Running in the Time of Corona

My affection for shoes, especially those designed for activities such as running, active lifestyle, and exercise, athletic footwear for women, has always been strong. I’ve convinced myself that owning these shoes could be the catalyst I need to jumpstart the active lifestyle I’ve dreamt of, despite it being virtually non-existent. One might even argue that calling it “slightly” non-existent is being generous. Truthfully, I’m far from being physically active or fit, yet my attraction to these shoes is strong, almost paradoxically so, considering my aversion to walking, running, or engaging in any activity that induces sweat. And still, I desired them, every single pair. Regarding my version of an active lifestyle, it pretty much extends to meandering around my workplace for roughly five minutes, at most.

So my boring life did not stop me from buying exercise shoes. I’ve bought black and white running pairs, really cute pink and purple ones, and even the fancy, breathable fabric ones that I just wore like THAT one time. They were all gathering dust below my equally dusty bed. I went on with my life always thinking that someday, I would wear these shoes for its intended purpose instead of letting them slowly rot away in their boxes. Telling myself that I am just busy and work always gets in the way, I sighed and looked at them wistfully.

In late March last year, our city was put under quarantine. The coronavirus pandemic came into our lives. My once super hectic working day came to an abrupt halt. Suddenly, I had so much free time and I didn’t know what to do with that much time. Boredom slowly set in and I thought, what should I do? Aside from trying to cook edible foods, which by the way was also a HUGE disaster, I started to look elsewhere. My eyes strayed from the messy kitchen to my bedroom. There I saw the exercise shoes I have accumulated over the years. That got me thinking, maybe I should take up walking? Just to get away from the same walls and the same floor of my house. I was so bored that I was actually entertained at the idea. And I thought, if I’m not gonna do it, I will surely be making TikTok dance videos before long and “that” is so not good.

So away I went and wore one of the really cute ones, an Under Armour black and white running shoes. I started walking just around the yard. I never realized how bored and depressed I am until I began to notice that I was actually enjoying walking, even after ten to twenty minutes just sweating and looking at the green of the trees and the distinctive blue of the early summer sky. For the first time, I forgot I was being forced into a long and ugly “vacation”.

I was pleasantly surprised that my feet were not as sore as they would be when I attempted walking for long periods on my previous “healthy living” attempts. Looking at my feet, I realized, yeah, of course, it’s the shoes. I was finally wearing the right kind of exercise shoes for the right

activity. And of course, I felt that I looked good too. I don’t know if it’s true but I like to think so, there’s no harm in more wishful thinking.

So I made walking my daily quarantine routine. Just around the yard, walking, sometimes running and playing with the dogs. I liked it so much that I started losing weight just by walking for an hour or two a day. To celebrate the weight loss, I went and ordered work out clothes and of course, more sports shoes to pair them with.

As the lockdown continued then relaxed, I was able to extend my walking slash running route to the neighborhood park. I have worn all my exercise shoes in rotation and I even found out what pair is the most comfortable to wear. Care to guess? Yes, it’s the very first shoes I wore when I started quarantine walking, the cute black and white one women’s running shoes from Under Armour. They are so comfortable and most importantly, they provided support to my unflattering, quirky arched feet. I guess it’s just love at first wear.

Yeah, 2020 sucked and we still do not know when we will all be back to our pre-COVID days, but at least, I got something good out of the unpleasant quarantine experience. I got passably toned legs and finally, finally, my beloved exercise shoes got to fulfill their lives’ purpose, to be worn.

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