Switching Shoes Switching Lives

Sometimes I wonder if this is more a running blog than anything else.  While my love for running does not need to be restated, you will have to excuse my repeated references to running or my beginning a thought with, "while running today," because frequently my most impressionable thoughts or insights come to me while i'm running.  Such as this morning.

This year marks a true benchmark in my running career.  I have changed shoes. (GASP! I know!)  I have run in same model of shoe for over five years now with fierce loyalty.  Why, you ask?  Simply, because I'm a creature of habit.  More importantly, the shoes rock!  I have never had a running related injury that could be even partially blamed on my shoe of choice, so if it ain't broke don't fix it.  I tried once, two years ago, I switched shoes a few weeks before a marathon and my knees still hold a grudge.  But this year things are different.  I knew coming out of winter my miles were down and it was time to move to a more neutral cushioned shoe.  So I took the plunge and bought some.  [I wasn't too worried because Brooks running shoes can be sent back within 30 days even if you wear them.  I had run about 250 miles in the previously mentioned cursed shoes and sent them back for a full refund.]  I am several weeks and many miles into my new shoes and loving them, I have no complaints.  Initially, I was really apprehensive about switching, I was noticing every unusual ache or tenderness in an effort to discredit my new shoes, but to no avail.  My feet are adjusting well and my new shoes have have influenced me to once again, run happy (Brooks slogan).

As I near graduation and face the reality of moving away from BYU I am faced with a decision.  Do I continue to be active in the church and fight the urge to date guys, or do I move to a new city and start a new chapter in my epic homo-saga and be open with myself.  I have gone full-steam-ahead with both ideas.  One day I'm set on going back to my fully invested mormon self, and the next I've convinced myself it's time to join the local gay club.  In essence I am scared to get new shoes.  Will I hurt myself by breaking out of my habitual life?  Am I missing something by not?  Will life be better, worse, or the same?  Will I wish I'd never changed due to unrepairable damage? I DON'T KNOW!  Unlike shoes, there is no going back.  I can't say I'm gay one day and two weeks later take it back.  Life does not give full refunds.  I'm stuck with my half-worn pair of shoes that I'll never be able to use again.  So what do I do my friends?  What has your experience taught you?

I bought multiple pairs of the same shoe the other day and the teller looked at me and asked, somewhat hesitantly, "are these the same?"  I just smiled and replied, "yep."  Clearly she wasn't a runner.  Unfortunately I don't have multiple lives to wear out, I get one shot at this.  Here's to hoping I make the right decision.


  1. I don't know who you are. I only know two big time runners, so I might have an idea. But I really like your entries. You better post on a regular basis!

  2. That's a really good question. I'm kind of facing the same question. What I've been thinking about lately is this-- I've been an active Mormon my whole life and feel like there's something missing. How can I ever know whether or not I'd feel better away from the church and dating men if I never try it? But then again, if the church is right, that's maybe too dangerous to think about... I don't know.

  3. Why don't you "fully invest in your Mormon self" AND "join the local gay club?" Of course, you'll have to come to be at peace with the potential consequences, but if you just leave the Church even when you are feeling good about parts of it, you might never truly _reconcile_ yourself even if you "sneak out" and go live a great openly gay life. At least doing both you'll understand the _real_ costs of both and not just live in fear of what your missing, be it "Mormon" or "gay" (because either way, unless you insist on being FULLY honest with yourself, you're going to be missing something).

  4. Talk to people who have been there before you, who have been on both sides of the fence. Cautionary note: Whichever side of the fence they landed on last is the side they will defend to their last breath. I landed on the LDS side last, and, yes, I will tell you dating guys will not get you the happiness you are looking for or deserve. One good option is to find guys who feel the same as you, such as at Evergreen or USGA.


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