The myth of gait analysis pt 2

So I said in the previous post that even if in-store gait-analysis told us something useful it still wouldn’t matter. I didn’t properly explain that. So here we go:

If I were going to do an analysis it would this one from Bob & Brad:

And yet if someone failed these tests I wouldn’t use that information to sell them a particular shoe I would just say you aren’t ready to run. Go exercise until you are and then come back.

Which would not be a store that could keep the lights on. So instead the business model has to be you’re a pussy? Here’s your pussy shoes. Gimme 200 dollars and go get weaker.

Okay, that was drastic and I wrote it when I was annoyed. But I stand by it anyway. Because, back on point, it wouldn’t matter anyway if someone did pass what should be a bare-minimum-human-body-owners-manuel test – there’s no shoes in most shoe stores for you.

People offer up, desperately, a ton of useless information to their shoe salesmen and it doesn’t matter. Not because you don’t matter but because all the 32 options you see on the wall are basically the same option. I am trying to do good and have a positive impact and give you a joyful educational experience when you’re in the store yet at-the-end-of-the-day all I can actually do is find you a pair of shoes you like.

It’s like tomato sauce. Imagine the store was called The Pasta Sauce Place and yet all we had was 32 different types of tomato sauce.

People come in expecting – Not because they’re bad people (although some are of course) but because they’ve been promised by marketing – that we’ll be able to diagnosis what the perfect food is for them and meanwhile we lowly salespeople with no control over what’s available in the store have to be like …let’s try 4 different tomatoes, then eliminate 2 and try 2 more, then do that again… over and over until we have 2 then it’s finally a technical discussion of if you get heartburn which will make it least bad.

I have this thing where I imagine how to be a happy Sisyphus and push my boulder up the hill each day and I think if I were to push the same boulder, up the same hill each day I could find joy in perfecting the path; doing the same work but having it be easier and easier.

The problem in my job is that sometimes the boulder is a lot farther down the hill than you’d like; farther than it was with the last customer; the farthest down it’s been all week – and you just want to not bother. One time I seriously had an urge to leave the store mid-sentence when I was starting my spiel for a basically pleasant, totally naive old lady.

I was even preparing a you-need-to-leave speech for customers where rapport has failed and they don’t get my process although I have yet to deploy it. Like, if I have to dig you so far out of such an intellectual hole just to get some okay shoes then you are best served by me saying no. Which is a favour people do not like receiving.

I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but I’m some people’s shot of whiskey. And it’s rare I go a whole week without getting to actually explain running form and the value of shoes and do what I’d like my whole job to be.

And I am trying, right now you’re seeing the trying, to get upstream of the problem and educate people before they come in the store. The world doesn’t really need me because we have Kelly Starrett but I’m doing the best I can each day to spread the gospel.

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