I Blame my Shoes

By Jeff Hite

Normally Philip (Norval Joe) Carroll takes the Friday spot, but today he is off on vacation, and being the pirate that I am I am going to lay claim to this spot and mark it with my own little X. Also, normally Philip talks about running and writing, since I do both of these as well, I can probably even stay on the same theme.

I have not been writing much this summer, and I blame my shoes. I should probably explain what I mean.

I have been running since I was in high school, I played soccer (well stood on the sidelines in a soccer uniform) my freshman year of high school, but even then I realized I was pretty good at the running thing. So the following year I joined the cross country and track teams. I quickly found out that, at the time at least, I was pretty good at it. I ran cross country in college my freshman year, but then moved to school that didn’t have a team. I pretty much stopped running competitively after that, but I never gave up my almost daily run. I have run in a few local 5 and 10 k’s, and a half marathon last year but otherwise I just do my daily running. That was until this year.

I would like to blame it on my shoes, though I am sure that is just an excuse. You see at the beginning of the spring I brought a new pair of shoes. They were the highly recommended mid range shoe, I am not serious enough to buy the high end ones. The problem was that within the first 100 miles they started falling apart. And before I got to 125 miles they were destroyed. This is odd because I am not really hard on shoes, and I can normally get between 400-600 miles out of a pair of shoes. I always have at least two pairs of shoes, I buy one a quarter and alternate wearing them between days and so I have a pair of shoes for about 6 months, give or take because of the winter here in Upstate New York. So I switched back the other ones and just ran in them for a while, and looked for a new pair. Well at first I could not really find a pair I liked. Then when I found ones that I liked well enough it wasn’t in the budget to get them that pay period so again it got put off.

Before the next pay period my feet started hurting from wearing the older shoes and I started figuring out how old they were, and realized I had over 1000 miles on these shoes, I had had them way too long. So I stopped running rather than damage my feet until I could get a new pair of shoes. That was about 3 months ago. I still don’t have a new pair of shoes and I have not been running much this summer.

So what does this have to do with writing? One of the things I love about running is the quiet time. It gives me a chance to clear my head and think about things. Even in high school when I was running track (or I called it running in circles) I used to think about whatever paper or project I was supposed to be working on. Now normally I think about whatever my work in progress is. Now-a-days I often take my kids running with me, one or two on bikes and a couple in the jogging stroller, instead of working the stories out in my head, I talk to the kids about the stories. They are pretty good at picking apart my plot holes and character flaws. We live in farm country so even when I am out alone (which is rare) I can talk to myself while I run and the cows really don’t care.
Without my runs I have had no one to bounce stories ideas off, and have not really been writing. I find that I miss them both. I think it is time to just bite the bullet and buy a new pair of shoes.

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