Most woman love to shop….I detest with a burning passion akin to the thought of only being able to race in fun runs for the rest of my life…….the act of SHOPPING…..Imagine this scene if you will….Do you know the area by the mall..or in the front of the mega stores like Old Navy or gawd awful Kohls? Do you know where the benches are with the kindly little old gentlemen with soft tufts of hair that fluff from their noses and ears???? NO?!!! OMG ….. If you said NO…. then YOU….. are one of them a shopper! It’s ok, I believe there are some type of treatment options or homes you can be put into…islands you can be sent to or what*not. I know EXACTLY where each and every one of those benches are…because I am married to a shopper…and I own four shoppers….yes TEENAGERS!!! That being said however, my heart skipped a beat like a shopper on the black Friday day. A day that has ruined Christmas and most of Thanksgiving, when I heard that Charlotte, North Carolina had an Ultra Running Store…..Who cares that Charlotte is THREE HOURS from grittyglittergirl’s home…..we are ultra runners…we RUN that far for FUN!!!
Now I needed to research…maybe these people were idiots…it IS POSSIBLE…they could be the worst thing ever…strollers! Remember stroller are non-runners…the people that tell you that your running habit will kill you, then ask you if you have a light as they fumble with their pack of Marlboro reds……I love idiots, I mean really I am an intensive care nurse. To me, idiots are a chance to educate and continue my employment, but they are NOT who I want to take running or SHOE advice from! For all I knew, it could be a KIM-CHI restaurant that had kept the now defunct Ultra Running Company sign and was whipping up bulgogi in the back at an extremely alarming pace….which would not be necessarily BAD…but does it warrant a six hour trip…I think NOT!
So I decided to do what any smart woman would do….who was currently dealing with an Altra Olympus and Hoka Bondi crisis due to a wide footbed issue when grittyglittergirl has noodle thin feet..yet wears a stinking size 11, I CALL THEM! I am pleasantly AMAZED!!! I spend a super 15 minutes talking with Jeff Dean.
Let me tell you right away, as a trained nurse, Jeff is not smoking packs a day! He knows his STUFF!! Immediately it is evident the Jeff Dean is pretty talented (I later find out why!) We talk about the wide footbed issues, my three stress fractures, and my concerns about the shoes I currently have ordered. He hangs with advanced conversations on metatarsal placement, dorsifexion, and even though my shoes are not from their store he helps me with my selection on the ones to replace them. (He may actually be an orthopedist at night..would not surprise me!)
I actually make the trek up..or is it over..who knows…for being a trail runner I am geographically challenged to say the LEAST. Visiting the store is amazing…it is just really REALLY cool! They have everything…..I want to buy everything!!! I leave with two inkburner shirts, a new pair of Hokas, and without my VISA. Jeff quickly called me and kept my card safe until I was able to come get it a couple hours later. THESE PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!! I would be very remiss if I did not mention Nathan, the very unassuming yet highly talented and charismatic leader of Ultra Running Company. I will admit to basically begging them to open another branch in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Goodness, I will pull the data analysis for them to show that we can not only support an independent running store….it would thrive! Of course, I happen to know a wonderful runner with a MBA that would LOVE to work there…HINT HINT HINT……..
Check out this link and small part of an article, I guarantee you will make the trip. If and when you go… TAKE ME!!