“The PureConnect 4 from Brooks is designed as a lightweight running shoe.”
“Lightweight’s good,” I say. “It’s just… Do you have the model in any other colour than black?”
She smiles and shakes her head. “We can give you neon laces though, if you want to brighten them up.”
“I’ll try them anyway,” I say.
She lifts my leg and places the foot on her thigh to remove my soft leather boot. The heat rises to my face as I watch her do this for me. Her burgundy lacquered nails slip deftly in and out of the laces, and her slim fingers splay around my ankle as though she is holding a newborn baby. She looks up at me and smiles as she carefully works off the boot. I want to tell her that her hands on my slightly puffy foot feel wonderful. I want to tell her about the dreams I have of entering the marathon, training with my friends on a twenty-week rigid programme. We would increase the distance not more than three miles a week, pushing ourselves on a pyramid schedule to achieve the longest run of twenty miles a month before the race. I want to tell her about the dietary requirements and the cross-training to balance the rigours of constant running. I want to describe the euphoria of a thousand hands banging the barrier boards each side of the homeward straight as I run through the finishing line, arms raised with clenched fists above my head, tears of achievement streaming down my face. Instead I thank her for her patience and kindness, and ask her to put the shoebox on my lap as I manoeuver my Invacare Lightweight Tracer EX2 Wheelchair towards the checkout.