No gas. No shoes.

Vibram SprintsWhat a crazy two weeks it’s been. Last week temperatures rose into the upper 90Fs (mid 30C) and the barrios of Buenos Aires were intermittently without power and water. Luckily (or is it thankfully?) I was there to capture it on video.

This week there’s a petrol shortage that’s said to last until after the new year. As a result, cars have been lining up for several blocks just for a chance to fill up their tank. As I did for the power outage, I wanted to get in on the action. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way I planned, and the story ended up being about shoes instead of gas and street fires.

Being in Argentina for the “winter” months provides me with longer days and warmer weather. Perfect for running, just not barefoot. Instead I’ve been running with my Vibram Sprints. They’re fantastic. Lightweight, sturdy, and a rubber sole that is thick enough to keep glass from penetrating my feet, but thin enough to mimic the barefoot experience.

All right. Enough about that. You get the idea. Anywho, I knew of three gas stations that could be prime spots for flaring tempers. So, I plotted my course, and jetted out the door.

The first gas station was closed. But only because a tanker was refilling the reservoirs. The people knew this and the cars lined up. I stared at them through my sunglasses as I ran by. Angry doesn’t begin to describe. One guy’s car was empty and he was forced to push it. Four blocks later the line came to a close. Number two was closed. Not temporarily closed, but closed as in “Disculpe me. Sin nafta” closed. No lines of cars. Drat. The third had a line five blocks long, with people honking, yelling, and cursing at each other. Uh, why? W/e. No real meat to report.

I continued my run. Sunglasses up since the sun was going down. Hard to see the ground. BTW, there is nothing therapeutic about running on cobble stone. Nothing. Dodging cars at intersections, gente on the sidewalk drinking mate, and groups of kids yucking it up (or making out) I was about a half mile from the finish line. I came across an intersection, not unlike any other, but with a very different result. Hole. Toe. Rip. Roll. Run.

I used to jump off my roof when I was a kid. I learned that the best way to handle a fall was to tuck my shoulder and roll. That’s what I did. Right in front a line of waiting cars. I tripped, went to the ground with my shoulder, rolled and popped up as if it was a planned event.

Ten minutes later I was home. Bruised ego, back, leg, and shoulder. What’s worse, when I slipped off my Vibrams I noticed something a bit shocking. The material on my big toe had torn at the seam. Um, what? I’m really quite disappointed. These shoes shouldn’t tear so easily. Granted it’s an easy fix (I’m just going to sew them tomorrow) but still. Why am I even having to break out the needle and thread?

big toe torn on Vibram Sprints

Vibram, I love your shoes, err, feet gloves. I won’t go back to my regular shoes (evah). But c’mon. A tear? My shoes only have about 300 miles on them. I shouldn’t have to worry about them wearing out for another 200. Seriously, get your shiz together. You can’t tell me I’m the only person ever to stop, drop, and roll in Sprints. Do I have to give up Vibrams too?

So, the night was a bust. My “road fire picketers” story was replaced with a lame “I fell and tore my shoe” story. I suck.