Commercial! (the why/how I started running)

So, I got an e-mail this morning from a local running shop asking for submissions to be in a store commercial.  In order to enter, you have to write in 100 words or less why you run, and why you love the store in 100 words or less.  While I won’t share exactly what I submitted — not sure if that’s property of the store or whatever — here’s the longer version of my story:

When I at my highest weight — around 250 lbs. — I decided I wanted to change my lifestyle and get healthy.  In addition to re-joining Weight Watchers for the 8 millionth time, I made the decision to become a runner.  For a long time I envied the bodies runners had — long, lean and strong — and had an aha! moment that the reason they had those bodies is because they run (duh), and I could get a body like that too if I ran.

So, I went to Jack Rabbit on a runner friend’s recommendation (thanks, Jen!) to get fitted for shoes.  Now, this store is a serious athlete store, with a HUGE wall of shoes, plenty of triathlon gear, etc., and as an obese twentysomething who hadn’t run a mile in years, I understandably felt pretty out of place.

Despite my discomfort, I was committed to getting some real running shoes.  I signed up on the shoe fitting list and waited for someone to help me.  Finally, a super-fit guy came up to me, introduced himself, and brought me to the shoe area.  Awesome thing #1: super-fit guy didn’t give me a second glance or make me feel at all like I didn’t belong there.  He was SO encouraging and supportive, especially when I told him my fitness goals, and welcomed me to the world of running.

At the back of the store near the shoe wall, there are treadmills set up with little video cameras at the end of them for the staffers to assess your running gait.  Awesomely fit guy asked me to hop on and run for a little bit so he could see how my feet strike, but — awesome thing #2 — was totally fine when I told him I’d prefer to walk, if that was okay (not only was the idea of running for 30 seconds totally unbearable for me at 250 lbs., but I also still had my work clothes on).

After showing me the video of what my feet look like when I walk and explaining that I was a supinator, he brought me 4-5 pairs of shoes to try on (and even test on the treadmill — awesome thing #3!), so I could be sure I had the perfect pair.

Now, around 3 1/2 years later, I’m 70 lbs. lighter, have done five half-marathons and countless road races, and am in the process of training for my first full marathon.  Yet, when I come in to Jack Rabbit, I’m still treated the same way I was the first time I walked in the door — like I’m an athlete, and I belong.  And that’s awesome.

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2 Responses

  1. Wow, that is such a great story…it make me want to go get a “real” pair of shoes!! I hope you win!

  2. Maybe you could take me there over Xmas break?

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