Monday, April 29, 2013

Memorial Services For Running Shoes

I switched out my shoes recently. Same exact brand, same year, same color, same size, same everything.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Running shoes carry us for so many miles and so many months.  A little bit of us gets squished into them with each footstrike. We fill them with memories, then we just shed them and move on. Maybe they get stuffed deep in our closet. Maybe they get recycled.  Either way, they are like Andy's toys in toy story on Christmas morning. Just waiting to be replaced.

I felt I should take a moment to have some kind of ceremony or memorialize the shoes:

Dearly beloved. We gather here to say our goodbyes. Here they lie. No one knew their worth
The late great running shoes of Mother Earth

They lived a life not as full as they should. They had such promise.

They went to New York, where they were going to be my first pair of shoes to run the New York City Marathon. Five Burroughs, 4 bridges, central park. What more could a shoe ask for?

Alas, it got canceled, and they took part in the informal "run anyway" in central park. It was a memory burn, but a moment less fantastic than what could have been.

Then I wore them to the Rock CF Rivers Half-Marathon in Grosse Pointe.  A chance to shine!  Unfortunately, I wasn't racing the event. It was simply a training run.  These pair would never know a true race, but they covered some important miles.  Now they are gone.

But, spirit in, spirit out, and a new pair has arisen.  The old pair, reincarnated really. A Rising Phoenix of a Nike Pegasus

26 days from today, these new shoes will be running up and down the arm of a peninsula in Traverse City for the Bayshore marathon. Barely a month old, and they'll get to cross the marathon line finish.

Then they will start training for the next marathon.

They will be laying the groundwork for a new pair of shoes, who will grab the metaphorical baton, probably right before the 2013 New York City marathon, (NYCM Redux) and the spirit of a new shoe will take me over the bridges and across the Burroughs.  The torch gets passed from one pair of shoes to the other.

Yes, our shoes our like our ancestors. They lay the training and hard work, where often times it is a new pair of shoes who steal the glory.  We should all be like a nice pair of running shoes, willing to sacrifice ourselves for those who follow us and may cross the finish lines that we worked to make possible.

...and we should all stink.
...and we should all be neon colored.
...and each year we should reinvent ourselves, a new model each year. No, not like the companies to make a few bucks, but to grow and evolve. 

May God Bless Their Soles.

**(In response re: memorial services for shoes, Johnny B @RunRunJohnny writes:
I wish I would give them a viking funeral in St. Clair. Instead they become lawn mowing shoes, stained w/ grass and dogshit.)


Char said...

Oh good. I'm not the only one to feel sentimental about my shoes.

Kathee said...

Oh that's awesome! I have the hardest time actually getting rid of shoes. I'm really a running shoe whore..I have a pair of never worn running shoes that are waiting for another pair to wear out. I buy a pair of running shoes to ease any pain of life...while eating a triple chocolate bundt cake from Trader Joes.

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Ann said...

Sadly, I am with @RunRunJohnny my beautiful running shoes become dog poop shoes. But I do indeed like the idea.

Suzy said...

I almost snorted my coffee out my nose at the "God bless their soles" bit. Ha HA! You're hilar.

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