Every Marathon I’ve run has had a fitness expo which accompanies race packet pickup. It’s an opportunity for runners to find some last minute necessities for their run, as well as browse the latest and greatest in running and fitness gear. I was in Duluth, Minnesota over the weekend to run Grandma’s Marathon, and walked through one of these fitness expos.
As I walked past one of the booths, a man stepped in front of me telling me he had a special treat for my feet. Intrigued, I allowed him to guide me to sit down in a chair and remove my shoes. He slipped a pair of self-massaging inserts into my shoes and told me to try them out. I put my shoes back on, stood up, and took a few steps.
The inserts seemed to bubble under my feet as I walked. It was a sensation I had never felt before, sort of like the footwear equivalent of what pop rocks feel like as the tiny crystals explode in your mouth. It felt different, and strangely good on my feet.
The exhibitor told me that the regular price of the insoles were $53, but the expo sale price was $40. I reached to my back pocket and felt the presence of my wallet. I was about to pull it out and signal that I would take a pair when a couple of questions ran through my mind:
What Value Would This Bring To My Life?
He asked my size, and pulled out a shrink wrapped pair of the insoles from a container that had dozens, maybe hundreds of units of the product. What did he do with that set after I was done? Did he reuse them, or did he throw them away? If he threw them away for cleanliness (which I would expect, really) could they really be worth $53 or even $40?
Do I NEED These?
The whole point of the insoles are to ease foot pain and promote quicker recovery for runners. But I don’t have any issues with my feet.
The insoles are likely overpriced, are a product I didn’t even know existed before the expo, and solved a problem that I didn’t have.
I put my wallet away.
What almost happened is exactly what the exhibitor wanted to happen. He wanted me to be blown away by the feeling of the insoles, and instinctively throw down my hard earned cash without thinking about it too much. Maybe I would have purchased the item and enjoyed the popping under my feet every time I took a step. Maybe I would have decided I didn’t like the product, removed them and let them sit in the corner of my closet until I finally threw them in the trash. The point is, I almost bought the insoles without taking the time to think about it, do some research, and truly make sure that I wanted to give up my hard earned cash to buy them.
Think about how often this happens in our every day life. People buy new cell phones that cost hundreds of dollars just because they want to have the latest and greatest. People buy a new vehicle just because their current mode of transportation has a spot or two of rust. How many times have you thrown away something that didn’t taste good, but sounded heavenly while walking through the grocery store?
Be a conscious spender. Take the time to THINK about your purchases. Be selfish with your money, and evaluate the value your purchase would bring to your life. If you can do that, I think you’ll find yourself buying only things that truly enhance your life, and a little extra cash in your wallet.
What was the last thing you bought without truly thinking about it’s value to your life? How much did it cost you?