(Cheryl, my bro Alan, and me)
So it's Memorial Day weekend and I am registered for the Gate-to-Gate Run on Eglin Air Force Base near Niceville, FL. I planned to walk it with my sister-in-law Cheryl, who is 29 weeks pregnant (due in August). In the frenzy of packing for the weekend and my usual forgetfulness, I forgot to bring my running shoes. This has happened before and I just borrowed a pair of old Nikes Cheryl keeps at my parents' house. They are a little snug, and a little crusty, but I was just going to be walking, so no problem. No problem until about a mile into the walk, as Cheryl and I were approaching the War Veterans' Memorial where all the race participants place a red carnation to honor the fallen. I felt something blow in my right shoe. I looked down and with every step I took, little flakes of styrofoam were trailing behind me. This was not good. Cheryl was laughing, but I could feel further disaster just a few steps away. As I walked, the entire sole of the shoe detached, and the little "gel pad" was hanging by a dry-rotted glue strand. I limped over to the conveniently located fire-truck medics, slightly embarassed, but overwhelmingly amused. Their concerned looks turned to, well, amused looks, and they gave me tape for my detached right shoe, and my left shoe which was headed in the same direction. They had no duct tape, which greatly diminished my confidence in the NWFL fire departments. Duct tape could have kept me going for the whole 8 kilometers. Medical tape lasted about 1/8 of a mile, and the blow out was complete. Cheryl and I left the racecourse, because she had to go to the bathroom anyway. You know I would have continued on my barefeet, shredded by asphalt, determined to finish the race. Like in a movie. But she had to go to the bathroom, and I couldn't abandon her. I thought I could just pretend I had finished but I got called out by an older lady at the port-o-potties, " hey, why aren't you sweating?" (this was about 30 minutes into the race, 100% humidity, pushing 90 degrees). So I told her I am Asian and I don't have many sweat glands. Then came the truth of how my pregnant sister-in-law made me borrow dry-rotted size 6 1/2 Nikes and I walked them to pieces.