Oct 23, 2014

Shoe Stories Part 2

I've mentioned a few times lately that I'm cleaning out my closet. It's the never ending project. You wouldn't believe the things I've unearthed. College dorm t-shirts, that plaid shirt I had my high-school portraits made in, and a mini skirt I wore bar hopping in the single days. I swear I saw a pair of stirrup pants out of the corner of my eye, but they fled to some far corner before I could catch them.

Reading Love, Loss, And What I Wore inspired me to think about the memories and life lessons attached to some of the things in my closet. I shared some Shoe Stories a few weeks ago, but I’m back with a few more. Enjoy. Meanwhile, I'm headed back into the untamed wilds of my closet. If I don't make it out by dinner, send wine.

Black “Fat Baby” Ariat boots with white suede uppers.  In a closet full of pretty heels, these dirty boots are completely out of place.  When I bought them, they weren't just out of place in my closet, they were out out place in my life.  I was stuck in a rut.  I had a good job, but  I didn’t  feel challenged and I wasn’t growing professionally.  I wasn’t involved in anything in the community and my social life was going through that typical post-marriage drop off.  Knowing it was time for a change, I signed up to volunteer at a Hippotherapy & Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center.  I am absolutely a city girl, so a volunteer role that involved horses and hay, where I was sure to get dirty, was completely out of character.  Everyone I knew was confused about why I was doing it, and thought for sure it wouldn’t last long.  But, I bought the right footwear and learned to work with horses and some pretty amazing kids. I walked miles in those boots; leading horses around an arena. Every week I would come home completely covered in red dirt, horse hair and smiles.  Eventually, I took a job working for the organization.  That experience, and those boots, changed my life.  I learned to step out of my comfort zone and to take risks.  You are never really stuck in a rut, if you are willing to make a change.  Not every risk will pay off, but you’ll never know until you try.  

Bright pink and yellow, Asics Gel-Noosa running shoes.  These are the shoes I became a runner in.  I have never been an athlete.  The last athletic thing I did was preschool softball and my family is still laughing about how awful I was.  In my teens and early twenties I was effortlessly thin, thanks to good metabolism.  Now, at 30-something, it’s not that easy anymore.  About three years ago I started working towards a healthier lifestyle.  Somewhere along the way my husband joined in and talked me into running.  I wasn’t enthusiastic.  In fact, it sounded like torture.  But, it did mean new shoes and that’s always a motivator for me.  I saw these in the store and knew I had to have them.  Of course, they didn’t have my size, so I started tracking them down online.  It was no easy feat since they were being phased out for a newer style, but nothing gets between me and shoes.  These were the perfect choice because they were fun enough that I wanted to wear them, but, because they were reserved strictly for running, lacing them up meant hitting the pavement.  I ran two 5Ks in these shoes, including the Color Run, before retiring them.  They taught me that fitness can be fun.  They also gave me the confidence that, even though I’ll never be an athlete, my body is strong and capable of more than I give it credit for.  I never became a consistent runner.  Injuries and pain made me fall off the wagon and get back on, over and over again until I realized it wasn’t the right workout for me.  But that’s ok, because just starting made me take my health and fitness more seriously.

What shoes or pieces of clothing are lurking in your closet, out of style but full of memories?


  1. I have some blue heels that have been worn outside twice.They have a cartoon print around them and ink splats on the sole. I bought them when I finished my A Level exams and they're beautiful! They remind me that determination can get you into a position that lets you achieve what you wish for. I still wear them around the house to remind me of my goal for my blog and it's pretty good encouragement :)

    1. OMG - Those shoes sound amazing! I buy myself reward shoes too!


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