“So You Wrestle In High School?”

Finally, after months of waiting, the city of Independence delivers an experience worth blogging about.

Last night, I headed to the Independence Mall to purchase a new pair of running shoes. I stopped into CHAMPS Sporting Goods. A nationally known retailer, this wouldn’t be difficult. Afterall, I knew what kind of shoe I wanted…it was identical to the beat-up pair I was wearing.

I briefly scanned the Greco-Roman sized wall of shoes under the large sign that said “RUNNING”. Three from the top, was the show I was looking for. The Asics GT 2110. A middle of the road running show from Asics. By no means a Gel Kayano, but for average miles, an average runner, I enjoyed my previous pair.

I turned to scan the store for an employee and after awhle I approached a 20-something stocky sales associate. His athletic build lead me to believe he played football or some high-intensity physical sport. We’ll call him Joe.

I handed Joe the shoe and said “I need this in a size 10.5 please”. He said ok and went back to the room.

After quite awhile he emerged with a box and met me next to the Greco-Roman wall, under the large sign that said “RUNNING”. He said sheepishly, “I couldn’t find that wrestling shoe, but I did find this pair.”

Did he just say “wrestling”? I thought to myself.
There’s no way. Look at me…I weigh 138lbs and am wearing mesh shorts and a t-shirt. I don’t look like a wrestler. Besides, we’re under the “RUNNING” sign. CHAMPS Sports doesn’t even sell wrestling shoes. And running shoes don’t even LOOK like wrestling shoes.

I brushed off the comment and looked at the pair he brought out. The Asics he did bring out were about four generations before the 2110 and sold for about $65. If you don’t know anything about running shoes, know that a running shoe for $65 regular price is not a decent medium-high mileage show. A bit disappointed, I glanced back at the wall and asked Joe to see if he had the 2110 in a size 10.

Minutes later Joe came back out with box in hand. There was my 2110.
As I tried the shoes on he asked me a question I thought I’d never hear.
“So you wrestle in High School or…” his voice trailed off.

He DID say wrestling shoe I thought to myself! He totally missed the large RUNNING sign, he doesn’t know the difference between a running shoe and a wrestling show and for some reason Joe thinks I’m a high school wrestler!

I smiled politely and said “No, I’m a runner and these are a great pair of running shoes.” Joe replied with “Oh!, those are running shoes, sorry about that…” I said “Yes, Asics makes a lot of wrestling gear, but their running shoes are pretty solid too.”

With that I told Joe I’ll take the pair and headed to the register.
This story doesn’t end there. See, Joe originally commented that the 2110 “looked just like” the $65 pair. As he put the shoes back in the boxes he put the right shoe for $65 in with the left pair of the 2110. Meaning Danny gets to run with a different left and right shoe!

At the register, I opened up the box, because I had a feeling if Joe wasn’t too familiar with the large RUNNING sign, he might have mixed up the shoes and with a smile, I was right. The associate at the register went back and got me both 2100s.

Eager to bring my wrestling shoe shopping experience to a close, the associate at the register added insult to injury. After clearly seeing I was buying running shoes, he asks “Can I get you any CHAMPS Shoe Cleaner or Scuff Protector.” Perfect for the long-distance runner desperately wanting to keep his beat-up running shoes stylish, sophisticated and clean!

I said no thanks, signed my receipt, took my bag and walked out of the store.

As I made my way through the mall I wondered…
maybe I should of tried wrestling.

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