The other day I took on a pair of shoes I didn’t wear for at least 2 years. It was a pair of sport shoes, not quite suitable for running, but still pretty much wearable on a spring / summer day.
Then I took my regular walk, going to the park where I usually run. There’s a 2 km stroll into a nice neighborhood, with small houses and quiet streets – something you don’t get to see very often in Bucharest. Then, after these 2 km, I usually go for a full leap of the park, which is something around 3-4 km. At the end of it, I get back home on the same route, through the quiet neighborhood.
To my surprise, after I did the full leap of the park, something started to bother me at the left ankle. A small pain, more like an inconvenient than a pain, but still something real. In the last 6 months I ran 2 marathons and a semi-marathon, and I had no articulations problems whatsoever. Nothing. Nada. And now, after just 6 km of walking, my ankle is bothering me.
As I was trying different ways to put down my left foot, I realized the problem wasn’t on the foot. It was inside the shoe. The left shoe, to be more precise. It was formed in such a way, that it wasn’t “compatible” anymore with my new walking style. It was a shoe I used to wear before I started to run. It was formed in another lifestyle.
It took me a while until I found a way to use the left shoe again. I think I tried different styles of walking for at least one kilometer. But in the end I found a way. After I got home I took a closer look at that shoe: I put it near my current running shoes and try to spot the differences. Yeap, the foot prints were different. The old shoe was obviously used in a different way. Like it was used by a different person.
The New You
Many times we imagine how it will be if we reach a certain goal or if we get a certain reward. Like how we’ll feel after we finish a marathon. How it will feel if we have a fulfilling relationship. We day dream about these things and then we get on with our lives. We try, and we try and we try until, somehow, we reach to that goal. And, for a while, we’re happy and fulfilled. And then we get back to our lives, feeling that nothing has changed.
And it’s only when we try to get back to the old lifestyle that we realize we’re no longer compatible with our old beings. That something did change in our lives, something so deep and so definitive that the slightest approach to get back to our old patterns will hurt us.
It’s the same with persons who seemed to play such a big part in our lives. Like close relationships, friends or partners. If we grew past the persons who were, we will find a hard time getting along with those people again. Even more, if we’d try to get close again, we may feel so uncomfortable that it may hurt.
Just like I tried to fit in my old shoes, after almost 2 years of running. I just couldn’t. Even more, it started to hurt.
And, as surprising as it may seem, that small ankle hurt, after a small walk in a quiet neighborhood, gave me one of the most exhilarating feelings I experienced: I changed. I’m not the same guy I used to be 2 years ago.
Something in the way I walk into my life is different, and it’s no longer compatible with the old me.
photo source: “Shoes and Fruit (p365 20)” by Joe Hastings – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shoes_and_Fruit_(p365_20).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Shoes_and_Fruit_(p365_20).jpg