Thank you to everyone who updated us on the status of your relationship with your shoes for Valentine’s Day. We got a lot of creative entries, and a few that made us cringe. (Are you reading this, Joe Dudman?)
Here are the winners, and their prizes. We’re planning another submission contest near St. Patrick’s Day.
Runner Up—Visual ($25 PRC Gift Card): JJ Grinvalds
JJ submitted three graphics and three written entries. Here’s his best effort.
Runner Up—Written ($25 PRC Gift Card): David Perry
For sincerity and volume.
It was October. Rain pounded the pavement behind me as I stepped into the retailer’s outlet store. The heavy burden of loss was still reverberating through my bones as I strode nervously through the store. I can’t do this again. It’s too soon. Break-ups are one thing, but loss is…soul-crushing.
520 miles. 520 miles of pavement pounding, 520 miles of mixed feelings: gratefulness for the weight loss, hatred for the 4 a.m. alarm clocks and the rain-soaked forays further and further away from the warmth of my bed sheets. Love-love for the first and second and third runner’s highs that I had ever experienced. Gratitude for the new me I had found with the help of my sole-mates. 520 miles of changed perspective that came crashing down one day as I realized that the stability and support I had once known were gone. My sole-mates had taken me as far as they could, given everything for me to get here, but it was time to move on.
I pulled the hood from my jacket off of my damp hair and finally worked up the nerve to look up from the recently mopped floor. A wall of potential was laid out before me. And it was overwhelming. This feels like cheating. I know they’re gone, I know they want me to move on but I…I just…. The single tear that gathered in the corner of my eye was almost enough to send me running from the store.
Then it happened. Down the wall a bit, shrouded in black and red cardboard, surrounded by thin, breathable, cold looking counterparts was, perhaps, the new focus of my affection. They were well-insulated, well-covered, and thick with all of the support and structure that I knew I would need to keep going. Truth be told, they were a little pudgy-looking—like me. The ones around them were thin-foam poly blends built for speed and aerodynamics. These were built for distance. Built for endurance. They were tank tread to carry me through the treacherous trenches in the path that lay ahead of me.
I picked up the box and held it for a moment, feeling my pulse quicken as a flame of hope began to grow inside of me. Maybe there’s life after loss. Maybe this isn’t cheating. Maybe this is…evolving. I pulled the crumpled paper out of the insides and slipped my feet into them. It was nearly instantaneous. The fit, the support, the moisture resistance, the warmth, the look. They were perfect. I could instantly see the future: long miles on early mornings, the swearing under my breath as I charged the hills ahead, shouting aloud to myself in the rain, calling these new sole-mates to carry me just one more mile.
They say that you can’t choose your destiny, but destiny chooses you. I say the same of my running shoes. 375 miles into this new relationship I still get angry at them at 4 a.m. each weekday, but by the time the run is over, I know that I couldn’t have chosen a better running mate. I know they’ll need to be replaced one day soon, but I’ll always carry with me the gratitude I have felt for them.
Grand Champion (Free Shoes from PRC): Christine Horne
We are suckers for doggerel.
My old shoes…they give me the blues.
When your uppers are total downers,
and your waffles are more like a pancake,
it’s time to ditch the musty old sneaks
before your tired legs ache.
When the pain in your arch hinders your march,
and they won’t stay laced in the middle of a race,
you need to let go of that old heel toe
and get some new zoom in your pace.
When the toebox shows off all your socks,
and your tongue has taken its licks,
when your damp and dank soles have so many holes
it’s time to try some new kicks.
Moral of the story:
Even the highly rated sometimes get delaminated.
To claim your prize, email [email protected] He’ll arrange it for you.