When I was a young boy at school I used to beam with pride if I ever got a new pair of trainers. Does anyone remember those days? You walked in with head held high, feet gleaming, your friends checking out what kind sneakers your mother had spent her hard earned cash on. You would then spend most of the day trying to avoid dirtying them and would even abstain from the playground game of football, just for a day or two, to preserve those cushioned beauties. Of course there was always a few scoundrels who wanted to deface the virginal footwear by stomping on your toes, thus bringing an end to your reign as "the boy with new trainers"
Why am I telling you this? Well, its two fold. As I watch my son grow up and attend school each day I see that, even with all the technology, phones, video games etc that is at their disposal, they are as fundamentally the same at the age of five as I was twenty seven years ago. The arguments over whose father is the strongest and all the rest, I have seen the other dads and its definitely NOT me. I am however regarded as the fastest of the dads, not Usain Bolt fast, but because I run Marathons that qualifies me for that garland. It reminds of of the great line by the late, incomparable Bill Hicks. Kid: "My dad can beat up your dad!!" Hicks: "Oh yeah, when?" Classic.
The second reason for my tale is because I felt just like that on Sunday past. I recently purchased a pair of "New Balance 1063" running shoes. I have really done my research over the past 12 months and the more you get into running the more you realise that whats on your feet is THE most important part of your kit. You can run in a pair of dodgy shorts or a t-shirt. But spending the cash on the shoes will save you knees and legs in the long run(its impossible to avoid the puns, sorry) So here I am on Sunday morning waiting for my wife's uncle, Jean Claude (JC). JC got me into running, he is 55, into rock big time, has done 30+ marathons and a few 100km races and loves a few drinks. My kind of guy. So I am looking out the window of our place and its a reasonable day weather wise but, five minutes before he shows the heavens open and it rains like crazy. JC arrives and takes one look at my feet, stops me in my tracks and checks out the newbies. We chat for the first twenty Min's as we warm up and discuss sports - running, tennis, football (mostly him) and cycling (mostly me). Then we settle into our rhythm and the talking stops, for the next fifty or so minutes is spent pushing each other as much as possible. Of course he picked the route that day and proceeded to take me through the muckiest forest paths I have ever been on. Seriously it was like running a semi-marathon at Glastonbury. I should have been hurting like hell but all I could think about was my beautiful shoes. I don't care what you say, I KNOW he did it on purpose to deface the virginal white of my size 11's (yes I have big feet). We finished and, after clocking a really good tempo parted ways agreeing on the same time next week. Although I usually run alone I have maintained running with my mentor on Sundays as he is still the master. The verdict on the shoes? Sheer brilliance in every aspect.....design, comfort, stability, heel strike to toe off..... I could go on all day.
So regardless of age, we never really grow up do we? A new pair of shoes proved that to me at the weekend and, it felt great! Back soon with a few tales about the lady herself, Pearl. Alicia is in Amsterdam on a conference for 3 days so its just me and the two rascalas. Alice In Chains on Friday night is my reward. WHOO-HAHH.
See you round the bend.