"I cried because I had no shoes,
until I met a man who had no feet."
Inspiring words. Never failed to hit me every time I take a look at my running shoes.
So I met this 40-something runner from the hospital who used to run sub-20 minute 5ks. With a slight tick in his left eye (owing to a facial palsy suffered a few years back) and a soft-spoken voice, he asked to join me in one of my runs here in the Provincial Capitol. Sure, I said in earnest. I could learn some things from him.
While waiting for my cousin who wanted to join us, we talked about running (his running, by the way). I learned that this lean old-timer was a champion in the local runs here particularly in the 100m, 200m, 1000m, 1500m and 5000m events. Wow!
But underneath his unassuming stance, his running shoes were a different matter. Tattered to bits, he was proud to say his flyers have won him those championship medals a few years back.
And there I was complaining about my current trainers when this guy had nothing but shoes almost looking like sandals.
I grabbed my 4-year old Nike Air running shoes, had them cleaned and gave them up this week. Make no mistake, these shoes had minimal running mileage in them whatsoever. I saw these back in '06 in the Nike Stadium of SM City Cebu, admired their design, took them home with me, played a variety of sports in them-- basketball, badminton, table tennis, even 'takyan' and wore them to the gym. It's first and only race was last February 14th. That day I ran my first 5k in Cebu organized by the Cebu Dental Society a month after I started running.
Time to give back to this runner then. He was ecstatic and thanked me profusely. His admiration for the shoes was endless (I just hope he won't wear them in church). And it is probably his first Nike runners. I added a pair of socks for good measure and my first running singlet in all its yellow army glory. :D
I'll never run sub-20-minute 5ks in my lifetime but those shoes will, I'm sure.
Let's keep on running and see you on the road, my friends!