SINS OF A RUNNER

A sin

Guilt lay heavy upon my shoulders, weighing me down like a sweat-soaked cotton hoodie after too long a jog. But I held fast. I chose the color and size. I placed the item in my shopping cart. I entered the codes and dates and addresses. I declined the free email newsletter. I chose free 4-5 day shipping not the 27-dollar overnight option. And with a trembling mouse cursor I pressed the Order button.

A new pair of Wave Rider 18s were on their way to me. Yes, the financial cupboard was a little bare at the moment. A few unpaid bills needed attention. But I desperately needed new kicks. My old ones were so beat they were giving me lower leg pains. It wasn’t like I was taking food from my children’s mouths. Well, if I was I would make sure it was only the “weird” grownup food I would otherwise put in front of them only to hear “I don’t like it.”

An e-mail notification arrives. A friendly auto-generated confirmation of my order. The deets all look right. There is even a sharp thumbnail shot of my new shoes, the first pair of sneaks in decades that match my blue-and-gold high-school colors.

Everything looks shipshape.

But wait. Right there on the email in front of my order number. An accusation leaps out at me. It screams “A SIN” in all caps. All caps and then a colon, followed by my order number. My sixty-buck shoe order is a sin! Holy moly.

Okay, there have been some hefty race entry fees lately. And in terms of time, I do dedicate a tad too many hours every week to the sport I love. But a sin?

Maybe it is a statement on the wrongfulness of my having sort of showroomed at the neighborhood running store when I tried on the newest model of the shoes and decided they felt weird so I went home and used shoekicker.com to track down last year’s model from an online merchant. But I was ready to spend if those other shoes had felt right.

I am as tainted as the next guy. I am ready to atone, if only I could see where I went wrong. Believe me, I would do anything to set foot on the righteous path. A righteous running path, that is. If that’s a sin you are just going to have to forgive me.