My feet hurt…

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

Dr. Seuss

My feet hurt…precisely

I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect shoes for cycling. In the beginning, I just wore whatever pair of sneakers I owned at the time. However, the laces were too long and kept getting stuck in my chain. Double knotting and tucking the bows into my shoes, they inevitably snuck their way out and found themselves back in my bicycle chain.

Then I got into mountain biking and discovered the perfect shoes. They fit perfect, they didn’t have laces and they were sturdy enough for cycling but flexible enough for walking when off the bike. I remember a friend’s excitement when he saw that I was taking this whole cycling thing so seriously (and he secretly envied my husband’s nod giving me permission to purchase them). I wore them for a year or two until the insoles fell apart and they started to hurt my feet.

I quickly followed those perfect shoes with a new pair of Pearl Izumis that seemed perfect when I bought them. After several months of ignoring my feet sliding around inside these boat-sized (and very heavy) footwear, I returned to the store to find a new perfect pair of shoes. Once again, they seemed perfect when I tried them on and walked around the store a bit. And, at first, they seemed to work when riding…and then my feet starting sliding off the pedals for no apparent reason (no, I don’t have clips and, no, I don’t want them…don’t even try to convince me). But I cycled on, trying desperately to keep my feet still. Then came that day when I got a flat 3 miles from my house…

Although annoyed, I calmly set my bike down on the sidewalk, took out my kit bag to locate a new inner tube, only to discover I had brought one of my daughter’s tubes by mistake. “No problem,” I thought, “I always bring two spares.” Of course, this wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t brought TWO of the wrong tube…and my phone hadn’t died…and my husband was out for the day…

As I slowly walked through the back streets of Maple Shade, my perfect slippery Pearl Izumis  grew stiffer and stiffer with each step. Within a mile, I begged myself not to cry. The pain was unbearable. I’m not sure how long it took me to walk home, but it felt like hours. Practically crawling, I pushed Ole Bessie into the garage, sat down on a folding chair, ripped those perfect slippery stiff Izumis off my swollen feet and hurled them across the room.

That’s when I asked Kathy what she wears on rides. She showed me a beat up pair of old sneakers that probably cost her less than $20. But they fit her perfectly – no pain, no sliding, no stiffness…just pure comfort. I ran to Kohl’s, found the perfect pair of New Balance jogging sneakers and have worn them ever since…except for the last pair of Shimanos I bought on clearance last summer…that seemed perfect when I tried them on…

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.
Marilyn Monroe”

So today I slipped on my little New Balance jogging shoes and went for a two-hour bike ride…

Halfway through my ride and five minutes after stopping at this playground, my phone decided to die. I had at least another hour to go and I wasn’t quite sure of my location. I reminded myself of the original plan to simply loop around the Cooper River a few times because my husband and daughter were traveling out of town. With that plan in mind, worst case scenario, if I had some kind of issue where I couldn’t ride my bike, I could walk it home, albeit, a four-mile walk home, but this time I had my good old New Balance…

As I exited the park, looking to my left, I realized I had been here before, only this time I was on the other side of the water tower:

IMG_20160318_124450737~2
March 18, 2016

I suddenly realized where I was and knew I’d be home in an hour…and this time I had TWO of the right tubes…and my New Balance…

“You keep lying when you oughta be truthin’
And you keep losin’ when you oughta not bet
You keep samin’ when you oughta be a-changin’
Now what’s right is right, but you ain’t been right yet”
These Boots Are Made For Walking – Nancy Sinatra

“I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.” – Forrest Gump

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