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Throwback: Clean Running Shoes

Posted on November 05 2010

I realized that I never posted what got me started in writing on here, so since I have a ton of homework and my next friend post will come tomorrow, I’m gonna finally post it up




So here I am at 8:50 on the night before my dreaded chemistry honors final, staring at my notecard filled with pointless notes that I don’t even understand. I lay my head on my desk and think to myself “I am so screwed, i need to get away from all of this.” then it hits me, a shower would melt everything away. I sit at my desk for a minute contemplating my decision to take a shower and I realize that a nice hot shower would definitely calm my nerves. I IM Cat telling her that I’m going to take a shower to relax and after saying ‘bye” I set my away message on AIM to “Shower”. I walk into my bathroom and turn on the water, the thought of the nice hot water running down my body sounded better and better with every second that ticked on my clock, but then i realized something. Why am I taking a shower? I took one this morning and I havent done anything strenuous today, no running, no biking, I didn’t even walk anywhere. What’s the point of this shower? Then it hit me, the urge to run. I think to myself “Sweet, I can break in my new running shoes.”
I quickly put on my short shorts and my LHS XC t-shirt and head to the garage where my shoes await me. I lace up my new Asics Gel Nimbus and get ready for my run. As i stretch the brand new laces gleam in the darkness and once again something doesnt feel right. “Why are they so white?” I think to myself but it quickly escapes my mind as I start running. I stop a couple times on my street to adjust the laces to make sure my foot stays in place, after a few minor adjustments I’m ready to run. The dark pavement flys under my shining white shoes and the thought enters my mind again, “Why are these shoes so damn white?” As I cross the overpass and run to Blue Hills, my old school, I start to think about all the memories I had there. From coming there as a kindergartener who didnt speak any english, to a 6th grader enjoying everyday of it with my best friend and partner in crime Ryan R besides me every step of the way. I run through the playground and I remember playing tag on it in 3rd grade, I pass my 2nd grade classroom and the memories of Mrs.Colossi run through my mind. Hell, why dont they just call these shoes Asics Gel Nostalgia? Another mile and then I reach my house. I walk to my front door and point a finger to my doorbell, but something doesnt feel right once again. I look down and it’s these damn white shoes. They dont mean anything to me, and I’m not satisfied with the run that was supposed to break them in. So after 10 seconds of hard debate with myself, i decide to run some more. As i sprint down my road to the ever familiar park, it hits me. I know why these shoes feel so weird. It’s because they arent broken in yet, and by broken in I dont mean that they dont give me blisters anymore or that they feel perfect, I mean that I dont have any memories with them. They are like a big white piece of paper and my feet are paintbrushes. I run through as much dirt and mud as possible when i reach the park, just enough to make my shoes look good.
When I reach the playground i sit on the same swing that my butt has graced so many times before and i start swinging. Back and forth, back and forth. faster and faster. The same questions that are always on my mind rush back to me, “Can we make states as a team this year?” “What am I going to do when all my junior friends leave?” “What will school be like without Eric?” “Did I study enough for chem?” Okay well I can answer that last one, No. But I don’t mind, before I was stressing out over the final tomororw, now im sitting in an empty park, swinging in peace with no one and nothing to bother me, this is bliss.
I start my run back home and as my favorite Oasis song flows into me from my iPod, I sprint harder and harder, drawing stares from old couples going for a late evening walk. I finally reach home, nice and sweaty. I punch in my passkey for my garage door and sit down to take off my shoes, but as I undo my intricate lacing pattern, something catches my eye. I look to my left and I see my three previous running shoes, tossed aside next to some shoe boxes. And that’s when i realized that my new shoes would be there someday. A pair of worn down shoes without any support that hurt my feet whenever I run in them. My orange Asics Kayano 12 are the first ones I think about. I remember wearing them with pride after i bought them, my first pair of Asics. They were perfect for my foot and I ran everywhere with them. I ran my first night run in them, a night I will never forget. Sneaking past the farm in them, running blindly into the darkness, laying on the ground staring up at the sky at 3 in the morning. Foreshadowing? I didn’t think so back then.
Next my Asics Kayano 13s. This is going to sound cliche, but it’s true, these shoes have been through blood,sweat and tears. Blood from the multiple blisters and cuts from running in unkept trails, sweat, well this one is pretty self explanatory, and finally the tears that Gene and I shed after league finals for XC, our season long dream of making CCS had been shattered. I never pictured myself hugging Gene with tears of sadness rolling down our cheeks, standing there in my training shoes and a big ACE bandage to reduce the swelling in my ankle. I always imagined me hugging Gene after a long hard race in my flats. But if the world was that predictable then we would be bored everyday.
Finally my latest pair of shoes, My Asics Kayano 14s. The countless night runs I ran in these. Every night run a different adventure, the same adrenaline rush and the same fear of being caught which fueled us to run our hearts out. All the beautiful places that these shoes have seen, All the killer hills that these shoe have endured, it’s really amazing how much they’ve been through. Dirt, and dust from all the county parks in Saratoga and Cupertino, mud, grass, hills, puddles, dirt tracks, rubber tracks, sand and just about every other thing imaginable that you could step into, include horse crap from fremont older. The last run in these shoes I will never forget. The 13 mile run in Rancho San Antonio, the same run that i ran for the first time in my Kayano 12s. The random conversations about everything imaginable, the farm, the dogs, the view from the top of the hill and everything inbetween.
As I finally slip my new shoes off my feet, it dawns on me, if I hadnt decided to run more tonight, my shoes would still feel new, now they seem more familiar to me, the run we shared, our first run will be one that I remember everytime i slip them on and go for a long run.
I walk inside and look at the clock, 9:21? I was only out for 21 minutes?? What is this? Did I really run that fast? I quietly laugh to myself and reflect on my run. I did more than run, I solved all my problems, in 21 minutes. Imagine what I could do if I decided to take the long way home.
Now I can take my shower, this time it’s not a pointless shower, it’s a shower to wash away all the sweat from my run, and now that im clean im ready to sweat again.

As i hit publish on this note, something else hit me.
I just wrote a pointless note about my running shoes, yet i put more effort into it than i did in studying chem. It’s funny how sometimes we talk in circles, on and on about something but all we’re trying to say is “I Love It”, well I just wrote 3 pages and 1,500 words about my new running shoes when all i was trying to say was, I Love Running.


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