A mother of two young boys, and determined to run her first marathon, Krista Dugosh made her way to a Fleet Feet store in Missouri. This was back in 1996. She wanted shoes that fit. Shoes that would get her through her personal and physical goals.
"I walked out of that store and told myself I'd own a store just like it," she said.
Karma, wild hair, high on adrenalin ready for a marathon?
Krista's not sure about the epiphany back then, but today she owns two Fleet Feet stores - her second opened in Mt. Juliet last month.
And she got through that marathon and many more. Mostly, she's devoted her life to helping others meet whatever running, walking and simply crushing goals they've set, as well. Her stores offer personalized service to present the perfect running shoe. She and her staff analyze running gait, foot form and more and then "prescribe" which shoe works best.
Krista explained she was a "military brat" and lived in a ton of places growing up. But she's always been active. She was a cheerleader back in the day and doesn't remember when she started the ritual of running. It's just what she's done all her life to stay fit.
"I'd get in a mental and physical zone," she recalled. "Where ever I was, I ran. I developed a network of running friends."
Fleet Feet's philosophy intrigued her.
"It's all about getting people off the couch," she said. "It's about motivating people."
Their "fit process" is very involved. They measure your feet, weigh you, watch you walk, run and measure the gait as well.
"We care about the shape of the foot," she said. "Even your callouses and how they affect your run. It's all about a body in movement."
There are five staff members at the new south Mt. Juliet Fleet Feet. Krista opened her first store in Murfreesboro in 2007 and expanded it five years later.
"Coming to Mt. Juliet was a no brainer," she said. "Already my customers are my family."
And, no, the personal attention and fit is no more costly than going to your local shoe retailer.
"We don't up the price at all," Krista noted. "We have all the brands here. We just know we can help you muddle through how to find the best fit and shoe."
It makes all the difference. Who wants blisters, shin splints and worse.
In addition to personal shoe fitter, Fleet Feet offers a huge inventory of sports bras, socks, apparel and other running accessories. They are all about injury prevention. They also have the latest in tech and equipment at the store.
"We are changing lives everyday," Krista said. "We will walk you through every stage of your fitness journey."