Puma: My First Jogging Shoes
by Sheila Tulley
I was not active in high school sports until a friend invited me to try out for the cross-country team. The team had very few female runners and she thought that I would have a good chance of making the team. All I had to do was finish the 2.5 mile course.
Really, that’s all! That proved to be quite the challenge. But I did it and was invited to join the team. I bought myself a Runner’s World magazine that contained a shoe guide. Studied it and found out how to select a pair of jogging shoes for cross-country running.
I had saved my money from miscellaneous jobs and went to the nearby running store. It was a tiny little shop filled to the brim with shoe boxes. The storekeeper was very helpful when I told him what I wanted my shoes for and suggested the Pumas.
I can still see them. They were blue and they were a perfect fit for my feet. The soles did not swell out past my feet so they had a slender look. I put them on and felt like I could fly. I took them home and right away had to go out for a run. You know just to check them out. They were perfect.
Those jogging shoes ran through mud, rain, sand, down gravel roads. They even had a shower or two to get clean again. You know I never did become an outstanding x-country runner in those days. But for me, I was able to find an activity that I could do and that made me feel good about myself.
My first jogging shoes were like a badge of honor for me. It meant something special. The shoes had a built in purpose. I had a built in purpose too and so we shared many miles. You know, even today when I walk through running shoe stores and see the Puma, I get a feeling of what is possible. I recall the love of the sport. The shoes don’t do it all by themselves, but instead seem to be able to ignite something that already exists.
I now am back to jogging at 53 years old! Started again this past fall. With the start of autumn, the crisp fall air, the change of color of the leaves, I felt a calling of the woods. My first Pumas are long gone. But I will never forget what they did for me.