Thursday, 25 October 2012

The running shoe shop

I'd been looking into getting a new pair of running shoes ever since my new podiatrist said that I was injuring my feet with my old ones.  I actually was making my left big toe bleed a little each time I ran and it got worse and worse until it was pretty ugly (but not very painful all the same).

I'd gone to the usual French sports shops (decathalon, intersport etc) and was very diappointed in the choice.  I'd been researching what type of shoe I needed and there was nothing on offer that was suitable.  I knew I'd never get a great service in a sports shop, but I thought if I researched it, I could just wing it, but it wasn't as simple.

Then we were going back to the UK, on the horrid journey home to see Dad in hospital.  I didn't think at all about my shoes.  We were planning on doing a parkrun for the first time and looking in sports shops nearby but that never happened obviously.

J was really sweet and suggested we look for a shop on the route on the way home (I guess to change my ideas).  I found the addresses of a couple of places but my heart wasn't in it.  Leaving my parents was awful and I cried for the first hour of the journey.  When we pulled up outside of the citycentre specialised running shop I freaked out a little.  Emmy, who is totally unsporty with dodgy legs, was outside a specialised running shop thinking about going in.  My cheeks stung from salty tears and I was probably blotchy too and yet I was amazed by how easy it was to push the door open to go in. 

I guess I was numb from the recent events and it didn't actually phase me to be in an environmnent so unfamiliar.

I can honestly say, I had an amazing experience at the shop.  I just simply said I wanted to buy some new shoes. I was immeditely asked to remove my shoes and socks and roll up my skinny jeans to see my legs.  Again I didn't flinch.  Agghh, someone was going to see my dodgy legs.  Whatever.  He confirmed what I already knew - I over pronate and that I have one leg stronger than the other (bless him!)  He asked if I had had an operation and when that was.

He came back with two pairs of trainers.  Both Asics, but the shop sold different brands too.  The inner girlie inside me was thrilled - both pairs were cute!  Bonus.  He gave me some running socks to try on with the trainers and asked if I wore these type of socks usually (uurm, I believe I said yes, which was a fat lie - I used to wear normal socks and was quite skeptical about the running sock idea!)

He made sure that the sides of the trainer was not rubbing anywhere on my ankle and then the bit I was dreading/looking forward to.  He got me on a treadmill.  I obviously was not dressed for running at all so the mismatch of trainers and normal clothes and skinny jeans was quite ridiculous.  Whatever I thought.  He asked if I was comfortable on a treadmill, it was my first time ever, and this made him smile.  I got up to a slow jogging speed and then a camera starting filming my feet from behind to see how my feet hit the floor in the new trainers.  The idea was that my ankle was held in position at the point when my feet hit the floor and roll through without the ankle falling in (in my case).

We went through this with both pairs, retried the first pair to make sure, and I was told that for 'my style of running', the first pair was best!  I thought it was funny how he worded it because hoenstly, I don't have a style.  I run really lop sidedly and that will never change because of my dodgy legs!! Next I asked him to choose me some running socks (to add to my imaginary running sock collection) and I swear I would have bought anything. I was so numb that I just wanted someone to tell me what to do, to look after me, including the sales person in the running shop.

My new running shoes Asics GT 2170

I had a great experience in Moti, Bristol branch and I thank them so much!  J was also very impressed with the service and the care to get the correct running shoe for you.  He actually wants to go back and get a pair for himself too!!  I don't know if this type of service exists in France, it would be nice if someone could give me some info if there is.

We got back in the car and continued our sombre drive home to France but when I thought about what I had just done, a tiny smile came across me.  Things have changed for me I guess. I am how I am and I won't magically loose my dodgy legs. I've come along way this year and I don't count on stopping there.

ps:  my Dad is now home and okish.  He won't fully recover, I just hope they find a way to stabilise his problems to give him a good quality of life.

pps:  We're going back to the UK next weekend again to see him.  I won't talk about what we have planned because I just don't want to jinx it.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Don't speak too soon

I have learnt over the years to be very wary of looking forward to things.  So much so, that people would say I'm a pessimist.  I would agree to an extent, but I also do it as a self protecting mechanism.

My first real experience of this was passing my driving test.  It was the first time I was taking it and two weeks later I was scheduled to have the operation on my achilles tendon. If I failed the driving test, I wouldn't get to do another test for months after.  I was so convinced I would fail that when the driving examinier annonced that I'd passesd, all I did was sigh loudly and put my head against the headrest in relief.  Even my driving instructor who was waiting outside the car thought I'd failed going by my reaction.  I protect myself so much that I can't even see the situations where I should be proud and celebrate!

A few years ago, I blogged about how happy I was to be going to Mexico to see a friend and have a holiday of a lifetime, only to blog a few days later to say that we couldn't go due to the huge ash cloud sitting over Europe.  I'm sure a lot of you remember only too well too.

And so it strikes again.  I was really happy in my last post to say I was going home and I was going to do a 5km race.  In fact, we were going back to the UK to collect my parents as they were going to spend a month in France with us.  They came for the first time this time last year for 2 weeks and absolutely loved it.  We'd be planning it for so long and everyone was very excited, planning and organising.

My mum rang me 2 days before we were driving back to the UK to say my Dad was in hospital and that they wouldn't be coming after all.  I was a total wreck on the drive home 2 days later.  I spent the next 4 days ruled by visiting hours in the hospital and witnessing horrible scenes.  We had to come back to France on the Monday and needless to say it was a heart wrenching, tear filled, sobbing 7 hour drive. 

Dad came out of hospital a week later and is now at home.  It was pretty ugly at a point but he is getting better although due to his continung poor health, he will never fully 'recover'.  Sometimes you just have to be happy with the basics in life.

I have been a misery for 2 weeks since all this happened and I've lost weight (funny for someone who thought it was impossible to lose weight - hell, I've tried and failed before) I'm not sleeping well, I have spots (I never have spots) and all this time I have terrible guilt that I can't be there with them.  My Dad feels bad that he's caused trouble for everyone and mum feels awful that she hasn't been able to come to France and help me.  She hates that I'm on my own in France and that she can't help me out like most Mums do with their daughters.

All in all, it's been a pretty terrible 2 weeks.  I don't like to get excited about things or talk about them (on my blog) just in case they don't work out.  I don't like talking about my personal problems either.  In fact, I don't like sharing too much of my life or putting photos at all on this blog because of people who have hurt me so bad in the past and I don't want them to find this blog.

In fact, I am wondering why I have a blog at all today.

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