"The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself."
Today I took the first step into the local "Tri" shop. Prior to walking in I was nervous, I felt flushed and I was beginning to sweat. As I entered the door I noticed a gentlemen showing some shoes to the staff, Since I have a background in the retail business I knew instantly that he was a sales rep from a shoe company. I thought to myself, "I picked the absolutely worst time to come into a specialty store". I just knew that if I was able to wrangle a staff member away from the shoe rep that one of two things was going to happen:
- The staff member was going to be distracted and I wasn't going to get the attention I deserved. or
- I was going to get thrown into a pair of shoes from the rep's company... or worse, the rep was going to try and sell me a pair of shoes.
Much to my surprise I was immediately greeted by Cassandra and asked if she could help me in any way. I explained to her that I was fat, out of shape, and that I had stuck my foot in my mouth. After an approving smile and my explanation regarding said foot in mouth, she instantly started assessing my needs and goals. As a former cyclist 13 years removed from the sport we made a connection. Cassandra explained to me that she too was a former cyclist and after her 2nd child was born was just getting back into shape. We discussed needs (a pair of running shoes) and goals (to be able to finish an international distance triathlon in October of 2013) she grabbed another employee to assist (her name escapes me). Turns out that it was the owner of the store, and she willing dropped her conversation with the sales rep to assist.
The owner took me over to the treadmill and asked me to remove my shoes. She then explained that she needed to see me run so that she could assess my stride, and determine if I had any "special needs" that would need to be addressed. Starting to sweat again, I did as she asked. She video taped me from the side as well as from behind as I ran. She then showed me the video and explained that I was flat-footed, and that I run with a supination. Additionally she told me that I have a wide foot, which was news to me (I have never been "professionally" fit for shoes).
I was then placed into a pair of shoes, and after a lesson on how to lace and tie them (go figure, I didn't know how to tie my shoes), I was back on the treadmill. She again video tapped me and asked me a series of questions about fit and feel. I was amazed and couldn't believe how good these shoes felt.
After some additional discussion regarding training and some dos and don'ts I was feeling pretty freaking confident. I was invited to join the running group that meets at the store numerous times a week and was generally made to feel like a runner. It's probably a little soon for me to join a running group, but I am going to follow their training advice and in a month or so I should have the confidence to join a group.
I have visited other running and cycling shops in our area, and never have I received service like this. Two Thumbs up for the Extra Mile Fitness Co!!