So a few weeks ago my friend Abby tells me she wants to start running! Yay! Happy Dance! Any time anyone tells me they want to start running it makes me happy, but this made me jump up and down in joy. If you've been reading my blog you'll know that Abby is my friend that recently was diagnosed with breast cancer (read her blog!), so her quitting smoking and taking up "runnish" (her term) makes me joyful. I printed out the Couch to 5K program for her to start with, which is a wonderful program for beginners. Abby mentioned that she didn't have running shoes so I asked on the Trail Nerds yahoo group if anyone had a spare pair of 8.5 shoes that I could beg, borrow, or steal for her.
Within 3 minutes of posting that request, my inbox was stuffed with emails from people wanting to buy her a pair of shoes. I was completely overwhelmed and couldn't stop crying, it was the most amazing outpouring of love and caring for someone they had never even met. When all the dust had settled, it was decided that since so many people wanted to help donations could be sent to the Trail Nerds P.O. Box. After all was said and done, the wonderful runners of K.C. sent $400 in cash, a $50 gift certificate to Gary Gribbles and a gift certificate for a pair of Vasque trail shoes ($90 value). Once again I cried my eyes out, and wondered how I got so lucky to get hooked up with such a fabulous group of people.
Yesterday was the day of shopping.. Abby only knew she was getting a new pair of shoes, she had no idea that she was going to get lots of stuff! When I told her in the car on the way to the store, she was overwhelmed and didn't know what to say...it was hardly surprising since I didn't know what to say myself and I know these people!
It was super busy at Gribbles when we got there so we hit the clothing section first. Unfortunately they didn't have the fall/winter stuff in yet and as Abby puts it "mama doesn't wear shorts!" so we were thwarted in our quest to spend every last penny. After jumping up and down and running circles in the dressing room, she ended up with a good sports bra and long sleeve shirt and a couple pairs of socks. (We'll go back in a couple of weeks to get some long pants and shirts and jacket.) Abby hadn't ever been in a running store before so we did some wandering around and looking at all the stuff, she declined a hydration pack for the moment. She said "it's a fanny pack!" I told her calling it a hydration pack makes it sound less dorky.
After that, we hit the shoes...I gave Abby strict orders not to let me buy any shoes for myself.. I have self control issues when it comes to shoes. At one point in my life it was an addiction to pointy high heels and now it's running shoes. Our sales guy checked out Abby's feet, made her walk around a bit in her socks and brought out a few pairs of very bright, white shoes for her to try. It took a few pairs until she found one that felt like clouds. We took a quick spin through the parking lot and she decided that the "communist" red Sauconys were the winners. Then we got to the trail shoes.. a beautiful pair of dusty orange Vasque Blurs were the take home winner. At one point Abby totally freaked out the poor sales guy.. she had mentioned that she recently quit a 2 pack a day smoking habit, and he asked her when she quit, but she thought he said why, so she replied "I got cancer" and we both busted up laughing. The expression on the poor guys face was priceless, which made us laugh harder, 'cuz you know, cancer is funny.
So we got to spend a chunk of money and we still have more to buy.. but most importantly Abby got running shoes and gear that feel like clouds and will help her go far and fast and get and remain healthy. Thank you is probably the most inadequate phrase in the English language, but I'm not sure how to put into words what's in my heart. I've heard it said so many times that runners are some of the best people in the world and you guys just proved it beyond the shadow of a doubt.
(sorry about the no pictures thing.. my camera has gone AWOL on me)