I have logged 22.3 miles of walking in my first week. I feel as if I should take a moment to throw confetti and dance around, but I know that my first milestone, the one-mile fun run, is looming in just one short week. Yesterday, I decided to see how all of that walking translated into jogging ability, and I went for my first timed mile.
I finished in 16 minutes. There was a lot of walking involved. And each step that I jogged was painful. I truly felt as if the ground was shaking with each strike of my heel. In fact, I wouldn’t have been terribly surprised to hear that my hometown had its first earthquake during my run, with the epicenter hovering curiously over the park in which I was running. I came home, iced my shins, and thought, “I need a new pair of shoes.”
The shoes I was wearing have been like a trusted companion for the past 10 years. Every time I felt a brief spurt of motivation to get fit, I dragged them from the closet and dusted them off. But after the Great Earthquake of 2016, I decided that maybe, just maybe, the technology of running shoes had advanced to the point that it could help a big sistah out. Because after that wog, it was pretty apparent that I needed all the help I could get.
I had been hearing rave reviews about a store called Racquet & Jog for some time, and I decided to check it out. Running stores are the types of places I typically avoid, since I have an active imagination. What does imagination have to do with any of this, you might ask. When you are an overweight woman, you imagine what everyone must be thinking about your clothes, the way you walk, and what is jiggling. Most of us cover those thoughts with a smile and a good sense of humor, but for me, I am constantly worrying what other people will think. And a running store is not filled with my kind of people. A running store is filled with thin, healthy, beautiful people who wake up each morning with an insane desire to run. But yesterday, when I walked into the Racquet & Jog, I was met only with friendliness. No judgement.
The first sales associate was helpful, but seemed unsure of her recommendations. I began to question my choice of a running shop, when out of the stockroom (accompanied by an angels’ choir, and with a bright light shining upon his head) came a young man named Jonah. He seemed to have the knowledge of the universe when it came to running shoes. Jonah analyzed my gait, did some weird things with my feet, and promptly recommended I try on a few different pairs of shoes. He refused to measure my feet, stating that since every brand of running shoe is different, it is best to start by trying them on for fit. He talked about some things that mostly went over my head, but primarily, he recommended the Brooks Ravenna running shoe for my feet because of its stability. I did not come home with the prettiest pair of shoes on the rack (I wanted the bright teal option), but I did feel about 20 pounds lighter when I put them on.
Today is Thanksgiving morning. I awoke to birds singing, and the sun peeking through a layer of fog blanketing the woods. Inspired, I took my Ravs on their maiden voyage for another timed run. I finished my first mile in 14 minutes, a better time I attribute mostly to the lack of pain in my shins and heels. So on this Thanksgiving morning, I am thankful for the usual suspects: my family, my home, my church, and my friends. But I am also thankful for Jonah and my Ravenna 7s.