I love my Asics. I’ve been running in them for years now. I think I started with the GT2090’s (was that a shoe…or just my Swiss cheese memory?) placed on my foot by a running specialty store clerk. A celestial light beamed down. Doves flew up around me in a sweeping arc. My feet were saved! I’m sure I paid too much money for them because I bought them from…a running specialty store. Since then, of course, I’ve found a source for buying the 2100 series shoes at half price (as long as you don’t mind wearing last year’s model – and you don’t get the doves and light) which is to say not from a running specialty store.
Like most, I follow the usual rules of Running Shoe Life Cycle: 1. Run for 400 or so miles. 2. Transition them to every day walking shoes. 3. Place them in a retirement home (lawn mowing shoes) and finally 4. Garbage (dog shit caked to the bottom.) This usually works quite nicely…unless you deviate from the norm.
My deviation came in the form of a request to fill-in on a friend’s co-ed soccer team. By the time I was done, my recently transitioned (stage 2 life cycle) Asics 2140’s looked like this:
I’m pretty sure that hole wasn’t there before I ass kicked all over an indoor soccer arena. The shoes have a nice breathable mesh but I don’t recall the gaping, exposed ventilation system on the outer edge. Someone’s ass must have a hunk of Asics mesh stuck up in there. Sure, it’s somewhat nice to have my little toe flopped out of the shoe like it’s lying on a sundeck while the other four toes hibernate inside. The four larger toes have long been jealous of the runt. But it does make me look like a refugee.
I guess it was worth it. We won 14-5. I scored a goal with a few assists. I scared the bejeebus out of a 55 year old woman with two knee braces by charging at her as she fumbled around with the ball at her feet, shouting “Run through the ball. RUN THROUGH THE BALL!!”, before spinning her to the ground as I hustled away with the ball the other direction.
I’m not going to go out and buy shoes to just to walk around in - that would be silly – so what do I do now? Do I make an early transition for my current running shoes (which still have 100 miles or so in them)? Do I keep on wearing them until the second toe pops out on the sun deck? Do I move the shoes into stage 3 life cycle a bit early and just walk around in sandals like I’m a Hippie?
Maybe I’ll keep them around for awhile. I may need to play soccer again. I remember leaving the field thinking that there was more ass to kick out there that I left unkicked. Until I noticed the new hole, I thought some of the opposing players were calling me an “Asshole” during the post-game handshake and I was quite pissed. But then I looked down, spotted my little toe peeking out, and realized that they must have been saying “Asicshole”. I smiled and waved, “Yes, you’re right, my Asics have a hole. Thank you.” To which, they indicated that they saw only one hole by extending one finger in the air. Helpful.
Perhaps there’s a stage 2.5 in the Running Shoe Life Cycle?
That would be the one in which 39 year olds run around in overused running shoes intimidating the Just For Fun co-ed leaguers with way too much aggression.
I can already see the new marketing campaign: Asics! Not for soccer…but they can still kick some ass! Be a real Asicshole today!
I should provide an update on my filly’s travel soccer team of which, you’ll recall, I’m their Lombardi-esque coach. We did not win the league title. We finished 4-2-2 with the champ going 6-1-1. We beat and tied the champ in head-to-head action so the rest of the league didn’t hold up their end to help us out. Where was their A game when playing the eventual champs? My filly? Eight goals in 8 games. Plus, she assisted the other area travel team in three of their games and put in 3 more goals in 3 games. She does not wear Asics.
Spring, yes spring, the title will be ours!