The Search for a Shoe (Intro).

This is the sad story of a minimalist runner in today’s maximalist world, searching for new shoes.

Two years ago I decided to completely change how I was running. At the time I was running between 10 and 15 km; the day after a 15 km run, my knees, hips, and lower back hurt for two days. I was a heel-striker.

I did some reading, watched a Christopher McDougall Ted Talk, and decided that I would run minimalist, barefoot if possible.

After much online research, I happened to be passing by the Montreal New Balance store, so I stopped in to see what the minimalist options were. I tried on a pair of Minimus Zero V2 and I felt like I was running in socks with soles on them.



I went right out and tried them that night and it was a rude awakening. I got about 1 km and felt a new tightness in my calves. By the time I got back to my house at the end of 3 km, I could barely run. The next day I could barely walk. I have never had calves that sore; not trekking in Nepal, not mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies, never.

I started running to the park in my Nikes, carrying the Minimuses (Minimii?) and then putting them on for a lap and running home in the Nikes. One lap became two, and in only a year (!) I was back up to 7.5 km.


Itching to go


Here we are, sitting in an empty apartment half hoping no one will show up for our open house. We accepted an offer last week on our triplex and are eagerly awaiting the next steps; the inspection, visits to the other apartments. We didn’t cancel the open house because the first offer we accepted didn’t pan out. If all goes well this time, we’ll sell this building by the end of the month and we can start planning the beginning of our trip.

This is the first major hurdle, getting the building sold. The money will be our traveling fund, supplemented by whatever rent we can get for the duplex we currently live in. Finding tenants is the next step, but we’re still not sure how to manage the property from a distance, and how much of our stuff to keep and how much to get rid of.

We’ve been selling on Kijiji for months now, partly to raise money but mostly to get rid of the life-clutter we have accumulated in 8 years in Montreal. When we arrived here from Chile (we were teaching English there) we didn’t have much more than would fit in each of our backpacks. Now we have 2 buildings, too much furniture, a car, 2 kids and all their stuff, a garage full of tools and clothes for all 4 Canadian seasons. Too much stuff!

We’ll rent the two furnished apartments in our duplex and stash the car in an old barn, but that still leaves a lot of things to get rid of. Hopefully once the triplex is sold we’ll have time to sort all of that out. We’re selling on because we don’t want to hand over $25 000 to some realtor, but that means the whole thing takes up a lot more of our time. It’s definitely worth it when you think of how far that money will go when we’re on the beach.

The plan so far is to fly to Sri Lanka, hopefully getting there by early February to be able to ride elephants for my daughter’s 5th birthday. We haven’t decided how long to stay there or where to go next, but there will definitely be a next, and a next, and another one after that.