I used to have two pairs of Asics GT-1000. I had two because it was hard to find shoes that fit the tallest girl in 7th grade. I wore a women's size 9, but most of the shoes were pink which I was against on principle. So I bought a men's shoe: blue and black to match my school, but I couldn't stop looking at the orange ones. My dad decided, why not get both?! I was a busy athlete, busy student, and he had two or three pairs of shoes for tennis, plus they were both on sale, may as well buy them!
Asics, you rock. Those shoes lasted. Did they look amazing when they were retired? Absolutely not. Did people think I might be homeless? Probably. I could not part with these shoes! I had worn them for volleyball for 3 years, track for 6 years, indoor soccer, and golf! When they became too ugly and beaten up to wear in public, they became my weekend/adventure/mow the lawn shoes. Why would I ever buy new ones as long as these versatile, comfortable, and already paid for shoes were still wearable? Those well-traveled shoes taught me 3 things about myself.
1. I am frugal. I cannot pay full price for a new pair of shoes when I have a pair that still functions. I have only barely amended this belief. When it comes to cute heels (on sale), there is not a limit to how many you can own.
2. As all frugal (stingy) people must be, I am resourceful. And creative. The sole is coming off? Super glue. The side is wearing out? duct tape. The toe has a hole? pretend there is no hole... or wear cute socks. Pretend it's fashion.
3. I am entirely too sentimental. About every. thing. ever. I get attached to things. I have old cards in their old envelopes because it has the handwriting from someone I love. I have school work and notes, still in their notebooks; ribbons from Christmases past, and wrapping from birthdays. I won't use them again, they're just too pretty to stuff in the trash...
I promise I'm not a hoarder. I eventually reach a point where I throw everything away and start over with a new batch of sentimental silliness. But the other day, while scrambling through my closet for a purse to take to the wedding, I found one of those old shoes. I still have them!... errr... one. I put it on. The sole is lumpy and hard from overuse, and then non-use. My big toe sticks out of the top, the one flaw all Asics I've ever owned have eventually succumbed to. The sole flaps where the duct tape has stopped sticking, and has instead collected all matter of dust, and lint.
These are the shoes I used in track instead of "throwing shoes", because they had no tread by then. They were smooth and soft, allowed me grip without traction. They were my lucky shoes.
They are the shoes the TSA checked for shoe bombs, on my first ever flight on my own. A young, blonde, almost translucently pale, 16 year old girl in a track uniform as thin as kleenex, pulled aside for a "random security check." Sorry you had to smell those shoes, TSA. You brought this on yourself.
How do you just throw away history like that?! So much Life happened in those shoes. So much ground was covered. Tournaments all over the state, a trip to Washington DC, another to Tennessee, countless nights rehearsing drill, after drill, after drill in marching band. The only item I own that has outlived these shoes is a backpack from L.L. Bean. That's a whole other slice! An International Slice.
Anything you hold onto, even though you know it's time to let go?
(With a heavy heart, I did throw that shoe away)