run in shoes that've outlived their expiration date. Of course, it's not a bad idea to keep an extra pair around for painting the house, or other non-sports-related activities in which you might get dirty or muddy, but for which you aren't exactly using for running around. ;-)

If you can't tell, the running shoes in this post are a particularly favorite pair, not just because they "look cool," but also because they are highly functional. ;-) For the longest time, I purposely wore other pairs in regular rotation instead of this pair, as I was saving these shoes & wanted to make them last longer. ;-) What I actually should've done was buy a few pairs in this style, because now I can't seem to find the zip-up style anywhere!

I love the zip-up front on these shoes, because I like tucking my laces in there; and, before there was a prevalent amount of running apparel with concealed pockets, I used to hide my key in there too, after tying it in the laces. ;-)

Regarding the fashion aspect of one's running shoes, I suspect that if we were to survey the running population across the board, that responses would vary significantly based on gender. ;-)

Topher said...

I still have my first two pair of shoes, the first which I wore in my first ever race, and the second that I ran my first half-mary in. I hate to part with them, but it's soon going to be something I have to do. I'm thinking about just keeping the shoestrings from each pair and tyeing them to the race bibs.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Topher,
Thanks for your comments! Wow, sounds like you've got some great race memories that go along with those first two pairs of shoes. Keeping the laces from these shoes & tying them to your race bibs is a clever way to "hold onto the memories" of those significant racing landmarks! ;-)

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