Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Out of Water. Boots Not Good Either

Today I made another big (financial) commitment to the BFFC, toodling over to REI to buy a pair of hiking boots. In the spirit of Chapter 45 (Get High (into the Mountains)), I tentatively agreed to go camping with Anne this weekend. And camping with Anne is not like, let's get the lounge chairs and a case of beer on ice and sing some songs. There is singing of songs, but not the lounging. At least not until after a vigorous hike. Anne was campaigning for backpacking, but as weird as my back has been lately, the idea of carrying even a light pack around didn't appeal.

Tried on four pairs of boots, ended up with the Merrell Passion Peak or Phaser Peak or something like that. A lighter backpacking boot, in the optimistic belief that Anne and I will backpack next summer in another, more advanced phase of the BFFC. I liked some Vasques and some lighter Merrells, but they didn't have the backpacking sturdiness. I walked around a lot in the store, up and down the fake mountain they have, and the boots felt great.

Filled with glee, I proceeded on my fitness odyssey to Clunie Pool, in beautiful McKinley Park. It has a rose garden, tennis courts, basketball courts, kiddie playgrounds, huge trees, a jogging path, and an enormous pool. Finally, I was going to swim laps again. I think it was December 2008 when I was last in a lap pool. I rounded the corner behind the Clunie Memorial Center and the pool looked beautiful: clean, blue, sparkling. And empty. WTF? It said on the City's web site that this pool was open 4-7 pm for lap swimming, and it was about 5:45. Nope. Pool closed. No reason posted, but I assume it's the insane budget situation (about 390 city jobs up for the axe, at last count. Recessions suck). Back to the drawing board for lap swim. Might have to bite the bullet and join Natomas Racquet Club or the YMCA once my car is paid off next month. (Whoo hoo!) Any Sacramentans reading this, please feel free to let me know what my other options might be.

Only slightly daunted, I loped back to the car and pulled out my new boots. I could walk a mile or so around the park and break them in, work up a sweat, and not be defeated by the stoopid budget cuts and closed pools. I laced up and set out. But oh no! About 15 minutes into the walk, my feet started killing me along the outside edges. What was up? How could walking in the park, on the flat, feel so different from walking in the store?

I made it around the park, but my feet felt pretty achy by the end, and that was not a good sign. As soon as I post this, I'm going to go over the soles of the boots with a wet paper towel and remove all traces that the offending footwear ever touched a dirt path. And hope that nobody from the Sacto REI reads this blog, at least before I get back there on Thursday.


  1. PS - I did work up a sweat, and my back didn't hurt. Camping looks promising.

  2. Hey Jayne, as an extensive hiker, I recommend the Keen hiking boot. They run a little small so go for a 1/2 size larger. They're not cheap, but they break in quickly (they are more expensive than most light weight boots, but less expensive that others). I paid about $100 for mine and I feel like they are more comfortable than the boots I used doing the Appalachian Trail (not all 2000 miles, but I have done a little over 300 miles).

  3. http://www.swimmersguide.com/query/Main1.cfm

    Find a pool. Anywhere. JackieN got this from Tink and shared it with me. Was useful, though I didn't end up swimming during a trip. Hoping you find water soon! Need more swimming inspiration? Rent On A Clear Day. Guy has sort of a midlife crisis & decides to swim the English Channel. :-)

  4. No worries about the boots. As a former REI employee (Seattle Flagship), I know that you can take them back even with the dirt still on them.

  5. Jayne, you're inspiring!

    [pulls up lounge chair and waits cheerfully for next chapter]