Most people have a special shining moment when they decided to pick themselves off the couch, hit the pavement and better themselves. I started running almost two and a half years ago after my best friend picked up on it.
I think what pulled me into it was her strength. When she started to run, she started taking on all these fun 5K and 10K races. She continued to push herself harder and harder. I have to say, I felt a little jealous of all that hard work and success.
I was never the most athletic person in school and amusingly, I hated running. And as someone with no game and bad hand/eye coordination, I never found my inner athlete.
After months of watching her consistently meet her goals and earn medals, I finally gave in and told her I was ready to try it out. My first run was in some cheap old gym shoes I had dug out from deep within my closet.
We ran down the street and back. Probably only a half mile. It was absolutely terrible. What the heck was I thinking? What have I gotten myself into? I knew right then that my strong striving friend would not let me back out now. But I knew her head start into the running world would be of great help to me.
Her first piece of advice? Get new shoes. Where should I get them? “The Extra Mile,” she said.
I was a little nervous when she took me to the Extra Mile. I thought about backing out. I felt absolutely silly, like a big fraud. I wasn’t a runner, I had barely run down the street and back. And now I’m buying running shoes? I was sure they’d turn their nose up at me and think I was just another wannabe jumping on the running fad train with the rest of the world.
No, I was completely wrong. On my first visit to the store, Todd Henderlong, co-owner of the company was there to help me find my very first pair of running shoes. A pair that you’ll still find in the back of my closet, despite being on my third pair.
At the time I had no idea who he was, but he was very kind and very helpful during my entire experience. He made sure all of my running shoe needs were met. And best of all, he was excited for my new lifestyle change. I didn’t feel any intimidation at all.
Todd used the store’s treadmill and computer system to analyze my running style and gait to determine the exact amount of support I needed in a pair of running shoes. It was so precise that I only needed to try on a few pairs and found that the very first shoe I had tried on were perfect.
That’s when I finally had my shining moment as a runner. The moment when I got excited about running is when I got my first pair of shoes. They fit like a glove. The running community is so warm and welcoming to all kinds of athletes and the Extra Mile Fitness Company perfectly reflects that.
Sometimes I even get the chance to attend one of the store’s fun run events. I feel the courage, excitement and spark I once felt buying my first pair of shoes when I get to run with such a large happy and supportive group.
And once a year in the fall, I head to the store for one of my favorite days of the year, the day I get a new pair of running shoes.