No Shoes, No Problem

It’s a cold, damp, dreary morning in the hills of Daly City. 200 underdressed teens line up on the starting line of the Westmoor running track. In this 50-degree weather, the slimmest of tank-tops and the shortest of tracks shorts simply do not cut it. The runners of this race all know what is to come; an old, “significant” man will come out onto the track and preach to them about sportsmanship and valor, painfully stalling the inevitable death run that is to come. He raises a flag, fires a gun, and they’re off, all 200 of them, on a fast-paced, monotonous, stomach-cramping, throat-drying, leg-burning run.

Sounds miserable right? Well at least you’re not Junior Ryder Heit. Two steps into the competition, disaster. His shoelaces come untied. This is the ultimate red flag for the everyday cross country runner. You cannot stop to tie your shoe (or in poor Ryder’s case, shoes) so you must pray for mercy, and hope that it remains on your foot. Unfortunately for our hero, the heavens did not smile upon him that day, and half a mile in, his shoes were caught in a ditch. Would this deter our brave protagonist?

Absolutely not. Ryder, the absolute stud that he is, finished the race in a full sprint, feet only covered by white socks clearly not intended for such an activity, inspiring confusion, amusement, awe, and mirth. Fresh off of such a strenuous activity, Ryder crosses the finish line, and his teammates come to greet him, congratulating him. “Man, his feet must have hurt,” Nate, one of the team’s captains said, “I would definitely not have been able to finish without shoes on.” “He’s a hard worker,” Coach Stimson remarked, “That’s what I’m looking for from this team: some fight!”

Everyone, including Mr. Heit, had ear-to-ear smiles across their faces. As Ryder tells his story, the team laughs and makes merry, as if they were at a Christmas party, and not at the scene of an outright sanctioned crime against humanity. Only three more races to go!!!