Their time is long gone. They’re falling apart, have holes so big my toes slip out with no trouble, and their soles are worn down so much walking in them would be a slip hazard even on dry sandpaper. Yet I can’t throw them away.
I’ve dedicated them as “backyard” sneakers: I’d wear them when I just need to run outside to get a lemon from our tree or when I just want to hang out in the backyard. But I haven’t worn them once for this purpose; I usually just go barefoot.
But as useless as they proved to be in the past years (read: I haven’t worn them once), I still can’t get rid of them.
After all, those are the shoes that took me on my first (unintentional) trail run, the shoes I wore at the precise moment when I stopped hating running.
Those are the shoes that took me on my first hikes in Yosemite, the shoes I wore when we entered the valley for the first time and El Capitan took away my breath.
Even further, those are the shoes I wore on my way to New York five years ago, the shoes that took me to the new world.
I wore them during my first ever race, my first half marathon, first time volunteering for InsideTrail, first time volunteering for the National Parks Service. I wore them on a snowy hike up to Hidden Lake, which proved to be a decision some might call stupid, I wore them on a road trip with Ella, and another one with my parents… you get the idea.
Those shoes have been with me for some eight, maybe ten years, they withstood torturous PE classes and nerve-wracking floorball tournaments, they were on my feet when I got a concussion during one of those tournaments as well as when I was driven to the hospital with said concussion. They were with me when my body decided it was time to put me in a wheelchair for a short time and make crutches my constant companion for nearly two years.
Those shoes were with me through thick and thin, they’ve been my most loyal companion through this all, and I just can’t say goodbye to them. Maybe I’m writing this post in hopes that it would help me to let them go but just as I’m typing those words, I know I’ll probably keep them for some time to come. I’ve managed to get rid of many sentimental items but those shoes are… something else.
So much so that I just dedicated them a whole post in hopes that the world will hear about how amazing they were to me.