It’s been five years since I proposed this column to Debbie Davis, which makes this the right time to announce my resignation.
It’s true: I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that I will never, ever be able to write a column worthy of the heart and sole of our downtown, Fleet Feet Sports.
Admittedly, this active wear capital has been scheduled for these pages multiple times dating back to 2008, but each time I’ve chickened out.
Here’s the rub: Writers better than I have covered Fleet Feet’s goods, services, owners and staff for years. Finding an original take is like developing a new joke about Honey Boo Boo, or more fitting, delivering a fresh sermon about the Christmas Story.
It’s been done. Overdone.
For example, it’s common knowledge that 615 Second St. is the epicenter for elite racers, fun runs, running clubs and all varieties of fitness/wellness references.
When bargain-bin tights and sports bras loosen like the town gossip after a glug of booze, we turn to Fleet Feet for guaranteed coverage and support.
As sprawling, Hulk-like teenagers pop new shoe sizes overnight, we count on speedy upgrades to favored, well-fitting styles, already proven to meet the unique demands of Junior’s feet.
Tweaked aging knees, ankles and backs are soothed by informed staff who know when to refer us to over-their-counter orthotic devices. Or physicians.
Need true weatherproofing? They have it. Want quality assurance? Consider it done. Wish to avoid regretful purchases? Take advantage of a value unheard of in today’s discount or online marketplace: expert advice.
And that’s what places Fleet Feet Davis in a division all its own — customer service.
I often visit another part of California that boasts a Fleet Feet. The products and service are strong, but it can’t compare with the excellence (and benevolence) employed by Davis owners J.D. and Chris Denton.
For me, 2013 got off to a bumpy start. When coping turned to moping, I decided to give myself a swift kick toward optimism. In other words, I went shopping.
Stopping by Fleet Feet was risky due to a temporary leave of exercise. Even the sound of joggers behind my house would leave me in a funk.
In hindsight, however, there was no better choice.
With the familiarity of a neighborhood coffeehouse, intriguing new technology in fitness wear, bold colors and friendly, well-trained staff, it wasn’t long before I was in the dressing room looking beyond my reality.
By the way, a couple of brands I hadn’t yet tried and now strongly recommend include tights by Sugoi and Alo (a green company).
The bag I brought home that day has long since been opened; the contents worn and washed several times. But I’ll cherish every piece for years because 1) that’s how long they’ll last, and 2) they inspired the one thing I needed most:
― Heidy Kellison lives and shops in Davis; her column is published monthly. Reach her at email@example.com