I got so tickled this morning when I was mall walking for our Saturday morning trainings with the Knoxville Track Club for the CHKM 2014. It was raining cats and dogs and at the last minute I decided I would go to the gym instead. It had been a bitterly cold week and I was wanting a bit of a break from the elements. I got a call from one of the coaches and she said the gals were going to mall walk. So, I decided to join them.
Now, I had been having a lot of trouble walking the past month or so. My injuries from the previous year have healed but I just felt like my feet weren't working correctly. My ankles were giving me problems and I found myself having to stop and stretch more than I usually do. My New Balance runners that were bought for last years BW 2013 team were getting worn. I noticed the traction grips on the bottoms were smooth from wear and the heals were getting worn but I didn't think that was the issue. Then I noticed the same thing happening with my hiking boots that I purchased last spring.
I decided to slow down and study the situation for a few minutes. My boots are now at least a half a size to a size too large. I knew they were getting a bit loose so I would double sock and tie those laces even tighter. That wasn't working after awhile and I realized this morning that they are simply too big. HA! I realized the same for my runners this week when I started to jog and my heels literally lifted out of the back of the shoes.
However, there is something that is more meaningful about my shrinking feet. When I was a young girl, I struggled with the fact that my feet are very broad with a high instep and no arch. I had a lot of trouble finding shoes that would fit and were stylish. It always caused great angst to go shoe shopping and my mother did everything she could to encourage her daughter that a size 10 wide shoe at the age of 13 was not the end of the world but rather indicative of a young woman who had a "firm understanding, dear". A firm understanding of what I didn't quite understand at the time. Though I knew then as I know now she was trying to find some humor to lighten those very tense shopping trips which usually ended up in a flood of tears and self incrimination. As if I had control over the size of my feet.
But really, what is a mother to say to her only long awaited daughter after raising 3 sons when she can't wear a cute pair of little strappy sandals with a sharp pair of linen shorts and a fun halter top because her feet are too big, her thighs rub together and prevent the shorts from staying in place and her shoulders are too broad for a decent halter top? Endless blisters in the name of fashion and a lack of appropriate looking shoes for a teenager with large broad feet were just a part of life. And the numerous summers at the beach wearing sneakers to walk in the sand because I was not able to wear flip flops or huaraches are now sweet whimsical thoughts of a young girl coming of age in the '70's.
So, when I have those glorious moments like I have had this morning with the shoe issue, those early days are just precious memories of a life that seems so long ago yet just like yesterday. I am so very, very grateful that I can walk and hike and take a stroll in the park to the extent that I wear out shoes and now literally walk/RUN out of them. Who would have thought?
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