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Shinn column: Size matters in a pinch

When you do something stupid, you can at least do it in the privacy of your own home.
When I do something stupid, 22,000 subscribers get to read about it.
Well.
As you may recall, I started running last summer. Loved it. Mother finally talked me into running a 5K and we did the Harvest Run 5K in October. Hated it. It was, like 35 degrees that morning. I am not making that up. I think my lungs might have froze up on me. Once I could breathe again, I told Mother that I wasn’t going to do another 5K until the China Grove road race in June.
It seems I’m not a cold-weather runner.
Since the weather has become more temperate of late, I figured it was time to hit the road again. Plus, in the world of training, June will pop up faster than you think.
My son Andrew and I happened to be in Winston one Saturday, so I stopped at a large sporting goods store to pick up a pair of shoes, New Balance, 7 1/2, same size I’ve been wearing for years.
Well.
They were not comfortable. Not in the least.
I’m not one of these people who likes a “break-in” period for shoes, especially running shoes.
So I went to see Eddie Frye, my shoe guy, in Concord.
(People are like, you have a shoe guy? I’m like, well, yeah, don’t you?)
Eddie’s a big proponent of orthotics and picked me out a pair.
“Bring them back if they don’t work,” he said.
They did not work.
I brought them back.
I also wore the running shoes in question.
He took one look at them and said, “Those shoes are too small, Susan.”
I’m thinking, you have GOT to be kidding.
Or actually, maybe I said it to Eddie.
He said, “I bet you a dollar if I get the 8s they’ll work.”
SIZE 8? What you do mean, size 8???
So he goes to the back to get the 8s.
I sit there and stew.
You ladies will understand. Going up a shoe size is like going up a dress size. But unlike the dress thing, I don’t think the foot thing is through any fault of my own. I mean, you’d have to eat A LOT to have fat feet.
Ah well.
So anyway, Eddie comes back with the 8s. I put them on. I look at him.
“What?” he says.
“You’re right,” I say.
I take them home. I put the orthotics in them. I run in them around the lake on Monday. It’s like running on air. If I didn’t have a sinus infection which was kinda screwing up my breathing, it would have been even better.
Eddie was pleased for me.
I even take back the other pair of shoes, and the nice manager at the Concord location of the sporting goods store gives me a credit. So now I can buy Andrew all his stuff for tennis camp next month at Davidson College.
And probably buy him a new pair of tennis shoes.
At least I know what size he wears.

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