Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Worth of a Good Sock - words of Endurance Wisdom from Mr. William Shakespeare

Photo CC from Lincolnian
via flickr

Shakespeare was a literary genius and an accomplished marathon trainer. Who else could through a thirteen year old girl so eloquently articulate the injustices of society, agonies of love and the benefits of a good pair of socks?

O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

You can feel the thirteen-year-old Juilette’s pain here as she soliloquizes as to why society and family feud’s will not let her and her beloved, Romeo, be together (imagine if she had Twitter). What you don’t feel is what I felt last Saturday on my toes after my seven mile run. It took this pain for me to realize that Juliette is also doing is letting us know that good socks are essential to training for a marathon.

I’ll explain: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” means that the essence of an object or person cannot be captured by name alone. If we take the inverse to be true (which Shakespeare intended) then a name cannot capture the essence of an object. Take note of that when you walk by the “athletic sock” bin at Target.

On a recent “long” of my marathon training program, I wore one such pair of white ankle length “athletic socks” and believe me, I felt Juliette’s pain.

For those of you who think that this is much ado about nothing I will point to the giant blister on my toe.

On my recent seven mile trek, I was cruising around mile 5 (after a short but refreshing recovery walk), and noticed a growing discomfort in my big toes. I don’t pronate too much, so I quickly realized that this little pain was just the seed of what would become a big fat blister by mile 7.

The culprit, “Athletic Socks”, wherefore art thou my “High Performance Athletic Socks”?

Why was the term “Athletic Socks” used for these elastic pieces of cotton if they were not really made for athletic activities? Could it be that these socks are more limber, stretchy, and supple than dress socks, so they can be characterized as athletic in their own nature?

There are many things a beginning runner learns – and this will surely not be my last lesson. Clearly good equipment for your feet is a must have and I just wish I realized it when I readRomeo and Juiliette 15 years ago.*

* I may or may not have more recently seen the movie by the same name featuring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio

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