Sneakers. Who knew a sneaker could come so specialized?
Today, I was educated in the art of sneakers from a very knowledgeable salesperson named “Amy” at the Runners Retreat. Not much older than Violet (who just turned 12, remember?), Amy was impressive with her knowledge of running shoes. From training shoes to competitive footwear, we were shown a variety of women’s sneakers from Asics Gel DS (not the video games), Brooks Ravenna, New Balance to a Mizuno Wave Nexus… and more!
Amy knew each shoe better than I know my own kids, promising the Mizuno Wave Nexus to provide support and speed. She knew the specific feature of each and every brand. Not only that, she sized Violet’s ever growing foot. By the time we were finished, an entire 90 minutes later, her foot grew a size! I kid you not, Violet tried on nearly 20 different pairs of sneakers this afternoon.
Being accustomed to normally shopping for shoes at Walmart or Payless, I was really impressed with Amy’s complete understanding of not only the sport of Track but also the physiological needs of our young track star. She took into account Violet’s training, her discovery of strengths in the sport, and even the likelihood of growth she will encounter. Amy knew exactly which part of a sneaker wear pattern could cause muscle pain to exact locations in calf muscles and knee joints. Can you believe it?
First meeting Violet, she asked us what we were looking for in a running shoe. Of course, one of the most important features we thought we wanted was a really cool looking shoe in neon pink or “violet”. These shoes all came in some of the craziest colors I have ever seen. One that particularly caught Violet’s eye was the Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7. At a mere $119.99, this shoe was splattered in neon pink, orange, blue, and green. Hummmm… wonder if the colors help you run faster?
Not only did Amy allow Violet to sample each and every track shoe, she encouraged her to “go out and take a jog down the road a bit and see how they feel”. Seriously! Have you ever been invited to sample new shoes in such a way? Here you go… just go on out and have a run around town. I was amazed! Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder how many folks never returned?
Now get this: Amy even came outside the store with us and filmed Violet running down the street in several sneaker selections. Oh yes, she did! She dragged a camera on a quite large tripod outside the store, set it up in the blistering cold, and filmed Violet running around in purple neon sneakers;… then pink neon sneakers, then blue and gray, green, and so on. Get the picture? Of course, by now I have completely forgotten the brand names and features. I am totally shocked at the depths to which this store, Runners Retreat, took to ensure we purchased a quality product which was exactly right for our daughter. (Not only that, our dear Amy had to endure filming Violet’s feet with her brothers running around the street trying to catch her – and, hoping to be a “star” in Violet’s foot film!)
After filming each time, Amy took us back inside (where it was much warmer) and showed us the footage in slow motion. We were really able to see the strengths in one shoe over the other. I.kid.you.not. I was beginning to understand the science to all this sneaker business.
Most importantly though, Amy knew what was the best sneaker for our fresh new track athlete, Violet. As parents of a Spring Sport athlete, we walked away with a new pair of track shoes and a much better understanding of the sport.
Sound like I was impressed? Well, I was — even after a 10% team discount and $65.00 later! But here is the thought I walked back to the car with: Just as Amy knew what the best shoe would be on Violet’s foot, my Father in heaven knows me. A complete stranger took quite a long time to get to know us and our needs. She could then connect our needs with the right product. In a caring way, we felt confident in our short relationship enough to purchase an expensive set of shoes.
It may sound silly to make this comparison, I know. But in the reflection, you want to know what? A shoe salesgirl named Amy reminded me of how well, how much better, how intimate, my God knows me. The God of the Universe knows everything there is to know about me. Yes, Angie Hott here in the hills, all 5 feet of me to each and every freckle. He.knows.me.
And he cares about me. He knows what is best for me. He knows my needs. He, and only He, can connect with me. He wants and desires a relationship – with – me! No matter how I have messed up, no matter what wrong I have done, He will still love –
“We love Him because HE first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
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