"My name is Stephanie, and I am a Hoka Cutter."


Yes, I admit it.

And I know cutting is deemed unacceptable in mainstream society where it is considered a freakish, vile and disgusting mental illness.  But I just ask for judgment to be left aside for a few minutes so I can explain why I am okay with acting out in this manner.

And please keep in mind that I don't act out in the same fashion as say, an Emo attention cutter type kid.  In no way am I looking for publicity because I scratch myself with a needle.  I cut because I have wide Fred Flintstone feet and my moon bootie circus clown shoes that are supposed to make running more comfortable still do not fit my sausage toes.


You see?  My feet are awful, awful feet inherited from awful, awful people who gathered together to breed and make big-footed, awful, awful children.  Children with third nipples, eyes that go in different directions, a seventh toe, and a propensity to touch and eat their own poop.  But at least I have all my teeth. I am grateful for that every time I see old people cutting their corn off the cob.

Nevertheless, these drastic feet call for drastic action. Case in point:  I badly busted out of one pair of the earlier versions of this particular running shoe last summer during marathon training in NW Florida. 

I bought a pair of $170 Hoka One One Bondi's in an effort to cushion my legs for the super-hilly portion of the Pensacola Marathon. I figured these were unisex and since men wore them, maybe they were wide enough to accommodate my lady Vienna sausages. 


Yes, I look like I'm wearing sensible shoes that no self-respecting person would wear until they are at least sixty-five. However, they worked okay, but the fit wasn't ideal -- they pinched my pinky toes, causing sore feet and the biggest blood blister of my life to the side of my right big toe.  The side toe bust and ensuing blood blister was bad enough that I went to my primary care doc for a look-see. Dr. August Osage County (that’s code so you can’t guess my Doc’s name and call her up pretending to be me and find out how much I weigh) drew me a stick figure with a sad face and lots of arrows pointing to my foot and my bank account.  She confirmed that, despite the raw skin and blistering, I hadn't broken any toes or stretched a foot ligament.  As Doc cleared me to do any exercise that didn't hurt, I went back to walk/runs nearly every day in my barefoot shoes until my 50 miler on the beach in February.


Because these Vibram’s allow my toes to splay out in whatever natural direction they want to, they didn't hurt too much during the 50 mile sand run.  However, distance of any kind in Vibram’s makes the tops of my wide feet ache to the point that I think perhaps I might die right away. I am still not convinced that when I wear the toe finger shoes that I won't wake up dead in the morning. I hope not though because I won't have any make-up on.

I just don't feel like they give me the kind of comfortable long run Hoka One One shoes do.  With the reduction in mileage, I also felt like I was losing endurance every day, even as my toe blisters and calluses improved. So I set out to try to run again in a different pair of Hoka’s mainly because some runners I really respect rave about them.  They claim Hoka's help them recover from injuries and reduce the pounding of runs ranging from 20 miles to over 300 miles.

Marshall Ulrich is one famous Hoka wearer and ultra running guru who makes these claims.  He may in fact be the smartest man in the entire universe despite the fact that he had all his toenails removed (http://es.pn/1nG77dA). Wait. Maybe I should consider having the same toenail removal procedure since mine fall off on their own anyway after 20 miles.  So forget I implied the notion that removing one's toenails may not be considered smart.


via Road Runners Club of America
Marshall Ulrich, the man who ain't got time for toenails.


So this guy Marshall is allegedly so darn smart that if he wanted to, he could lift a Big Gulp of Mountain Dew using nothing but the power of his mind. He can also do long division - in French. If he were to have a Brain-Off with Einstein (providing Einstein was not on the other side of the dirt), Marshall would beat him so badly, we would all forever after make reference to the Theory of Marshalltivity.


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