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9:49 p.m. - 2010-05-03
It's always about the shoes.

I'd been doing okay at the gym with my MC Hammer sweatpants, assorted tatty t-shirts and my meh Payless sneakers. But once I started upping my speed and distance on the treadmill my shins began to protest. LOUDLY. I tried changing the order of my workout routine, didn't help, then I left off doing the calf extension machine altogether, hoping that would help. It didn't.

The obvious solution was to quit the gym, put on enough weight so I became permanently wedged in this chair, sign up for all those time-suck farming games at FB and forever abandon my gaudy notions having of a life away from this house, but my masochism runs deep, as does my aversion to FB farming games, and instead becoming a hermit who'd become symbiotic life-partners with her ratty desk chair I broke down and bought new gym shoes.

I know I said I wasn't going invest in any workout gear lest I fall prey to the newbie mistake of spending umpty hundred dollars getting myself all sorts of snazzy gym clothing only to drop out immediately and then feel like not only a bloated failure, but a wanton spendthrift too. Is there anything more reproachful than unworn lycra and legwarmers? No. Sure, you might rue that hand-woven Guatemalan poncho made of llama hair which just sits in the closet quietly shedding on everything else or that wildly pricey Thierry Mugler bedazzled leather jacket you bought thinking it'd soooo hip over jeans but in reality made you look like a transvestite matador, but nothing and I mean nothing makes you flinch harder or feel dumber than stumbling across unused workout clothing. So. I was NOT going to buy a fricken thing to wear to the gym. Ever.

But my shins were killing me. A good solidly supportive pair of sneakers was a necessity.

However, even if I didn't become a victim of the new clothes/gym drop-out curse, buying new gym shoes was problematic. First and foremost was my inability to spend the big bucks on myself. Yet I did acknowledge that buying cheap sneakers wouldn't fix anything. I made a couple lame attempts to furnish myself with new sneaks, but on my own the guilt overcame me and I came out of the stores either empty-handed or bearing a 'worthier' purchase ie: something for Mick or Wolf. This problem was solved by Mick accompanying me to the store and glaring at me if I showed any signs of backing out. He's fierce when he sees me cheaping out on myself and with him along a purchase was a definite go.

The second roadblock to new gym shoes was brand. Over my dead body Nike gets one dime of my money. Besides the Malaysian sweatshop/child labor thing, there's the matter of Nike refusing to drop sponsorship of either Tiger Woods or (far, far worse) rapist Ben Roethlisberger. WTG, Nike! The phrase 'Just Do It' has taken on quite the sinister meaning with your stable of athletes.

So Nike was out.

Along with brand there was the no smaller matter of style. Namely, most gym shoes don't have any. I don't care how supportive or aptly designed they are, I could not, would not saddle myself with fugly feet. Why are most sneakers so fricken awful? Horrible color combinations, weird shapes, dopey pneumatic soles with springs and shit, lurid stripes/patches/layers all saddle stitched on top of each other. Man, the New Balance section alone was giving me hives on my eyeballs, they make seriously ugly shoes.

Um, LA? The shoes are about performance, not fashion. If they do their job then the ugliness of the shoes is moot.


Look, I go to the gym bare faced. In cruddy t-shirts and giant floppy sweatpants. No perfume, just unscented anti-perspirant. I take off my rings before I leave the house. And I'm okay with that. But I won't add fugly feet to the shambling horror who is LA at-the-gym. I refuse. My new sneakers had to be good looking. Bottom line. They had to be a pleasure to the eye as well as to my arches. I know myself well enough, if I hated my sneakers I'd start hating the gym too. Dressing my feet in some horrendous pair of neon striped clodhoppers…ugh.

So to that end I'd like to thank Puma. Dear, darling Puma who realized that exercise is painful enough on its own and has no need to add sartorially punishing footwear to the torture. Got myself a pair of THESE.

They feel good. They look good. I'm happy.

Tomorrow I continue my quest to break the 15 minute mile. And I'll be doing it with my pretty, pretty feet. ~LA

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