Tuesday, August 28, 2007
A Farewell to a Pair Unlike Any Other
Last night I laced up my soccer cleats just as I have done many times before, preparing to take on the field and whoever may come my way. I haven't played in a couple of years. I played two seasons of intramural soccer while at Alabama, and before that, I was on the field every fall since third grade! I just can't describe the joy and excitement I feel when I'm on the field - I just know I belong there. I'm always ready to play.
A friend called me up yesterday wanting to know if I wanted to play, so as soon as I got home yesterday, I started looking for all my gear. Out of all the sports I've played, soccer has stuck with me, and so have these cleats. I have had the cleats above since middle school - that's about 10 years. They have been one of my favorite pair of shoes - comfortable, oh so right on my feet, worn in. They know me, and I know them. I've never even thought of parting with them...
But last night, after about 30 minutes on the turf (we were playing indoor soccer - something new for me), I noticed my right foot was hugging the inside of my shoe. After a while I could feel my foot sliding off of the heel. I tried to take no notice to it, and it wasn't until we took a break after an hour that I learned the awful truth...my shoe had completely ripped open on the left side. I could touch my foot. I was devastated, in a sense. These were my all-time favorite soccer shoes that had never left my side, that gave me confidence, that could pass, shoot, steal. They were proven.
I went to the snack counter and asked for some tape, which somewhat held the shoe through the second hour. I suppose looking back it should have been a bittersweet moment - wearing my 'Ole Faithfuls' one last time. But, I was caught up in the moment, and of course, now it hits me.
I shall miss these shoes dearly, and probably still won't part with them. Rather, I think I will keep them somewhere. And then, perhaps my children or grandchildren will find them someday, and I can tell them this story, one part of a larger story, which, in truth, is just one part of a much bigger story.