Now dirty and worn,
these running shoes have travelled hundreds of miles with me.
Through the sullied streets of Paris,
and the parks and plazas of Berlin.
Along the ashen coastal paths of Iceland,
and through London. Oh, London! You’re my favourite city in the world.
These shoes carried me not just to the finish line of my first ultra marathon,
but through hours and hours of training to do so.
There was stout-hearted pushing of physical boundaries and brazen determination, gritted teeth and tears and beaming smiles and hands up to the sky ENLIGHTENMENT and glinting eyes.
There was a magazine feature and photos. The shoes, of course, were the stars of the show.
Pink and purple and luminous yellow, ridiculous really.
They taught me to be loud and proud,
to not give so much of a fuck about what people think of me,
to write what I want, to be who I want to be, to love who I want to.
Sole to soul and heel to heal.
When I first wore the shoes, they rubbed the side of my foot raw. I was so pissed. But I persevered with them because I’m stubborn.
They stopped chafing in the end, I guess they gave up being so angry and aggressive, and I gave up fighting back.
Shoes can teach you things, you know.
“You never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”.
You never truly know YOURSELF until you’ve run a mile (or more) in your own shoes.
I met some awe-inspiringly awesome people this year, from all over the world.
Running connected us,
it brought us together so that we could share our stories and our passion and pass it along to others.
Bold moves were made,
It feels good.
To push yourself,
beyond your perceived limits.
To take a risk, to step up, no matter how much you tremble, to finally feel capable.
I am capable. You’re capable. We’re all capable.
The running shoes are old now,
I can’t run in them anymore, they’re not as strong as they used to be and they can’t support me the way they once did.
I feel sad,
I bought a new pair of shoes and they gleam with arrogance and defiant enthusiasm. I don’t like them as much as my old shoes.
I have a tendency to hold onto the past, you see. I cling to people and things that aren’t here anymore.
But I’m learning
To move on, to move forward, to move through.
My new shoes are tough and ready.
And I am tough,
And you, YOU, are tough and ready.
We all are.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep
and miles to go before I sleep”