Monday, May 31, 2010
The problem with "adamant"... when doors close tight in a "solutions" store!
There`s a big church at the corner of Bloor Street and Prince Edward Drive in Etobicoke (Toronto). A large sign board welcomes visitors but what struck me was the thought of the day, "Believe those who are seeking...doubt those who find". Makes a lot of sense. It’s in life’s seeking that we experience growth and the fruits of new experience. When we think we’ve found "it", however, the search is often over. And when the searching ceases, especially in terms of the quest for knowledge, we no longer grow and develop. Difficult to imagine what the "up side" to what that would be!
So here`s the story. Joan and I were walking along Bloor Street in Toronto yesterday, appreciating the experience of the big (really big!) city. The day had begun with an early morning and very pleasant six kilometre run through the streets and amongst the stately, old, maple trees of the residential area near where we were staying. Running on the sidewalks and streets in minimalist footwear was a good reminder that, no matter what some folks say, you can safely run "barefoot" just about anywhere, and not just on the more forgiving trails that we are used to on the Island. Nope, there were no issues at all on the hard, city surfaces.
We went into the store to see what they offered and we were both curious to hear their opinion on minimalist footwear, which have clearly been a "solution" to many of us who have been injury-prone in regular (cushioned and supportive) running shoes. The store had just opened and there were no other customers so I felt it was OK to take a few minutes of their time with our questions.
A very cheerful thirty-something sales person greeted us and so I asked him if they sold Vibram Fivefinger shoes to which he replied with a rather emphatic, "NO". He added that several other folks had been in and had asked the same question but, "No, we don`t sell those here." There really was some disdain in his voice but I want to be fair, he may have guessed that likely, there was not going to be a sale involving us this morning. In my new role of investigative reporter, I pressed on, asking him his opinion on VFFs and other such minimalist footwear. (I should say that I am not a confrontational person and really quite gentle in demeanour – my question should only have been understood in the context of curiosity.) Yup, our cheerful salesperson clearly had an opinion. He said that it was too bad more people didn`t buy the minimalist foot wear because that would be VERY good for his business. I inquired as to why that would be. He stated adamantly that it was because "wearing that kind of footwear will destroy your feet." Yikes, I thought (but not out loud), only several hours ago, on the paved streets and concrete sidewalks of Toronto, we were destroying our feet! Who would have thought that destroying our feet could be so much fun...and feel so good!!!