About a year ago, I was working in the athletic shoe department at Nordstrom when Freddie Ljungberg walked in the store. I knew it was Freddie Ljungberg by his smoking hot girlfriend. Because let’s face it, when you’re a dude who stands roughly 5’8″, it doesn’t matter how good you look, you need big money to pull a girl like the one he had with him.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge soccer fan, so I didn’t strike up a conversation with Ljungberg about the international game. Instead, we talked about Nike. Nike shoes, Nike apparel, the company itself. His girlfriend was trying on Nike Air Maxes. It made sense.
The more we talked, the more I came to the conclusion that Ljungberg was one of the coolest athletes I’d ever met. The dude could carry on a conversation, seemed genuinely interested in what we were talking about, and had zero attitude about him whatsoever. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I didn’t want to talk with him about his job (soccer fans can be a little passionate around their heroes, from what I hear), or maybe he’s like that with everyone. Either way, he was a nice guy.
I finished helping Ljungberg and his lady friend and they went on their way. On a side note, they rang up about a $200 tab which Freddie paid in cash. The wad of bills he pulled out of his nut-hugging designer jeans (how he crammed all that money in there is beyond me) was impressive, to say the least. The only individuals I’ve ever seen with that much cash on them were NBA players or drug dealers (not that there’s a connection between those two professions, or anything, it just happens to be part of my personal experience).
A few days later, Ljungberg came walking back into the department and grabbed about 15 pairs of the same kind of women’s socks off the wall. I assumed he was buying the socks (Asics bamboo socks, for the record) for his girlfriend, but he mentioned that he liked the way they felt and they were for him. Interesting, I thought to myself. I mean, when a professional athlete lets you in on performance secrets like that, you listen.
The socks themselves were a little small for most guys — they only fit up to men’s shoe size 9 — but they seemed to work for the soccer star.
Gender issues aside, I decided to give the socks a try for myself. I wear a size 11, but these socks fit like a glove and felt pretty good, too. So I started using them, and today took them out to the Seattle Beat the Bridge 8K and had a decent run, nearly 12 months after I was first clued into the benefits of women’s sockwear.
A year from now, my goal is to form a Seattle Sportsnet race team (with all the loyal readers, of course) and get out there and dominate that thing. I’m not a big runner, but I will say that it always feels nice to finish a race.
Not that that has anything to do with anything, I’ve just found it funny that a) Freddie Ljungberg clued me in to the benefits of women’s running socks and b) the socks that we both wear have become my go-to accessory for runs.
So if you ever run into Ljungberg and need an icebreaker, ask him about his socks. He’d probably rather hear about that than your insane passion for soccer, and maybe he can help you become a better runner in the process.