On Niceness and Running Shoes

It’s too bad that we’ve over-used the word nice. At this point, it’s really just a way of saying something when you can’t think of anything specific. Right now in the post, I was going to take you back to the beautiful Latin origin of the word. Alas, while nice is from the Latin nescius, it literally translates into “not knowing” or “foolish.” So that’s that. You’re a weird language, English.

But I know that I personally don’t spend enough time trying to be nice and appreciating niceness in others. Yesterday was the perfect example of being virtually smacked upside the head with niceness. I was meeting a friend to run the weekly 5k (there’s a “running club” associated with one of the downtown pubs, so every week downtown is flooded with runners of all calibers). By going a little early (Kjergaard early means you get places with an hour to spare), I thought I would have time to go to the  downtown running store and get the latest pair of Mizunos (I have always worn Mizunos except for one awful year wearing Nikes).

As I was scoping out the cute shoe selection, one of the sales associates asked what I wanted. I explained the absurd brand loyalty situation, and he hesitated and asked if I’d been fitted for my shoes. Nope. I ordered them on Amazon Prime. The floodgates had opened. I confessed to knee pain in my left knee and hip pain in my right hip. Then I started on trying on the shoes. Each pair felt heavenly and light. But then they would march me outside (at this point the British manager was involved) and watch as I trotted up half a block and back down. I did this a lot. Each time they would shake their heads sorrowfully. Turns out I overpronate in my left foot and supinate in my right (my left foot collapses in and my right collapses out). Feel free to assess the truly horrendous running form thanks to my dad’s sweet new camera.

Yeah, I was beat that guy to the finish line even though I look like I'm about to keel over. Such bad form!
Yeah, I beat those guys to the finish line even though I look like I’m about to keel over. Bend your legs, girl!

One hour later, we had tried on and run in (I’m using “we” because it was a team effort) 8 pairs of shoes. Words were used that I did not understand. Finally, we settled on the Brooks Defyance (I hate with every fiber of my being that they’ve replace the ‘i’ with a ‘y’) because they offered the most support for my left foot but not too much for my right foot. And then the British manager (I think I liked her so much because she was British) told me to take the shoes to a rubberized track (at first she came up with an elaborate plan for sneaking onto the local college’s fancy track) and run 4-5 miles and see how they felt. If there was any pain, I was to bring them back right away, and we’d start from scratch.

As I was putting my old shoes on, I cracked a joke about how I wasn’t going to be barefoot running anytime soon. And their eyes lit up.  She (I wish I knew her name) outlined a careful plan to switch over to minimal shoes should this not work out. I was and am intrigued by the idea of barefoot running. We’ll see.

Anways, the point of this whole long, rambling account was that the people in the store went out of their way to be nice. They weren’t upselling at all (my shoe ended up being cheaper than most of the others I tried on), and they lavished time on me. I walked out feeling utterly cared for by two complete strangers. Isn’t that nice?

They bear a close resemblance to the bright, white shoe favored my many fashionless mothers, but they could be just what I need!
They bear a close resemblance to the bright, white shoe favored my many fashionless mothers, but they could be just what I need!

*I have not tried the shoes out yet. Heading out tomorrow morning! Fingers crossed that they work. Otherwise…it’s back to the drawing board!

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2 thoughts on “On Niceness and Running Shoes

  1. This is great, but no. Just no. You are not to go the minimalist no shoe route. Bethany, you know you are a slave to the fads and this should just be one you sit out. I could handle the Birkenstocks, but not those toe shoes.

  2. Your cousin, Daniel, has tried the minimalist shoes for running. You might want to message him about what he thinks.
    Megan has a pair of Brooks shoes. I just got a pair at an outlet store in Kentucky. Paul recommended the Brooks as a really good shoe brand.

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