Old Shoes

Most of us have one or more personality quirks. Explain one of yours and what it says about you.

As a salesman at my local outdoors store, I get paid to convince people to spend what I’ll admit to be absurd amounts of money on outdoor apparel and gear. The $350 Arc’teryx rain shell is not that much better than the $99 dollar Marmot equivalent. I promise. I live and work in a consumerist environment, and I cannot help but be constantly bombarded with sales pitches and advertisements, all telling me to buy more. Whether it's a newer jacket or a better pair of shoes, I am supposed to want it. My coworkers seem to cash their paychecks only to immediately “upgrade” their old gear, and I have customers who come into the store biannually to buy the latest and greatest item.

As a freshman in high school, I was that customer. I would spend hours studying the specifications of different tents, jackets, and backpacks, trying to find out which items were perfect for me. I truly believed that the extra $100 on a new jacket was what was going to make my next backpacking trip truly perfect and that the pocket design on a new backpack would make or brake my next climbing trip. I was the definition of a “gear-junkie” and likely would have spiraled down a path of excessive spending resulting in a basement full of unused gear if it wasn’t...

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