So, I bought in.
Zack got a book last month called Born to Run. It’s about this crazy tribe down in Mexico. All of the people in this tribe are still partyin’ like it’s 1599, and that’s weird. Another thing that’s weird about these people is none of them are ever sick, like, ever. Also weird, they can (and routinely do) run 50, 75 miles at a time, no sweat. I might not be doing the story justice, because I haven’t read the book. I’ve only watched the TED lecture the author did about it. (Zack said that it basically sums up the book in 15 minutes, but without all the cool character development.)
After Zack read the book, he started saying really strange things. Things that supported eating salads for breakfast. Things that leaned towards interest in barefoot running. Things about how our bottoms are created to be an anatomical counter-balance for our massive heads as we lean forward and run around on the balls of our feet chasing gazelles. I know that you won’t believe me when I tell you this, but I’m not exaggerating any of these things. Not even the gazelle part.
It wouldn’t be strange if I was the one that had become interested in this. I am a buyer-inner. I love new things, I love to be adventerous. Eating salads for breakfast is adventerous and chasing down game on foot sans weapons is downright crazy! So OF COURSE I would be in, right? But Zack, Zack is much more level headed. Not the type to read a book and want to change his life. Zack has to weigh evidence. Zack is a big believer in things like “research” and “thinking about what you’re going to say before you say it” and other such responsible nonsense. So imagine my surprise when all of the sudden, Zack was standing in the kitchen talking to me about going to the farmer’s market and eating more vegetarian meals! It kind of blew my mind.
So that was a few weeks ago. Since then, I have eaten a few more vegetables, and I had a few fruit-and-spinach smoothies for breakfast. Other than that, not much has changed. Even eating the smoothies for breakfast is kind of hard for me. I like them, and I would eat them every day, but Zack and I are on very different sleep schedules. Running the blender full of frozen fruits at 6 o’clock in the morning is kind of cruel. Life gets in the way of doing the good and healthy things. Good and healthy things are almost never the easier things. I hate that. I thought that Zack had abandoned his newfound zeal for our Pseudo Mexican Tribe Lifestyle Changes. Little did I know, he was only gathering data. He was weighing the evidence.
Today, we went to Backwoods to try on some shoes. Merrell, having realized that the barefoot running phenomenon is catching on, (and that there is a [counter-balancing] butt-load of money to be made) created a shoe that incorporates all the principles of barefoot running, but doesn’t have the unsightly toe situation that the Vibram fivefingers has. Because the store was mostly empty while we were there, and because the sales staff there is outrageously friendly and cool, we hung out in the shoe department for the better part of an hour. We tried on all kinds of barefoot-technology (yes, that’s a real phrase, and a fantastic oxymoron) footwear. Neither Zack nor I was able to find a barefoot shoe that really suited us. The store was out of a few sizes, and those sizes happened to be the ones that we’d like to have tried. We were about to give up and move along when the sales rep, who had been jokingly pestering us to give up and give into the TOE SHOES, finally convinced me to try on a pair. The difference between the regular shoe and the toe shoe was noticeable to me. When the sales rep asked me how I liked them, I said, “I love them, as long as I don’t look down. What I need is one of those dog cones to put around my neck, that way I won’t have to look at the TOES. TOES TOES TOES.”
I love the way that they feel on my feet, and I don’t mind the feeling of my toes being separated into their own little toe-slots. What I had a hard time getting over was a combination of the way they look (kind of ape-ish?) and how incredibly nerdy I feel when I’m wearing them. So I decided, dog cone aside, that if the only problem that I had with these shoes was that they are asthetically unappealing, I need to just go ahead and get right the hell on over it. So I did. I totally bought in.
Zack and I are going to start up a round of Couch-to-5K with these bad boys. (He didn’t get the toe shoes, he’s waiting for the right size to come in on the regular barefoot-technology [I can't say that without laughing] shoes. Zack is twee OCD about his feet, and couldn’t get over the toe compartmentalization. I told him to never go get a pedicure, cause he’d probably hate that too.) The problem most people have when they get these goofy shoes is that they do too much, too quick, and then they want to die. I’m going to try to avoid that. I can see how people get into that predicament, thought because running in them is kind of fun. It feels something akin to the way I imagine Phoebe felt as she ran through Central Park. You have to just bounce along like you’re a care-free toddler whose heels never touch the ground; while you’re bouncing around, the fun, care-free attitude a toddler has kind of starts to creep up on you. Which is awesome. So wish me luck — and resilient calf muscles. It’s about to get crazy up in here.