How the Grinch Got Fit

Every Who down in Whoville liked Running a lot...
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did NOT!
The Grinch hated Running! The whole Running season!
Would you like to know why? Well, I might know the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right,
But it could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
Yes, I think that the most likely reason of all
Is that his running shoes were two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason, his head or his shoes,
He stood there all brooding and hating the Whos,
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown,
At the runners all running about in their town.
For he knew every Who down in Whoville below,
Was busy now, jogging around in the snow."
And they're running in comfort!" he snarled with a glare.
For the Whos shopped at FLEET FEET (and Fitlosophy's there).
Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find some way to stop Whoville from running!"
For tomorrow, he knew, all those ridiculous Whos
Would wake bright and early. They'd rush for their shoes!
And then! Oh, the fun! Oh, the fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!
That's the one thing he hated! The FUN! FUN! FUN! FUN!
Then the Whos, young and old, would go out for a run!
And they'd run! And they'd run! And they'd run! RUN! RUN! RUN!

They would run down the road, they would run up the streets,
Which was something the Grinch couldn't stand in the least!
And THEN they'd do something he liked least of all!
Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Would all run together and all have a ball!

And they'd jog and they'd laugh and then run some more!"
It must be," he thought, "because of that store."
And the more the Grinch thought of the Fitlosophy bit,
The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop that FIT!
For fifteen years I've put up with this now!
I must stop Whoville from Running! But HOW?"
Then he got an idea! An awful idea!

"I know just what to do," the Grinch laughed as he grabbed
A white little label to use as a tag.
And he chuckled and clucked, "This will cause quite a stir!
I'll be Whoville's first phony Fitlosopher!
I'll provide the wrong fit! The Whos won't know
What caused the big blister on Whoville's big toe!
All I need is an S3..." The Grinch looked around,
But, since S3's were scarce, there were none to be found.
Did that stop the old Grinch? No! The Grinch simply said,
"If I can't find an S3, I'll make one instead!"
So he found an old calculator, some plastic and glue,
"It isn't quite right... but I suppose it'll do."

Then at night that old Grinch in disguise headed down
Toward the store while the Whos lay asnooze in their town.
The windows were dark, quiet snow filled the air,
When he came to the dear little store on the square.
He sneaked into the shop with a wink and a pinch,
For he was a sly one, that awful, sneaky Grinch.
He saw all the shoes on the wall in a row.
"These shoes," he grinned, "are the first things to go!"
And he mixed up the shoes-stability and style-

And then what he did, with a terrible smile,
Was fill all the FLEET FEET water bottles with rocks!
And replace the synthetic with all COTTON socks!
He created new flavors of Sport Beans and GU-
Like Monkey Brain Punch and Swamp Water Stew!

Then he snatched all the Garmins (and in this he found pleasure)
And replaced those devices with a simple tape measure!
He knocked down the books that were tidy and stacked
And took the reflective gear-and painted it black!
Then he viewed all the damage and cackled with glee,
"This will stop the Whos from running. I did it! ME!

PoohPooh to the Whos!" he was Grinchishly humming,
"They're finding out now there will be no more Running!
They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry BooHoo!
That's a noise," grinned the Grinch, "That I simply MUST hear!"
So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
But the sound wasn't sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!

He stared down at Whoville! The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Fitlosopher was there, busily cleaning
And re-organizing the store-from the floor to the ceiling.
They were fitting for socks! They were fitting for shoes!
They were fitting for running! They were fitting the Whos!
The store was wide open! And the talk of the town
Was how even a Grinch couldn't keep FLEET FEET-ers down!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling, "How could it be so?"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe FLEET FEET," he thought, "is more than a store.
Maybe FLEET FEET... perhaps... means a little bit more!

"And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say
That the Grinch's small shoes grew three sizes that day!
He went to be fitted-yes, the Grinch! Got fitted! It's true!
The Grinch went to FLEET FEET to find the right shoe!
He sat on the bench and had his feet evaluated.
Then he ran on the sidewalk... and over-pronated!
He was given a shoe with the proper stability and fit
(And it's a good thing, too, for he hurt quite a bit).

Yes, the Grinch overcame his chronic Grinch-itis
And even bought inserts for his plantar fasciitis.
And the minute the old Grinch's feet stopped their aching,
Every Who in Whoville's hand the Grinch started shaking.
"Who would have thought I'd be FIT?" he asked.
"Who would have thought I'd have fun?"

And then HE, HE HIMSELF! The Grinch went for a run!

Amy L. Marxkors is the author of The Lola Papers: Marathons, Misadventures, and How I Became a Serious Runner and Powered By Hope: The Teri Griege Story.  This column was originally published in December 2009 by FLEET FEET St. Louis.  Click here to receive Amy's weekly article via email.

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