At least the stores weren't too zoo-ey.
And, he got to use my Wal*Mart gift card to get himself Terminator 2 and a USB cable, so he can hook up his printer. I think we also bought him a soda.
Me? I got socks and sneakers. Now, I would like to say something to all of those people who say that walking is a cheap hobby.
And that is... BULLSHIT!
Oh, it starts out cheap. You grab an old pair of sneakers, throw on some old clothes and go out and walk.
Then you realize you need music, so you buy a cheap walkman... that doesn't work for crap. So you have to get a better one. Then, you realize that those cheap sneakers of yours are making your blisters give birth to more blisters, so you have to go out and buy better sneakers.
Then... you step up how far you're walking and suddenly, the blisters return and you start chaffing, under your arms and along your thighs. You realize this won't do... so you find out that your clothes are wrong. You need stuff that isn't cotton, but some mysterious synthetic material that wicks away mosture like some little mosture hating fairy, sending it safely into the atmosphere, where you later will be entertained by the thought that when it rains.. part of that rain is your own sweat.
So, you go to WalMart and buy a shirt that is supposedly made of this miracle material. And, you go to Salvation army. S.A. is good, because you can find good running/walking pants, that have never been worn. This is because many people have great intentions of starting an exercise program, rush out and buy expensive designer clothing, then realize that the clothing isn't enough, they actually have to get out and do something... and give up. A few years later, the clothes get donated, with the tags still on them. So, you can pick them up cheap.
Okay, now you have the clothes... and the shoes... and the walkman. But the chaffin continues, so you realize you need a lubricant to stop it. No, KY jelly will not work. You have two choices. You can send away for sports lube, which costs about six bucks a tube, but is very neat. Or, you can buy petrolium jelly, which is very cheap, but stains and doesn't want to come out of your clothing.
If you're like me, you go with the cheap option. But, that means you need to buy more walking clothes, because you certainly can't wear anything you might want to wear anywhere else, cause who wants to see big greasy stains on your thighs and along your arms, right? So, you buy a couple more cheap shirts at Wal*Mart and more cheap pants at Salvation army.
Now you're set, right?
Nope. Cause, after all of this, you step up your walking and start getting cramps and blisters upon blisters. You find out that the cramps are caused by vanishing electrolites... easily solved by a sports drink, right? But what if you're sensitive to sugar? So, you order some sugar free crap online and wait for that to be deliverd. You also find a recipee to make you own and subsitute honey for sugar. That works too, but then you're having to mix things.
But, this does nothing for the blisters, so you try coating your feet with petrolium jelly, which makes you feel like you filled your shoes with mud. Then, someone tells you that you need better socks.
So, you go out to buy socks. And you find out that good walking/running socks are eight dollars and fifty cents a pair! You also find out that with your particular problem, you really should buy sock liners too. Or else buy these socks that are two layers in one. Either way, you are going to spend big money on socks.
Yes, I now own sixty five dollars worth of socks. I don't believe it. I think my entire sock collection over my entire life hasn't cost that much money. But, supposedly these last forever. They'd better.
But, one really nifty thing happened in EMS. We were looking at socks and Todd went up to ask the clerk, cause they didn't have the Thorlo's that I wanted to get. So, Todd says to the clerk, "My wife is looking for walking socks... do you sell Thorlos?"
The clerk says they only sell hiking Thorlo's. Then he says, "How far does she walk?"
Todd says, "Oh, about 6-8 miles a day. Yesterday she did ten."
The clerk says, "ten miles? Oh god, she really is a walker!" Suddenly, I was taken very seriously, which was nice, because normally, if you say you walk, clerks in sporting good stores kinda roll their eyes and act like you're the cross eyed bastard cousin of the exercise community. The one that has bad breath and farts a lot. But, you start talking about racking up 35+ miles a week, and suddenly you are one of the fold. You are serious. You are dedicated. You are worthy of their utmost attention. And they do not want to steer you wrong.
So, we got the sock issue solved, then we go over to Dicks. Where we look at sneakers. Where the salesperson goes, "So, what type of sneaker are you looking for?"
And I say, "A decent walking sneaker."
And I get the bored look and shown a wall. Then, Todd again goes, "She walks 6-8 miles a day. Yesterday she did ten!" And suddenly that clerk changes his tune and goes, "You don't want a walking sneaker, you want a running sneaker. They won't break down so easily, and they absorb more impact. With that type of walking, your feet need serious protection."
Then he goes into the back and brings out 22 different pairs of running shoes in my size and makes me try on all of them. He even helps me and Todd getting them laced up. He likes Asics, personally. I don't. I found that my sneaker of choice is Saucony. Every pair I try on, we discuss how my foot is striking the floor and what I like/don't like about them. Every one he makes me really do some serious walking around the floor. They have a tiny track in the back... probably about 200 steps. He makes me walk it a few times in each shoe.
So, we finally figure out I'm a Saucony person. And, I have to admit, I admire the company too. They don't have any sports stars endorse their product. They don't advertize. As a results, they pour more money than most companies into research and development of better shoes. And their shoes "roll" me. It's hard to explain, but when I put them on and start walking, as my foot strikes, it automatically starts to roll me forward to take the next step. It's very nice.
We also conclude, by studing my Nikes carefully, that I have a perfect strike with my step. My shoes wear out very straight, not bending to one side. Which means I don't need special shoes like most people, that correct the gait.
Soo, I now have two brand new pairs of Saucony sneakers in their boxes, under the bed, waiting for my Nikes and the pair of Saucony's I got for Christmas to wear out. Yes, I am at the point where I am alternating sneakers. This is to give pairs an extra day to dry.
The Saucony's were both on clearance, and if you bought one you got the second for half price. The one pair was original 80 dollars, the other was 75. Clearance price was 65 dollars, so I got the second pair for 32.50.
So, every bit of the Christmas money I got is spent on making my feet happy. Which makes walking, a far from cheap sport for me. However, I wore the socks and my Christmas Saucony's today for the first time out walking and they did make a huge difference. So, I guess it's money well spent.
I'm just kinda dazed cause I remember when I first started walking, I wore my old waitress shoes and a pair of baggy old jeans and a t-shirt and that was just dandy. Now I have expensive sneakers, socks, and clothes... and I have to grease up my arms and thighs before going out.
So, today was basically a very expensive, but productive day. And, I have to admit, it was nice actually having two clerks in two different sporting good stores treat me like I'm a serious walker, not some person who goes around the block once.
And, speaking of serious walkers... there is one woman who comes up to the track where I walk, that amuses me to all get out. The track has a lot of walkers, all of various stages. We have a great deal of elderly people who do a mile or two, almost religiously. We have some overweight people who come up and do a mile or so, but even in the short time I've been going, I've notice that some, like me, are steadily increasing how long they walk.
I, and I'm not bragging here, I'm just stating facts, usually outlast anyone. I show up. People who are already there leave way before I do. People show up while I'm walking and usually leave before I'm done. Clearly, I might not be the fastest walker, but I have endurance. (My speed seems to be between 3-3.5 MPH, depending on what point in the walking work out I am. When I get up to full speed, it takes me about 16 minutes to do a mile.)
Then... we have this very interesting woman. I don't know if she shows up every day, but I've seen her quite a few times. She arrives in a little VW bug, that is screaming yellow. You know the color, don't you? It looks like vitamin fortified piss yellow. She gets out of her car. She is probably in her late 20's, early 30's. She is not an extremely overweight person, but she does have a lot of "junk in the trunk" if you get my drift. She wears the prettiest jogging suits you ever saw. Pink with white stripes, or blue with pink stripes. One is a light lavender with baby blue stripes. Her sneakers always match her outfit. So does her hairband. The sneakers perpelex me, because I've never seen running or walking sneakers of those colors.
She is blond. Her hair is tied back neatly. Her makeup is lightly applied and perfect.
She gets out of her car, she walks up to the track. She adjusts her shoes for a few moments, and bounces on the balls of her feet for a bit, as if getting the feel for them. She flips her hair around a bit, that pony tail of hers whipping about in the breeze.
If you've never seen her before, your gut reaction is, "Wow, I'll bet this person is serious!" Cause you know that stuff she's wearing isn't cheap. And there is a look about her that says this is "do or die" time.
She approaches the track, carefully, sizing it up like it's something that must be dominated, conquered, controlled. She gets to the starting line. She does a few deep breaths and bounces a bit more, as if to get the feel of the track.
Then, at a pace that I can outwalk even in my warm up, she jog less than half way up the straight way, veers off to the grass, breathes heavy, wipes her brow in a most dramatic fashion, then slowly walks back to her car, gets in, and drives away.
Would someone please tell me, what is the freaking point? It must take her longer to get dressed and drive to the track. I mean, she might as well jog up and down her driveway, it would be about the same distance.
Oh yes, sometimes when she gets to her car, before she drives away, she opens her car, pulls out a huge bottle of gatoraid and daintily sips down about half of it, again, wiping that non-existant sweat she worked up, off her brow.
Now, I hold nothing against anyone who comes to the track. There is at least one person there who only walks one lap or so, but he is recovering from knee surgery. We have people that are *very* overweight, that struggle to do a mile. I would cut off my arm before I laughed at them, because damn it, they're trying. They're doing something. And the track, being made of old tires, is good cushioning for their feet. I don't care what people wear, or what they do, what matters is that we're all in the same boat so to speak. All of us recognize that we need to get moving.
But there is something about Ms. Pissyellow volkswagon, that just makes me want to point and laugh at her.
And if that makes me a bitch... well, tell me something I didn't know. No, I won't actually point and laugh at her, but god it's tempting.
But, that's my day... how's everyone else doing?