Throwback (February 2011): Maybe I should rename it to Gray Running Shoes??? (whatcha think?)
I replaced my purple running shoes with gray ones recently. And as I was thinking about the replacement, it brought a revelation to me and I wanted to share it with you. Bear with me...
I loved my purple running shoes. They were my motivation to workout. "If I'm going to workout, I'm at least going to do it in cute purple shoes" I would gladly put on my purple running shoes and run like the wind. It felt good, I felt free, it brought me calm... sigh! I was happy, right? Yes I was, but after awhile I realized when I ran in them, my big toe would hurt. And the more I ran, the more it hurt. But my purple running shoes fit perfectly, or so I thought… (Just that when you run you put more pressure down on your foot and your toes would slide forward) Walking in them was fine; it was just when I ran. Plus they were the ones I wanted, they were cute and I was going to run in these shoes no matter how much my big toe hurt! It was worth the pain in my big toe, I told myself. Besides it’s just a big toe… Everything else about them is perfect!? But man was my big toe hurting! It took some time but after awhile I couldn’t ignore the pain anymore. I realized my big toe shouldn’t have to suffer at the expense of a purple new balance. What was I thinking? Minimizing my pain in my toe like that! Eventually, I didn’t wear those purple running shoes anymore, I couldn’t. They no longer seemed pretty enough to motivate me to run. Yes they were still cute, still in good condition but they just weren’t good enough to run in and they hurt too... Pass! So, no more running and besides my big toe is important! So for awhile absolutely no running happened. I would see those purple shoes and not even think about running, they were just another shoe.
One day while in the mall I went into a shoe store just to look around. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but right in the middle of the store were new balances on sale. I had not been thinking about running shoes but there they were and on sale too! They were pretty much calling me. I started to ignore them because I had given that up, but then I remembered how good I used to feel when I ran and although I was still in good shape, I knew I couldn’t stay away forever. There some running shoes were, much less expensive than the purple ones that were now sitting in the back of my closet (back of my mind). These weren’t purple though, they were gray :( “hmmm… I really loved the purple ones though. But these are still very nice looking, a lot less flashy, they probably won’t motivate me but maybe I should be motivating myself. I’ll get these in a better size to support what I need them for and then I can run how I want.” Me talking myself into these gray shoes…
So although the shoe purchase seemed obvious, I was considering not getting them because they weren’t “me”. I thought I needed something that stood out and made a statement. Then I rationalized that these running shoes are pretty much being given away, how could I pass them up. And they will fit better… so although hesitant, I bought them! I took them home with me but I kept them in a box for a few weeks, still not running. The last shoes didn’t do their job right and I ended up with a hurt big toe, I still was not ready to trust another pair of running shoes. Then one day, I saw them sitting there in the box and something (I don’t know how to explain it but something) made me take them out and put them on. I put them on that first time and they felt so comfortable and supportive, already different from the other pair that although I thought they fit perfectly at first, they were much tighter than these. They hadn’t work for what I needed them for either… running! And I liked to run and they would hurt me when I ran in them, not good. The gray ones went on nicely and fit better and I began to trust that I could run in them, so I did. First day, I was like yea ok the purple ones didn’t hurt the first time either. So I ran harder and faster, trying to make them hurt but they didn’t. I have been running in them everyday just about and they haven’t hurt yet! And I know that even if I decide one day I want to run, jump, dance, walk, cry, pray, scream, cartwheel… those cozy, unflashy, comfortable, supportive, quiet, kind hearted, patient, friendly, loving boring old gray running shoes will be right there fitting perfectly for whatever I want to do in them. It’s like they were made for me, I mean my feet :) lol!
So if you hadn’t noticed this story about replacing my running shoes wasn’t entirely about shoes… yes I did have purple running shoes that didn’t work out as perfectly as I thought they would and I have replaced them with bigger, better, more practical (and loving and awesome) gray running shoes. And YES my toes are happy :) but this is really about realizing what I’m worth and who and what is worth my time. I should not have been ignoring the pain in my big toe (in my life, in my relationships, in my heart, in my head) for the flash, seemingly fabulousness, attractiveness, or perception of my purple running shoes (or anything that looks good but causes pain). I am important and any pain those “shoes” were causing is not worth it. Yes I could have ran through the pain, it seemed small, ignorable and unimportant but eventually the beauty in the shoes was not enough to make me run (do something I love, be with people I love, be who I am). And now, I kinda feel stupid for running in them for so long when they were causing me pain! And no I didn’t go shopping for another shoe right away, was too scared to run again (put myself out there, be available, let the walls down, be myself, care about someone again). But when I saw that shoe, and that shoe was available and cost less but worth more and didn’t have to wear its worth on the outside…just gray, “boring”, but practical and supportive and long lasting and… everything I needed so that I could run like I wanted *sighs*. Although it took me some time to trust another running shoe, I did and I run like the wind in it everyday and it’s there being the perfect running shoe for me!
“You were not what I pictured, but you are everything I need making you all that I want”
We have this image of what we want for ourselves and when we think we’ve found it, we ignore all the pain and the signs that show us it’s not right for us. If and when we come to our senses and stop the pain, I hope we are smart enough to first… trust again, but secondly choose a “running shoe” that isn’t what we think we want but what we really need.
I hope this made someone think twice about their running shoes or at least gave you a good chuckle!
Choose your man like you choose your running shoe… bigger, comfortable and that does the job! Whether you’re walking or need to run, it’ll fit perfectly. Happy Running!
Update: (almost 7 months later) I am still "running" in my gray running shoes (maybe not as much running as I should be), but I am still wearing them and they are still cozy and always there when I need them for everything I need them for!