I remember being really shy when I first met my buddy, Dusty. I walked into the Asics store near Bryant Park feeling a bit like a fraud, looking for running shoes when I had yet to run a single mile. I don't think the salesclerk minded since I did end up blowing $125 fairly quickly on these Asics Nimbus 12 kicks. I remember being a little pouty that they didn't have other colors in my size. I would've liked a more girly color and wasn't too sure about all that gray. But I grew to love Dusty even though she wasn't exactly my type, looks-wise. She just has a way of supporting me and cushioning my every fall. And when I'm with her, I feel like I'm running on clouds.
The relationship has been wearing down Dusty though, I have to admit. Four months, two 10K races, and close to 200 miles logged and my running buddy has gone from looking like this ...
... to this.
Hence the moniker Dusty. I now fully understand the color-picking rationale of Asics. You can barely tell that Dusty used to have white accents. You can't see it from this picture, but the laces on my right shoe are streaked with black marks because I don't like carrying things when I run, so I thread my house keys through the laces and they leave unsightly marks. Add to that how running through rain, puddles, and the gravelly Reservoir has roughed up my beloved sneaks. Before I know it, it'll be time to make friends with another pair. But for now, Dusty and I have it good. Together we've seen the cherry blossoms bloom and fall, the fireflies flicker around the running paths, and the 4th of July fireworks burst above the Manhattan skyline. I just need you to hold up for a couple of half-marathons through Queens and the Bronx, and maybe join me for some fun in the sun running up hills in Ibiza, and then I'll let you rest for good.
But tomorrow morning, Dusty, you and I have a date.