I walked into the K-2 computer lab, ready to service one of the desktops.
Roughly twenty 1st graders sat clicking away - their darling young faces illuminated by bright LCD screens; their heads gently cradled by giant plastic headphones - as Reading Blaster assaulted their senses.
In the back of the room sat the teacher and her assistant - the latter wearing large sunglasses despite the fact that it’s currently February 13th in Rochester, NY and we haven’t seen the sun in approximately 5 months.
"Oh good, are you here for my desktop?"
"I am! Which one is it?"
"It’s #20, on the end of the row there."
That’s when I first hear the sound. It echoed forth from the back row like a shotgun blast in an empty cave. I held my breath, made my way down the row, and took my seat at the computer. A few seconds passed before another shot rang out, this time closer. Too close, in fact. Right behind me.
"You’re going to want to get out of here as soon as you can! This whole building is sick!”
As I turn to acknowledge the teacher’s warning, I’m assaulted by a third explosion. The attack had officially begun. I looked directly behind me and saw an adorable little girl wiping her nose onto the pink sleeve of her Dora sweatshirt. Before I could turn back towards my computer, another shot was heard from across the lab. Then another, from the same area, but definitely a different weapon. Within moments, the lab was filled with a deafening chorus of filth.
"She’s got pink eye!"
She. With the sunglasses. Of course.
Quickly, I repaired the computer and stood to make my escape. The air in the lab had become thick with invisible bacteria and viruses - unseeable by the eye, yet unavoidable by the immune system - like the countless billions of galaxies that mankind has yet to discover across the vast, cold, and dark expanse of the universe.
My eyes plotted the quickest path to the exit before my brain remembered that I had just been touching keyboards and mice that live in the warzone - each of them hundreds of times more infectious than any of the 3-month old magazines that rest on the table at your doctor’s office. Without breaking stride, my brain took command and rerouted me to the nearest Purell dispenser. Calmly walking past it, I silently pumped three squirts into each palm, exited the lab, and began my defense.
I spent about twice as much as I wanted to for running shoes and inserts ($141 total), but hopefully it pays me back with less pain in my shins in the coming weeks.
The fitting experience at Fleet Feet Rochester was like stepping into my own personal hell. Bare feet. Communal socks. HLUEH! The store itself and the sales staff were totally great, but for someone who hates feet as much as I do, it was very difficult for me to be asked to take my socks off and stick my foot into a foot-sizer that thousands of other feet have touched before, and then slip into a (hopefully-clean?) pair of used running socks that was pulled out of a basket.
But anyway. My feet totally stumped the guy. The initial test with a pair of neutral New Balances indicated extremely-slight over-pronation. He fitted me into a pair of Sauconys with gentle support, but the new video showed they actually made things worse, and I could tell because after just 30 seconds on the treadmill, my shins were in pain. So then he put me into a pair of Mizunos with more support but they were not comfortable to me. Next up was a pair from Brooks that felt pretty good and then a pair of Asics that also felt pretty good. I had a hard time noticing a difference so I went brand-loyal and chose the Asics (because that’s what I’ve been using).
We settled on these Asics GT-2150:
Then we slipped in these Superfeet Green Inserts and they helped reduce the pain I generally feel in my shins, so I got them too.
I’ll probably give them their first road test later tonight, after it cools down a bit.
Thanks again for the tips. I’ll split up my therapy bill between the lot of you. Look for it in the mail.