Grade 6 is when my love of running began. Mr. Smith was our gym teacher, as well as the track & field and cross-country coach. He designed great running courses in the very limited space available. I will always remember that.
He made maps of the running routes and gave them names such as the Brown Breezer and the Blue Blazer. We didn’t even need to leave the school grounds. We ran around baseball diamonds, soccer posts, telephone poles, and stop signs. It was actually quite creative and a lot nicer than running around a track (which we didn’t have.)
For track, we ran around the entire block, which just happened to be 1500 metres. I remember thinking that running around that huge block was quite the accomplishment. Some kids bitched and moaned about how long and hard it was, but not me. I loved it!
I loved sprinting too. And high jump.
The coach told us to get good shoes. I wanted a pair of Nike Air shoes. I was determined that they be Nike Airs, I don’t know why. The trouble was that they didn’t make kid sizes back then. My feet were small, too small for adult shoes. However, we found out that I could fit into ladies; Nike Airs. So we picked a pair that did not appear to be too feminine. They looked good.
No one knew that I wore girl shoes. They were Nike Airs, expensive shoes, and I was proud to wear them. It felt like I could fly in them. I was so much faster in them, so I thought at the time.
I still make sure to purchase good shoes. My two favourite brands are Saucony and New Balance. And I don’t know why but every time I get a new pair of shoes, I still feel the same way I did way back in Grade 6. I’m not sure that the shoes really make a difference in my running but a good pair of shoes always makes me feel like I’m flying. It is an amazing feeling. It’s gotta be the shoes.