Adventure-seeking demands proper shoes

Memorable exploits don’t sit around waiting to be discovered. You have to go looking for them, and you’d best be prepared when they show up. It all begins with the right pair of shoes.

I’ve been wearing a lot of adventure-seeking shoes lately, beginning with Glow Run, an Omaha 5K race a couple weeks ago. My running shoes and I were standing with a mob of 3,500 athletes that included Hunka Burnin’ Hubby, our son, Rocket, and his charming girlfriend, Trooper. Glow Run, I suspect, was founded on the idea that if you’re going to sweat, you might as well shine. The course featured black lights that made T-shirts, teeth, and the whites of your eyes dance in the darkness. Fluorescent was the color of choice, and people of every age and ability dressed in crazy getups — blaze orange socks, flaming yellow shorts, and pink shirts bright enough to require eye protection. Glow stick necklaces and flashing tiaras jockeyed with blinking shoe bobs and Star Wars lightsabers.

Techno music ramped up the excitement, and suddenly we were off and running through the streets like a freakish swarm of lightning bugs. We passed girls in tutus, and dads pushing strollers. We were smoked by an elderly gentleman who passed us like we were standing still. Team Schlueterville finished in 28 minutes flat, claiming glowin- the-dark medals, and toasting our success to the sound of a live blues band. It was mayhem and madness, wrapped up with a dose of ridiculous fun.

Three days later, Hunka and I returned to Omaha for the Lyle Lovett concert in the gorgeous Holland Center. The wingtipped toes of my fire engine-red and robin egg-blue cowboy boots peeked from beneath a studded, western-style skirt. We had dinner in the Old Market, where we perched by a restaurant window and watched the world walk by. People eyeballed my goofy boots. My boots and I eyeballed them back. We strolled to the concert venue, and struck up a conversation with an adorable couple from Fremont.

“She’s been a Lyle Lovett fan for years,” said the cheerful chap as he pointed to his smiling wife. “I’m just along for the ride.”

And what a ride it was. The lights dimmed, and the master and his band stepped to the stage. The lyrics and music were so rich and haunting, I imagined myself melting down the aisles to form a pool of schmaltz at the foot of the stage.

“Who or what do you suppose this is?” a policeman might later ask.

“I don’t know,” his partner would say, “but someone should be able to identify those boots!”

Last weekend I was back in my sneakers for a big day of fun on the state fairgrounds in Grand Island. Hunka and I meandered through rows of quilts and antique tractors. We chatted with wool spinners and bee keepers, and feasted on barbecue sandwiches served by friendly volunteers at the beef pit. We took in a Texas longhorn show, where a cow with a nervous bladder introduced front row spectators to life on the farm. We stared goggle-eyed at 2,000-pound draft horses standing 7 foot tall at the shoulder, and saw 72 of the beasts in the arena at the same time during the six-hitch draft horse show. They pranced and snorted, with harnesses that sparked and jangled as they tossed their saucy heads. And their shoes looked a bit like the equine equivalent of my own trusted runners.

Yes indeed, adventure seeking takes the right kind of shoes.

Tamera Schlueter

Tam Schlueter adopts a "strike-fast-and-keep-them-laughing" approach to writing. Her column appears every Thursday in the Hastings Tribune, and showcases the wonder of family, dogs, muscle cars, and folks with blue collars and no-nonsense attitudes.

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