November 14, 2006

Salvation And Savings And Misplaced Reason

I reached into my closet this morning to grab a pair of sneakers and suddenly realized how many flippin shoes I own. I'm no Imelda Marcos by any means, but there's definitely a few pairs too many for someone who has only two feet.

There is an assortment of Asics Gel Kayano's that seem to be multiplying on their own like some sort of unimaginative quip that involves furry little bunny rabbits and Viagra. In fact, there are so many shoes, they don't all fit nice and orderly on the floor or in the shoe organizer like they are supposed to. To make matters more frustrating, they are all of very similar design and are covered in just about the same amount of soil and grime so that when I reach for my running shoes it takes a bit of picking and plucking to determine which are the old ones and which the current. Suffice to say, I've grabbed two different shoes more than one time in my sordid and borderline-nerdy past.

I really need to throw away the older running shoes. Last week while I was putting together yet another bag of clothing for the Salvation Army, I picked up a retired pair of Asics and put them in the bag without even a single seconds thought. Yet as I reached back down into my closet to grab another pair of worn-out sneaks, I paused.

I stood up and stared at that bag of charity clothing with the sneakers laying innocently on top. An unexpected sadness coursed through my veins. A few minutes before the tears began to form, I slowly snatched the running shoes out of the bag and placed them back on my closet floor as I felt my anxiety wash away.

Those were the running shoes that got me through Ironman Lake Placid, I thought as I stared affectionately at the sole-worn sneakers. Those were the shoes that lived my dream. How could I just toss my dream so carelessly into a garbage bag? How could I possibly throw away those memories?

I've thought of getting the shoes bronzed with a little plaque made to commemorate my Ironman experience. Road Runner Sports used to offer that service, which I thought was a great idea when I first learned about it. Apparently I'm the only one who thought it was a great idea because they've since discontinued the offer and now the only thing I found through my google search was a baby shoe bronzing company, which doesn't really help me much.

When I told Catherine about the bronzing idea she looked at me like I was crazy.

You're crazy, she said.

So what are you going to do with the bronzed shoes? she continued. Put them on the fireside hearth that you don't have?

I thought about that for a second. I'll put them on my entertainment center, I said in as quick a rebuttal as I could procure. No wait, that's kind of geeky. Is that geeky? Yeah, that's geeky. Umm... I guess I'd keep it in my closet. Probably where the shoes are now. OK, you win. No bronzing.

She always seems to be the voice of reason. Which I suppose makes me the voice what's the opposite of reason?

Speaking of the opposite of reason, Catherine and I went out for a nice leisurely bike ride the other day. It was a relaxing jaunt up the California coast for about 35 miles. Mid-way through the ride my watch let out a great big beep. Catherine looked over at me. Time to take your endurolytes? she asked, knowing that I set a twenty minute timer on my watch to remind me about my nutritional needs during Ironman. I have yet to change the settings despite the fact that Ironman is nearly four months into the history books.

Nope, I said casually. Just ran out of memory on the watch.

As we continued riding, I thought about the 13 hours 22 minutes and 46 seconds of activity that is locked into my watch. This, of course, is the watch I wore during Ironman. It is the watch that holds my final Ironman time and all the miscellaneous information that comes along with it: heart rates and cadences, altitudes and average speeds. I could erase the information. It's not like I will forget it. Even if I did, there are enough miscellaneous pieces of paper in my pile of files that have my finishing time on it.

Truth be told, with the 13 hours locked into the watch, I have only a few hours of storage left to record new workouts. Eventually when I start my regular training again I will need more storage space to monitor my training activities. I will be forced to erase my Ironman time from the watch. I will be forced to erase my dreams.

How sad.
I suppose I could just buy another watch.

Maybe I'll get this one bronzed.


carmen said...

my favorite part of this post
is where it says
has only two feet
so few people know how to position
in a sentece
it makes me beam with pride

j. said...

sometimes it's the little things, carmen.