Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Shoes and the Jerk

Starting to run has been the best thing I have ever done for myself.  I love it so much and I am totally addicted to the way it makes me feel.  Meeting goal after goal has done more for my self-confidence than anything else EVER has.

I get a sick pleasure out of killing my running shoes.  Every pair I go through is a trophy to my hard work and effort.  Each pair has run hundreds of miles with me.  Each pair has been with me through those moments I felt like giving up only to push a little harder and meet my goals!  Each pair has a story.

It's always bitter sweet for me to retire my "old friends" who had never let me down (except this last pair on that blasted slip and slide -- but I don't hold that against them), for newbies who will accompany me on my next great adventures!

I am a Asics girl.  I feel in love with that brand when Ben told me about them about 3 years ago.  They were the only brand that didn't give me blisters until it was time to get new ones (that is the sign!).  But I knew after my 8 mile run last week that I needed some new shoes badly and I needed them now so I could break them in well and good before the Ragnar next month.

Ben needed new running shoes too, so we went to Shoe Carnival where they have that great "buy one get one half off deal."  I was really disappointed that 1: They only had two designs of Asics there, and 2: they didn't have my size.  Completely bummed out, I turned around and saw these babies:
Hot pink Pumas.  Are you kidding me?!  How FUN are those!?  Well, I had never tried Puma before, and I really wanted to rock those pink shoes.  So I bought them.  Ben bought the boy versions, blue and orange... not pink though. (Although he probably wishes they had them in Pink, right?)

I was so pumped to get out and break in my new shoes!  But we had one stop left to go.  I wanted to check out a running store that my new FB running friends have been talking about.

We walked in and there were two, very athletic guys working.   One comes up to us asks if he can help us.  We told him that we were checking out inserts for Ben.  Ben forgot his new shoes so he ran back out to the car leaving me to chit chat with Mr. Runner Guy.

"So, your husband's a runner, huh?" He asked.

"Actually, we both are," I told him with a pleased as pie smile.  I figure that even though I am not super speedy, I still consider myself a runner.  I run some races, I get in some mileage... yeah, I am definitely a runner.

The second the words were out my mouth, he made this funny face.  It took me a second to realize he was trying not to laugh at me.  He then gave that sideways glance to his buddy... you know the one.  It's that look people do when they want to see if their friend heard what they did and feel the same way.

"I am going to run the Ragnar AND the Top of Utah half Marathon," I said hoping to change their minds about me.  But he snorted.  He actually snorted.

Then suddenly, he tried to be polite, but he was smirking, and won't look me in the eyes when he talked to me.  I know I took him by surprise, but I think he thinks I was either lying or that I was going to kill myself trying to do it.

Not only was I upset that he wouldn't look at me when I was talking to him (what is up with that?  Why do guys have a hard time looking at girls they find unattractive -- it's so rude), but he was inwardly laughing at me.  He really was.  I haven't been this "shamed" since I was morbidly obese.

If I was a tough girl, I would have told him what he could do with that smirk.  "What? You don't think I can run?  Why not? Too fat for your taste? Ugly? Well, I can prove it!  Take a look at these leg muscles... look a little closer... Oops, sorry, I have restless leg syndrome.  Sorry, your face was in the way of my foot.... Should I call 911?"

Why can't I be that cool?

Instead, Ben came back in and I played my blond ditz card to a tee!  I just smiled and flipped my hair and acted like I didn't even notice what a douche he was.  Inside, though, I was totally humiliated and crying.  We ended up skipping on the inserts and bought some of those blister-free socks.  Ben didn't know what had happened, but noticed that I was pretty quiet in the car on the way home.  Finally, he asked me what happened and I told him.  He wanted to back and punch the guy in the face... I was tempted to let him....

Why do people have to be so judgmental?  No, I am not a small woman, I will never be a small woman, but I can be a healthy and fit one!  I have worked SO HARD to be where I am today, and to have some stranger laugh at me who doesn't know me, doesn't know my struggles, judge me like that, sucked my self-confidence right out of me.

I hate it that it only takes one meanie weenie to discourage you.  And discourage me he did.

Was I a joke?  Was I biting off more than I could chew?  Who would know better than a running pro right?  Maybe they were right to laugh... maybe I was seriously kidding myself.

I felt deflated.

I tried to go on a little run in my new shoes, but I didn't have the heart to push farther than 3 miles.  When I went home, I tucked my new running shoes into the corner of the closet and tried not to think of running for a few days.

I got distracted by my Mialisia adventure (I have a FB page up, by the way, come LIKE it!), and had some out of town visitors that kept me busy.  But those running shoes were calling my name all week... but I refused to listen.

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to help a couple move out of their house.  It being Memorial Day weekend, not many of their friends were around to help out.  I didn't know the couple, but I knew his mom, and she is the one that enlisted my help.  I DID know him... sort of... I used to babysit him when he was 3 or 4.  But as an adult, we were strangers.  But I can not resist a moving SOS.  I have been on the end when no one comes to help, and I won't let that happen to others, so I popped over there help out.

As I was helping with taking the boxes out of the bedroom, I noticed there was a board with a bunch of running medals hanging on it.  The two of them didn't look like "typical" runners, they were built more like me.  I asked her mom, who was there helping too, which one was the runner.  She told me it was the husband.  He had run several races including the two I am going to run this summer.  Seeing those medals, earned by someone who didn't look like the Meanie Weenie, lifted my spirits.  I knew at that moment that I can't just give in.  I can't let one person stop me from living my dreams just because I don't fit the mold.

I continued to think about it the rest of the day.  I kept asking myself this question: "Cat, for who are you running?"  Myself?  Ben and the boys?  Yes... but it was much more than that.  Finally, after a couple hours of these thoughts looming around me, I figured it out.

I am running for everyone out there who is overweight and lead to believe that will never change.

I am running for all of those people who suffer from asthma and are afraid to be active.

I am running for those out there that are laughed at, mocked or shamed for having seemingly impossible dreams.

I am running to show that so much is possible if you believe you can, hope you can, and work the hardest you have ever worked to make it happen.

To those mean people out there:  Watch me run.


I am running.  And I am not going to stop.

PS That's me last night.  Took my new shoes for a 5 mile run on the treadmill.


Allison said...

What a jerk! I think you look great. You don't have to have a certain body type to like or be good at running. If it makes you feel good then who cares what other people think? You go girl!

Bridget said...

I loved your post at the end. Seriously that guy is so mean! I think there are many, many running snobs out there. You look adorable in your new shoes and you're running a lot farther than me right now! I did my first mile after the baby on Saturday and my legs are really feeling it today!

Lydia said...

What an awesome, motivating post! Like Bridget said, I love your end comments. There are more "average, didn't know it was possible" runners out there than people realize. I finally started getting back into running, since pregnancy, to get prepared for the 2-month running "contest." As with you, each milestone (no matter how small) feels like a huge accomplishment.

Also, that guy mustn't have been at the gym lately. Every time I go to the gym, I see more people on the treadmill who are like me. People who are overweight and not appearing to be your average runner. But, I've also noticed that those people are the ones who persevere the longest, the ones who push the hardest, and the ones who have the biggest smile at the end. I never want to be a runner snob. I want to be challenged and feel the sense of accomplishment at the end of each run. I too want to be an encouragement to all those people who are overweight and feel like they can't do it. I want them to know they can, because I did.

Ariana said...

Thank you, Cat. You are a wonderful example to me and so many people.

Terra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terra said...

Fabulous post and kudos to you for not falling to his level!!! Very inspiring, thanks Cat!

Nina said...

What a major jerk.

You should have let your hubby to go back & punch the dude. Like seriously, he is in the customer service so he should have some kind of manners, and more importantly, real runners and athletes are the most supportive and inspiring people - not snobby losers like the guy in the store.

Happy trails, girl! Keep you chin up and keep running.

Brittney said...

I HATE that man for you. I would call the manager and talk to him. That behavior is totally unprofessional.

Glad you found a way to be empowered by it!

Lindsey said...

Holy crap, lady! Look at those calves!! You're my hero! You're right, that guy is a douche, but don't let the weenies keep you down!

Anika and Sean said...

Oh my gosh, I want you to know that after I read your post I was so mad at that guy. I swear... sometimes douchbagery is becoming an epidemic. When I told my husband your story he gave me this serious expression and said the, "Oh no he did not." What a rude guy. My personal feelings are that he must actually be very insecure about himself and the way he makes himself feel important is by putting other people down.

I love that you were able to rise above it though and use it as fuel for motivation. You inspire me all the time. I mean that too. You are awesome and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise. :)

Morhia said...

I read and cried. What a big meanie he is!... You inspire me to do so much more with my life and yes, you are running for all of us who have so much fear. I hate being morbidly obese. It literally makes me sick. I hate the smirks I get at the gym. It makes me literally want to die. Like I don't deserve to breath the air everyone else gets. I read your post about doing it alone. Yes, I do love a good workout alone. I have God to "chat" with and get lots worked out. However, sometimes just going through the front door is so overwhelming to me. I wish I had someone to go inside and then go do their thing next to me. I like my ear phones and sometimes only use them as plugs and not listen to anything. But getting through the front door hurts so bad emotionally. I weighed in today at 236 lbs. I felt like crying and throwing up. Why does weight control our self image so much? I want to thank you for your posts and wish Utah was so much closer. Blessings to you my friend!