*New Balance running shoes, new state of mind*
I headed to the New Balance store at Novena Square today to get a new pair of exercise shoes. I got onto the treadmill and walked slowly. Apparently my arch collapses when I walk, which sounds like a terrible condition, but I was told that many Asians have this problem as well.
I tried on a few pairs of shoes that had extra stability, and settled on the most comfortable pair. Then I was put onto the treadmill again, but this time I was asked to run.
Apparently, when most people run, they land on their heels first. When I run, however, I land on my *toes*.
“That’s how a sprinter runs,” said the shoe shop assistant, who was analysing my moves.
Indeed, I was propelling myself forward, as if I was running a race. No wonder that in school, I was always better at short-distance bursts, but less comfortable with longer distances.
It brought back memories of the time when I was shortlisted for the ACJC track and field tryouts. (At this point, those who know me well have every right to fall off their chairs and go, “Huhhhh?? Vanessa can run???”)
It began with a PE (Physical Education) lesson when my class was pitted against other classes in a race. I was part of the girl’s team. Miraculously, our team came in first, and people told me I could run very fast! I was amazed. I thought it was actually due to good teamwork – everyone in my team was generally fast, we passed the baton efficiently, and other classes had slower individual runners, so we pipped them in the end.
Later, I was approached by a PE teacher who asked me to try out for the track and field team (!!!). They even gave me a number, printed on cloth, which I had to pin onto my shirt. I was psychologically prepping myself up for the race.
Then I saw how fast the girls who were already in the track and field team were. Thinking I would malu (embarrass) myself, I backed out of the tryouts. How could I possibly make it to the ACJC track and field team?!
Anyway, because I backed out, I never knew for sure if I had a chance – though if you could send me back in time, I still think I wouldn’t have been fast enough. Good enough for class competitions perhaps, but not at school level, and certainly not at national level. This sounds like fodder for an Anthony Robbins motivational story.
Nevertheless, this shopping outing has made me rethink how I frame my abilities. What was the harm of taking part in the tryouts? At the most I would have fallen down and come in last. At best I might have surprised myself and made it to the team.
What I can do in future, though, is to remember this incident and frame new experiences more positively, so I won’t give up before making the first attempt.