An Open Apology to AJ Meyers

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Equipment

Dear Al,

I’m sorry I ever doubted you.

For the rest of you, here’s why:

Al – a devout runner and marathoner – has been a good friend of mine for a few years now.   We used to work for the same company, albeit in different locations, so periodically our paths would cross whenever one of us happened to visit the other’s site.  It was during one of his trips to St. Catharines in the summer of 2011 that we took to bike riding together after work and it gave us a chance to bond over our love of physical activity and competition. It was during one of these rides that I actually committed to the idea of completing an Ironman; something that would come to fruition a year later in Wales.

At the time though, I was still learning how to ‘love’ this whole running thing.  Little did I know at the time that eventually I would make peace with long distance running and, shit, even turn out to be pretty good at it – for a fat guy.   That season we ultimately competed together in the ‘Run for the Grapes’  Half Marathon (click HERE   for the story of my first ‘Run for the Grapes‘), that being my first half marathon – like – ever.

It sucked and it hurt.  Live and learn.

Being a fountain of information in regards to running marathons, I literally sponged up Al’s tips and advice as best and as often as I could.  And, believe me; Al had lots of wisdom to impart.  One of these particular tips included his suggestion to invest in a pair of Crocs.  You know, for ‘recovery’.

Of course, all I could think at the time was: “But they’re ugly”.

Apparently, I was still wrestling with the whole vanity thing that I’ve since stopped giving a shit about.

Unfortunately, this tip was pretty much cast aside never to rattle around inside my brain like a marble inside an empty soup can.

“I won’t ever need those”, I thought.  “Those are for old fogies”, I told myself.

Boy, what an ass I was.

What I’ve learned now is that Crocs are actually made out of a patented foam resin called ‘Croslite’.  The foam forms itself to a wearer’s feet and offers purported medical benefits, according to a number of podiatrists.  You can interpret that as they act as a spongy surface for my delicate tootsies to get around on post workout as opposed to dealing with the hardwood floors in my home which tend to get painful.   After giving this shit a test drive (or walking if you will) with Kelly’s pair, they were very soothing and comfortable; like walking little pillows.

Okay, SOLD!

So here I am three years down the road and guess what, I am finally ready to take the plunge and get my own.  And yes, they’re still ugly, but at least I can now see where Al was going with that advice all those years ago.  Ugly-schmugly…this Croslite shit feels great!

The thing I’m learning now is that as you age, your body gets less resilient to the pounding it endures.  I’m 42 now, and after three years of Ironman training and pavement pounding, well, let’s just say that I have absorbed my fair share of pounding (the bad kind).  So much so, that lately my feet have been extremely sore post (as well as pre) workout; hence my interest in Crocs only now.   Whew knew that in three years things would be so different?

Making matters worse is that where I spent a considerable amount of time perfecting my running form over the past few years, I did little else to actually aid in my feet’s recovery.  In fact, once my running shoes have blown out they typically become my ‘everyday shoe’ – when I happen to wear shoes at all. Most often, I tend to go barefoot. So when I’m not running I’m walking around in old, worn out shoes.  Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done for my feet – I get it now.

Last week I told myself that enough was enough – no more sore feet – time to invest in some ‘gentle recovery’ for my aching feet, so we made plans to visit the Croc outlet at the Niagara Outlet Mall.

Goodie.  Shopping.

Don’t get me wrong, I will shop for running shoes and other assorted triathlon gear…all…day…long.  But shopping for everyday shoes (i.e. these Crocs) just doesn’t excite me, like, at all. In fact, I felt like a complete wuss and I would have much preferred to pour hot lava down my pants than endure a single minute of casual shoe shopping at the mall.  But suck it up I did and now I am the proud owner of two – two – pairs of Crocs.  One to serve as my ‘indoor slipper’ (remember those hardwood floors at home) and one as my ‘outdoor shoe’.  Yes I feel like a total spazz with these things on but I will say that, indeed, they do make my feet better; even after one week.  Huh.  Who knew?

The indoor pair.

The indoor pair.

The outdoor pair.  Fashionable or what?

The outdoor pair.

Am I fashionable or what?  At least my feet are happy.

So once again, I’m sorry Al.

Hopefully, we can still be friends.




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