Built to Last

“And the wind and snow and the rain that blows…..None of those would matter much without you…….And as long as it’s talking to you…..Talk of the weather will do”– song lyrics by band Built To Spill

I have a friend, let’s call him Sam, who regularly follows my blog.  Sam is unique in a few ways.  First, the majority of my readers that I know of are women.  There are some men, but they generally fall into one of a few categories:

A.  They are one of my relatives.

B.  It is someone who is married to me.

C.  They are gay.

D.  Option A and C.

E.  Option B and C (just kidding…my husband is not gay…not that it would matter….ok maybe in the case of just this one person in my life it would.)

My friend Sam, he is heterosexual; he is not in anyway a relative of mine; and he is very happily married.  He’s the kind of guy that you would think should have zero interest in my little runtherapy self-help blog (self-help as in helping me and not necessarily you.)  Every time Sam in a small way acknowleges to me that he is reading my posts, I’m a little surprised.  After a few months of him regularly reading and showing his support, I kind of patted myself on the back.  My internal thoughts being something like, “wow, I guess maybe I can write.  I mean, if I can write about my runsanity sessions and a happily married heterosexual male can find it interesting, maybe I’m actually writing something of interest and doing so in an engaging way.”

Then just this past week, I was on another run, and I was trying to think of what I’m going to write about next.  I couldn’t think of a topic, so my mind drifted off to compression socks.  Compression socks have long been used in medicine mostly in bed-ridden patients, but are now popular among runners.  They are meant to help provide steady blood flow to the legs, delivering oxygen and taking away lactic acid.  I’ve been seeing all these pictures of really cute compression socks that runners are wearing, and wondering if maybe they would help enhance my running….help my calves recover and aid the return of blood flow to my heart.  Just last week I saw an add for compression socks for runners that look like a glass of beer with foam on top where the elastic is.  There are the ones with polka dots….the ones that say “run now” on one leg and “wine later” on another.

As my shopaholic mind was flipping through the catalog of options in my mind, I recalled the compression socks my husband brought home for me in May of last year.  My husband is not a man of many words.  He’s not the type of guy that sends you little love texts all day.  But last May, we were taking an 11 hour flight together from LA to London, and he brought home this really ugly pair of hospital compression socks for me.

“What’s this for?”  I asked.

“For the flight….I don’t want you to get a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) on the flight.”

That’s how my husband expresses his love.  Not in words, but in little gestures that just come out of the blue and show he is thinking of you.  And in thinking of support and compression socks on my run, it suddenly occurred to me that my friend Sam is also like compression socks…. a constant source of support, not necessarily for me, but for his wife.  He doesn’t follow my blog because I’m such a fantastic writer that he just can’t miss a post….he follows my blog because he supports his wife, and his wife is a good friend of mine.  And he creates a solid foundation that supports his wife in anything she does.  One of the many ways Sam supports his family is by nurturing friendships, whether it’s reading my blog or introducing my husband to one of his favorite bands, Built To Spill, whose song lyrics can now be regularly heard in my home as well.  Sam’s a pretty great guy, which explains why my pretty great friend is married to him.

If you’re in running for the long haul, you need the right foundation and support system.  That system helps deliver fresh oxygen to your legs, heart, and soul; while removing lactic acid along with other toxins that don’t serve you.  It allows you to maintain your running, to put on your own oxygen mask first, so you can in turn do what you do for everyone else and help put their oxygen mask on.  If you’re looking to just get out there and experience the roller coaster ride of sprinting your way through some 5K’s, and you don’t care if at the end of it you fold over and throw up, then maybe your foundation doesn’t matter as much.  But if you’re interested in marathons, in weathering through the storms without being completely thrown off course by the turbulence, then it’s the steady….the constant quiet understated support from that compression sock, that allows you to log through the many miles of that marathon.

Special thanks to Sam, and to all the other forms of compression socks in our lives.  If you are new to the blog and haven’t read my post about putting on your oxygen mask first, it remains one of my favorites:  Oxygen Mask


Beer mug compression socks, from Gone For a Run website/store


For $39.99 on Gone For A Run …. I hope they deliver at that price!


My free hospital compression socks form last year…which I did NOT wear on the flight.


About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

21 comments on “Built to Last

  1. I remember those compression socks he bought you!! I remember telling you… “…Now thats love! Because I had just came back from a very long plane trip and could have really used those!” Another great post!

  2. That is so sweet that he brought you home compression socks. I have a relationship like that and it is so great to be able to express it like you did.. I do like the run now wine later.. Thanks

  3. I also have a “Sam” in my life and I have to stop myself from thinking about what I’m posting next sometimes!! I also love that your husband bought you compression socks. Mine is also a man of few words but sometimes he surprises me in the best ways. And, you know that I just kind of accidentally discovered compression socks and now have worn them on every run for almost three weeks. Crazy.

  4. These words you wrote spoke to me: the right foundation and support system. The metaphor of compression socks cracked me up – so funny, yet true.

    Having the right foundation is key to a solid, stable form – starting from the bottom to the top. When everything stacks on top of each other relative to the placement of the foundation, one can find balance, freedom and connection. So many applications where this rings true!

  5. Paria,
    Your blogs are more inspirational than you know. I also follow all your blogs and many hit very close to home. You are an amazing writer and more importantly a very strong person.

    An old friend

    • I had no idea that you were reading. Thank you for letting me know. It often gets really hard for me to find the time and the topic to write about, but when someone let’s me know that they are reading and getting inspired, that inspires me to make the time to keep doing it…. I miss my old friend…I hope to see her soon.

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