Running Shoes

They Aren’t Talking About My Shoes

When I first started running regularly about three months ago, I was surprised at how many people stopped to ask me about my shoes. Since then, I have learned a lot more than the fact that people find Vibrams curious.

I have learned to avoid dogs, even (or especially) dogs on leashes. (I’m sorry if you’re a good dog owner; many of your colleauges in dog ownership do not hold to your high standard.)

I have learned that it is safer to jaywalk, to cross the street against the light when I can see with my own eyes that there is a break in the traffic, than it is to cross the street with the walk signals that are by and large ignored by right-turners-on-red and left-turners-yielding-on-green. I’m positive that the problem is not that I’m running so quickly they cannot see me, so it has to be that they never look. Sprinting and fancy footwork are not part of my training plan (and neither is getting run over, by the way).

I have learned that hecklers are a simple fact of running on city streets. This surprised me, but it’s true. And from these hecklers, I have learned that one of the following must be a true statement about my… boo-tay:

1. It is abnormally large.

2. It is abnormally prominent.

3. It is abnormally jiggly.

I know that one or more of the above statements must be true based on my 12-week study, during which I observed that my… trunk, let’s say… is the subject of the vast majority – nay, the super majority – of comments heckled my direction. I run in medium length, loose shorts and a t-shirt, so I know it’s not the outfit garnering attention in any certain direction. And let’s be honest: I’m a thirty-something mother of three. This isn’t the opening credits of Baywatch, from any angle.

So the only scientifically sound conclusion is that one or more of the statements above creates a scenario in which those prone to heckling are simply incapable of focusing on any other subject.

And no, I am not going to post a picture so you can confirm or dispute my findings. As the sole sponsor of this study, my conclusions are irrefutable.

But don’t think the hecklers are getting me down! Most of the time it’s harmless and mildly amusing, and it usually encourages me to run farther and faster. Race Day is in three weeks (!) and me and my… well, all of me, will have 13.1 miles to power through. And maybe, just maybe, all that powering through will downsize me to a “compact” trunk. That’ll show those hecklers. Of course, to do that, I probably have to win the cupcake showdown, which may or may not happen.

I think I’ll just start running with an mp3 player like normal people.


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