Stephen’s Midnight Run

Runners often read popular running periodicals in search of great advice pointing them into a great running shoe.  We often carry every single shoe mentioned in these periodicals and are able to satisfy our customers’ needs.  A customer with a light, athletic build with high, rigid arches reads that a great medium priced shoe is the Adidas Supernova and boom!  We get it for them and plus they save 5-10 bucks over some lifeless sports store.  Our customer feels great and therefore we feel great. What we didn’t know and what the customer failed to notice is that he/she tends to lean forward and run on his/her toes a little bit.  The wide toe box on the new Supernova is comfortable but a surplus of cushioning in the heel is wasted by the runner’s lean and a shortage in the forefoot usually beneficial for personal records from a quicker roll and lift off of the toes is amplified in a negative way.  The front of the shoe cannot adequately absorb the shock from the runner’s touch down causing patellar pain and sore hips.  In turn, the runner becomes discouraged from running and instead of buying 3, 4, or 5 pairs from us in a year, he/she buys 1, maybe 2, maybe none.
What happens if that same runner decides to run in different shoe?  Say, one with a little bit more forefoot cushioning but still lightweight.  I recently purchased a pair of the Nike Air Pegasus 25+ to wear while I worked at the store and started running in my Supernovas.  (My hypothetical customer will start to severly gather the appearance of the author of this email.)
Let me backtrack for a brief paragraph.
My wife and I found out that we were going to be having a baby back in May.  This past week, Thursday to be exact, we found out that our baby was more specificly a baby girl.  Every man that grows up playing baseball dreams of teaching his little boy how to throw, but I know that a little girl’s first love is her daddy.  As Sara and I found out the news on Thursday I couldn’t help but visualize how my daughter is going to think that her daddy hung the moon.  However, being a thinker I quickly started becoming overwhelmed with the reality that a sweet, innocent baby girl is going to be relying on me for everything.
Everything. It freaked me out.
Sara kept asking me what was wrong.  Was I disappointed that baby is a girl and not a boy?  Absolutely not.  Todd at work asked me on Saturday if I was okay because he could tell that I was much more quiet than normal.  The people around me knew that something was heavy on my mind.  Tonight we returned home about 11:45 from sharing the news that our baby was going to be Gabriella Grace Deel instead of Micah Stephen Deel with family.  At 12am, we laid down to sleep.  At 12:15am I could tell that I was not falling asleep anytime soon.  At 12:20am, I reached past my Supernovas and put on my Pegasus, my brand new Pegasus that I did not want to get dirty, and I went for a run.
Something amazing happened.
During the first mile, I didn’t notice any pain in my knee.  My mind was free from dealing with the physical pain and instead focused on the beautiful miracle of the circle of life.  During the second mile, I forgot that I had ever had any hip pain and instead envisioned the smell of my daughter’s head when I kiss it right after her first bath.  The way I’ll feel the first time I make her smile.  How I’ll fall asleep holding her in a rocking chair in the middle of the night and wake up with her sleeping in my arms.  Whether her nickname will be Gabbi, Ella, Brie, or if I’ll always call her Gabriella.  Whether she’ll be spazy and energetic like her dad or if she’ll be focused and graceful like her mommy.  Whether she’ll have big cheek bones like her mom or if she’ll have bushy eyebrows like her daddy.  At this point, I was hitting mile seven.  The longest I’d ever run up to this point in my life was 4 miles.  As I was running the last mile, I thought about what I want to be known as to my daughter.  When she thinks of God fearing, strength, integrity, compassion, kindness, boldness, humbleness, dignity, sacrificing, and a passion for life; I want her to think of her dad.  During the eight miles I ran in the early hours of today I was able to marvel in the splendor of the baby girl my wife will give birth to in late December.  The three days prior to that I was a nervous, anxious wreck.  Now, after time in prayer, time with family, the hour in my Pegasus and the subsequent endorphins; that energy is being translated into passion for and about life.  I’m not saying that we need to be responsible for knowing the individual nuances of our customers’ running gaits or that my running shoes were responsible for a weird euphoric catharsis during a midnight run.  But, we can be passionate about customer service and knowledgable about our products and then who knows what we’ll find out about and for our customers.  We might just help a future father to not focus on the pain and instead, focus on the joy of life.
Sport Seasons – Knoxville Center

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