Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumped Up Kicks

This all started because of a bridesmaid dress.

A bridesmaid dress, that I purchased willingly in a size smaller than what the consultant recommended because I am a woman and therefore am defined by my dress size. For some unknown reason, bridal designers want you to feel like crap when buying the most expensive garment you will ever wear (for the shortest span of time) and their sizes run notoriously small. I don’t know why they don’t trade with Banana Republic, because I know I would much rather pay more to feel skinny than to pay less for my clearance chinos that for some reason I can fit into a size 0.

Anyway, the minute I tried on that dress I knew breathing would be difficult. After an exhausting battle with a zipper for ten minutes that I eventually won, I found myself being strangled by a dress that I had dropped a sizeable chunk of change on. I knew this wouldn’t do, especially for an 8 hour day of standing, posing, dancing and more importantly, drinking.

Needless to say, Steve has been pressuring me to adopt an exercise routine ever since. Now, many women would be like “giiiiiiirl I wouldn’t let no man tell me I was fat,” but that’s not what this is about. Steve is a practical man (i.e. cheap) and his worst nightmare would probably be me telling that I can’t fit into a dress that I paid that much money for. So for him it’s an investment, really.

So finally, I gave in and went to the gym with him. There are plenty of couples that I know that run or hike or other athletic things together that I have virtually no interest in. I am not one of them. I just about died when he put me on the rolling setting on Level 3 on the elliptical, because anyone that knows me knows that I am strictly a Level 1 girl. Now I am a notorious workout starter, and I’ve been on the elliptical Level 1 probably once every two weeks since I’ve lived at my apartment, and this was the first time I ever sweat. Ick. If you know me you also know I am not a sweater, as I barely exert enough energy to create even a droplet of moisture.

As usual, I vowed to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. I wasn’t looking to drastically alter my body, but just being able to breathe in the dress would be a welcome change. As a naturally smaller person, I figured if I started any amount of regular exercise I could at least slim down a few inches.

But again I quickly fell off the wagon. I went 2 days in a row, and then skipped 5. Even with said dress hanging in my bedroom, I just never felt the motivation to put on my workout clothes and make the long trip across the street. Okay, fine it’s not really a street. It’s more of a half of a crosswalk… 20 feet out the door. Happy?!

And then I had an epiphany. Maybe the reason I wasn’t athletically inspired was because of my heinous white and lime green sneakers. Not only were they heavy, but they didn’t match any of the cute workout clothes I purchased the last time I promised myself I would become a gym rat. Technically they weren’t beat up or anything, despite the fact that they were 4 years old, because they hadn’t seen enough action to warrant a scratch or fade. But still! How could I be expect to glide swiftly on Level 3 with ugly heavy sneakers weighing me down?!

I decided that a new pair of kicks would be best way to get me back into the working out on a regular basis. If I had something cute that I was excited to wear, I would probably look forward to hitting the gym. To further illustrate my point, a few weeks ago I borrowed Alisa’s sneakers when I stupidly forgot mine on a day where I would be working outside all day in a tent… in the rain. She presented me with her hot pink Nike Shocks, which immediately transformed me into an athletic goddess, at least in my own head.

When a Bob’s coupon arrived in the mail for 20% off all footwear INCLUDING clearance, I took it as a sign from the shoe gods, whom I worship very seriously. With a looming expiration date, I knew I needed to act fast.

I hit up my local Bob’s after work, and let me tell you, that place has got to be one of my least favorite places on earth. Almost every item of clothing they carry is hideous other than New England sports paraphernalia and athletic wear. I mean, when was the last time you found yourself jonesing for the latest fashions from YMI Jeanswear or Unionbay? I made a beeline for sneakers and tried to put up my blinders to avoid the sheer amount of overly thick fleece pajama pants adorned with frogs (I swear I did not make that up).

I was at a slight disadvantage from the get go as my money conscious husband begged me to spend no more that $50. Why is that, you ask?

Reason 1: I didn’t care what kind of sneakers they were, I just knew I wanted them to be pink. Apparently this is not the criteria in which athletic shoes should be judged.

Reason 2: Every workout item I have purchased has been used for maximum 10 hours. See previous workout clothes comment.

Reason 3 (and this seems to be the response I hear on a day to day basis for everything): We are poor, don’t spend any money.

Well, for someone who knows nothing about exercise, I know that even Skechers aren’t that cheap and that I had my work cut out for me. But I love a bargain challenge, so I quickly got to work scanning the racks. Steve claimed that all the “girly” sneakers would be more expensive. Unfortunately he was totally right and even totally white boring pairs with a splash of pink were in the $70-$90 range.

Onto clearance. Sometimes I make out like a bandit in clearance shoe sections because I have abnormally large feet for a small person. Apparently they are not abnormal enough, because every fun pair I found was in the size 10-11 section.

It was then that I realized how horribly unprepared I was for this whole charade. I came from work, so I was wearing flats, i.e., no socks. I have long feet, so those Peds are basically useless to me, but I put them on for the sake of cleanliness because let’s be real, this is Bob’s we’re talking about. If my feet were not awkward enough I also have special inserts for flat footed people that I got FROM A PODIATRIST that I am technically supposed to wear all the time but I never do because they don’t fit in any of my shoes because I always forget to bring them when I try on shoes. Needless to say those weren’t kicking around in my purse that day.

The first pair I tried on were black Avia’s with pink accents. I was 90% positive that these shoes were crap because they were a whopping $24.95 and I have never in my life heard of the brand Avia. They were just eh.

The next pair I tried were white Reebok EasyTones with red accents. Not quite pink, but red is actually my favorite color and I remembered the shoes from the commercials with all the girl’s butts and thought that I maybe my butt would have a chance to be like them one day. Slight problem? They are crazy hard to walk in. Imagine being forced to walk everywhere all the time on a balance beam. I guess those butts don’t come easy. Considering I can barely make it up the stairs without falling at least twice, I imagined I be in the ER after 10 minutes in these things on the elliptical. Goodbye, future tiny bum.

This particular Bob’s offered hardly a bench to sit on, so every time I found a pair I was remotely interested in, I ended up plunking all my crap down on the floor and lacing up on the dirty gray carpet. Jesus, what I won't do for a sale.

However, it was on the floor that I found them- a pair of charcoal gray Nikes (which at this point, sounded like Versace to me after being surrounded by all the unrecognizable brands of crap) with a HOT PINK swoosh and other accents, size 9 ½. I never would have found them if I hadn’t been sitting on the floor, because they were on the bottom shelf of the size 11 section. I’m not a particularly religious person, but when I find a hidden deal I literally feel like it’s fate and that some other-worldly being was keeping them special just for me. I tried them on, and it seemed like they fit, but due to the Peds, I was skeptical. I usually border between a 9 and a 9 ½, so I figured that the little extra room would be plenty of space for my socks. Who wears thick socks to work out anyway?

I figured this was the part where I was supposed to put them on and run around the store to make sure they really fit. This is where the Hallelujah chorus withdrew and I was thrown back to reality, as my beloved Nikes were tied together. That’s right, about 7 pairs of clearance sneakers were tied together and my pair was one of them. Not one to back down from a challenge, I proceeded to run around the rack with one shoe on at a time, with the attached mate whacking into me every time I lifted my foot. I still wasn’t sure these were the correct pair for me, but who can ever be sure when they’re forced to only wear one shoe at a time?! At that moment I knew that I was done. I would have to trust the shoe gods that they had delivered to me the pair that I was meant to have.

Oh, and how much were they, you ask?! $36.99 with my coupon, a mere three hours before it expired! Suck on that, Bob’s!

sweet deal!

I left the store content, not only for my bargain but because I was getting the hell out of that place.

On the way home, my post-bargain high began to wear off as I realized that now I would actually have to you know, use them. While exercising. In the gym.

But that’s another day.



  1. LOVE that I got a shout out in this entry!

  2. Now now, don't let your newfound Internet fame go to your head girl