Monday, December 26, 2005
All the Right Tools
Posted by Chalene Johnson
So you want to create your own "extreme make-over". Get in line sistah! Right after that stroke of midnight New Year's Eve kiss, many of us embark on a mission to "remodel" the ol' bod. Hey, no time like the present to get mad serious and make it happen this year. Any carpenter (even J.C) knows the importance of good tools. You certainly wouldn't go about remodeling your bathroom without proper equipment and supplies. The outdated, unmatched, rusty tools tucked into the corner of your garage, hiding behind dust covered, half empty cans of paint are not going to give you the HGTV result you were going for. You (or your contractor) would make a trip to the local building supply mega store and find the best products at the best price.
Why would you approach your personal make-over with anything less?
Let's get real. If you're planning on turning that body into a fine tuned Ferrari, how are ya gonna start with worn tread, no-name brand, dirty, flat tires on those feet? And you're wondering why your knees hurt! Geeesh!
If your serious about making a dramatic change, it's time to get the right equipment. Over the course of the next week I'll share some my personal must-have's when it comes to "good tools".
Today's tip.... IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHOES. Shoes will make the most dramatic difference in your experience.
SHOES: As a general rule, shoes should be considered "dead" and laid to rest after 300 to 500 miles, or between 60 and 100 hours of impact depending upon several factors. Factors include impact of the activity, weight of the individual, terrain, quality of the shoe, pronation or supination of the foot, and overall construction. All effect a shoe's lifespan. Only use, not the number of months you own a shoe is relevant. Marathon runners and those who log substantial hours need to replace them more often. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.) It's not the length of time you've owned the shoe, but how many and the kind of hours you put on them.
My feet are my livelihood. Shoes are my most important purchase. I'll wear a sports bra from Wal Mart, but when it comes to shoes... never sacrifice quality. I buy the best and rotate them often. I rotate my shoes (wearing a different pair ever couple of days), to extend the life of the shoe. (Okay, okay, okay...and to match my outfit. Fine. Are you happy?).
Do you really need an excuse to go buy a new pair of shoes? Maybe it's your household's CFO that needs to justify the purchase. Consider that flat, dead, overused and/or poorly made shoes often result in back pain, knee pain, hamstring injuries, joint pain, knee injuries and sprainked ankles just to name a few good reasons.
COMMON QUESTION: Which shoes are the best?
ANSWER: The ones that fit your foot and are most suitable for the type of activity/use and take into consideration the surface you'll be working on are the best. (Well and for the fitness fashion forward crew, color is a key!) How is that for a non specific answer. Sorry! It's true. But let me refine that for Turbo Jammers. Find a reputable athletic shoe source. For T.J'ers working on carpet, I recommend a shoe with minimal tread, yet designed for impact, i.e. cross trainers, basketball shoes, certain dance shoes. For those who exercise on hard surfaces, i.e. wood, cement, tile, etc. tread becomes less of an issue. Tell Al Bundy that you're doing "kickboxing" and he''ll only suggest a standard cross trainer or aerobic shoes. Who's this guy kidding? There's kickboxing, then there's TURBO JAM... Word to ya motha! So rather than explaining that your activity of choice as "kickboxing" describe your activity. Try something like this..."Have you ever seen the Power Rangers? No? Okay. How about Kill Bill? No? No problem. How about a K1 match? No? Well, basically cross the martial arts of Bruce Lee with hip shakin' of Shakira and that's what I do. It's called Turbo Jam."
CONSIDER: Turbo Jam involves impact at the toe box. It requires that you be able to pivot with ease, and simulates either walking or running in place depending on whether you add a high impact component or low impact component to your workout. There is really not that much lateral movement, i.e grapevines, shuffles, etc. commonly used in other KB workouts.
WHAT DO I WEAR? (Blushing...) "I thought you'd never ask." I wear Nike Shox and I have for years. They work for me AND they're way sassy. (This is not an endorsement and I'm not sponsored by Nike, but there's something liberating about admitting you have a problem. "Hi, I'm Chalene and I'm a SHOX-A-HOLIC". The truth of the matter is....my pulse quickens even thinking about a new pair!) SHOX are to me what Manolo's were to Carrie. I run in them and I TJ in them and I dream of them. When NIKE came out with the NIKE Shox Boot NZ, I could barely breathe. Delighted and creeped out at the same time at the thought that someone at NIKE must have read my diary. Some people collect figurines. I collect Shox. They fit my foot, my wallet and my fitness fashion. (subliminal message to NIKE... send Chalene free SHOX... send Chalene free SHOX)
DISCLAIMER: That doesn't mean they'll work for you. I have fitness friends who hate 'em. (Make that former fitness friends!) Every foot and workout surface is different. Thank goodness the days of barefoot aerobics have passed us by. Know thy foot. Do you pronate? Supinate ? High arch? Low arch? No arch? Wide feet? Narrow feet? Stinky feet? Ashy feet?
I can't tell you what shoe to buy, it's almost as personal as what jeans fit you the best. Lord knows you have to try on every pair before you find one that fits. I CAN, however, fill you in on a few hot places to score a deal...
I'm a repeat offender at www.Finishline.com. They know me by name. I find amazing deals on kicks in wildly obnoxious colors deeply discounted because no other would venture to wear them in public. I also love www.Activa.com and www.eastbay.com. And DON'T even think about visiting www.nikeid.com unless you're ready for a full-blown, shoe- designing addiction followed by a messy family intervention and months of outpatient therapy.
Anyone have a good treatment facility to recommend?
More later this week.
at 12:45 PM