Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Junior High memories

Funny how writing and running parallel each other for me. There's a certain rhythm to each and keeping on top and finding that sweet spot is both easy and challenging at different times. Right now my writing suffers from a lack of motivation while my running continues to become easier and easier.

After taking pause from a busy day of a conference call with the Independent Running Retail Association board, squeezing in a run, selling shoes and hosting a team night for junior high tracksters I managed to catch up on Keith Kelly's blog. Keith is supremely disciplined with his blogging which I'm sure has helped his layoff from running due to injury. Seeing Keith continue to pound away at the keyboard tells me I need to step up too.

I had the privilege of helping a few kids tonight with their first pair of track spikes. Those skimpy light shoes with little pins for traction that really haven't changed much since I got my first pair in 7th grade. I still remember those first real racing shoes. Blue Puma's with the traditional white stripe tapering to the back. Four spike plate with about 1/2 -3/4" spikes which were far too long for the tracks we ran on. They were spiked for the old dirt/cinder tracks while we had the "modern" black rubberized asphalt surfaces.

Back in the "day" it was hard enough to find spikes as there were no Foot Lockers or Skinny Raven's in Anchorage. It was harder to find the little elements to replace the ultra-long spikes my Puma's had. Fortunately, my dad was a aircraft mechanic and decided he could take them into work and grind each spike down to the proper length. I was able to use them for the championship meet without fear of tripping or stabbing one of my competitors who ran too close behind me.

The first 7th grader I helped decided to go with a pair of Puma's tonight. Fortunately, he had the right spike length straight off so that part was easy. They were gold with a black stripe and looked like the pair Usain Bolt wore in Beijing. Very cool shoes. Of course, I let him know my first spikes were Puma too which I'm sure made him feel even better about his selection. I hope he'll remember getting those shoes 30 years from now.

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