Ode to wearing out

These are my running shoes:

New Balance Minimus

They have gone many, many miles with me, through mud, grass, rocks, dirt, puddles, rain, even snow. They’ve run in Washington Park and Forest Park and Mt Tabor. They’ve run behind countless waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. All summer, I wake up often in the dark and they take me through Oxbow, Wildwood, and Eagle Creek before the sun rises and work starts. They’ve taken me through Ashland and Sacramento and Morgan Hill. They’ve run the hills of Tahoe.

Basically, they come with me everywhere.

Sometimes, they make me feel like I’m flying; sometimes, it feels like I can barely drag them over the ground. Sometimes, especially in the dark, they catch on tree roots and send me tumbling. They’re not magical, but despite the random tumbles it’s also true that I’ve never been injured in them the way I eventually have in most of my previous running shoes. It may just be that because they’re so minimal I don’t run on pavement with them, thus sparing my joints the extra shock of “civilized” surface. Perhaps any shoes run only on trails would behave similarly.

I have loved these shoes. But today, it’s time for them to retire.

As you can see from the picture, they’re a little bit shot. My foot sticks through the front where I’ve worn out the fabric. The balls of both my feet hammer the ground through the barely-extant bulge of stretched rubber that used to be a sole. They’ve never been much for padding anyway, which is why I like them, but I think the day has come for me to admit that these shoes are done.

I sort of hope that my life can be like these shoes–except longer;) I hope to feel, eventually, like I’ve worn out through good use, that I’ve squeezed every last drop of usefulness out of my time, that my days have taken me to all the beautiful places–physical, mental, whatever–that I want to go.

Heh–and then, when I wear out, I want to be able to replace all my parts and start over, just like buying new shoes:)

NEW New Balance(My new shoes!:)

Tonight, I christen these new shoes, which are actually just a new version of my old shoes. May they also have a long and fulfilling life of much happy running:)

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