Friday, January 8, 2010

Free your feet, and your mind will follow.

Yesterday was fantastic. Just a perfect Seattle day, in every way. I only worked a short shift in the morning - so my whole day didn't disappear, but I still got the pleasure of seeing many of my favorite people, and getting to do what I've honestly come to love - impart knowledge and help outfit people for their worldly adventures in the great outdoors!

Got off work, changed into running gear, and made the short and scenic drive up to Shoreline to meet up with Tom for further trail running and playing in the woods. For the first time, I tried out my brand new Vibram Fivefingers - a crazy but generally awesome innovation designed to help your feet mimic barefoot motion, but still get protection underfoot from the elements. The first word out of my mouth about ten seconds into our run was, "Ow." I felt everything. I described the experience as that feeling you get when you get a rock in your shoe, except there were a dozen of them, and no getting rid of them.

This is what they look like.

With that said, though, there's something cool about being that...ONE, for lack of a better word...with your environment. Seyeon's gotten really into running in Fivefingers, not to mention a good many of my coworkers. (Though for every one of them who swears by them, there's another ten who shun the things as though they're the devil's creation, and upon figuring out I got myself a pair, will undoubtedly denounce me as a lost and brainwashed soul, looking like a complete dork to boot.)

As Tom and I were climbing around and balancing on rails in the park, we did get asked by a guy walking by how we liked them. He'd had a friend or two who'd gotten some and loved them. I have this conversation twenty-five times a day with customers at work, as REI is the only place in a 500-mile radius that carries the Fivefingers, and we get more questions about them than just about anything else in the department (though UGG boots (i.e. glorified socks, priced at a hefty $140-$220/pair) are a close second. *Sigh.*)

Anyway. I needed that run, badly. The sun, the mountains, the forest, the joyous ache in my muscles for working new ones amidst the trees... Sinking my toes into the damp forest ground by Hidden Lake wasn't too shabby either. I think I'm going to like this "barefoot" running thing.

As I drove back into the city, I witnessed one of the most stunning sunsets I've ever seen. Words nor pictures can even begin to do it justice, but I did get off at a random exit to surge to the top of a hill and try, at least:

My dad's in Seattle now for the weekend (after a harrowing 26 hour trip to get here - damn you, Midwest snow!), so I'm looking forward to a few more days off from work, explorations, adventures, good food, and getting to share this lovely city with someone I love! Happily, I got to do just that last week, too, as Shari spent a few unexpected extra days in Seattle with me, and even though I had to work through a good deal of them, we had a good time staying up, catching up, and eating chocolate pasta.

Lastly...Oberlin and Kansas Run-ins of the Week:
1. Running into Celeste from Harkness Co-op at the local Trader Joe's
2. Sean, whom I played intramural soccer with, showing up to REI with his whole family
3. Randomly hopping on a bus in the U-District only to find Lu, my fellow Muser from high school, on it!
4. Haven't run into each other yet, but my elementary school friend Caitlin just moved to Seattle this week - cheers!

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