Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the journey...

Do you remember your very first pair of running shoes? I am not talking about your gym shoes you had to get for P.E. I am talking about the pair that you would spend the next six months pounding to dust as your forged mile after mile around the neighborhood.

I was fourteen, the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I was in California spending the summer with my grandfather. I had spent every summer with my grandfather, Papa, since I was two and my parents divorced. 

I was grumpy. Probably all those hormones raging. Papa was running an errand and told me to come with him. In the car Papa wanted to know what was wrong. I mumbled nothing. We were quiet for awhile. I assumed he would leave it alone, having raised three daughters himself he was probably use to these mood swings and knew to steer clear. Instead my sweet Papa brought it up again. He asked again if everything was okay, if I was homesick maybe? I told my grandfather that I felt fat. I was still round cheek and soft like I was at ten, not like my friends back home who had thinned out and left their baby rolls behind. 

Papa didn't reassure me that I was perfect the way I was. He didn't tell me I was pretty, or healthy, or big-boned...he actually didn't say anything. Instead he drove me to Big 5. He took me to the shoe aisle. He told me that he was going to buy me a pair of running shoes, and I would run. All summer. And I did.

I came home that summer changed. I had lost about twenty pounds (healthily), I had a confidence I didn't have the year before. I also had a love for running, for pushing myself, for believing that I could take it on.

I'm curious friends...do you remember the story of your first running shoes?

Justin helped me dig through all our boxed photos to uncover this one. It was my first week home from California, I'm strapping on my pedometer, tracking my runs even then, feeling so proud!

(September, home from Cali, rockin' the Adidas)



  1. Great story! Way to go, Papa. Pretty sure my first running shoes were hand me downs from my sister that I used for track in high school.

  2. I love that your Papa did the one thing that would truly give you confidence and change your life! Love that! I remember my first shoes just for running. The summer after my sophomore year of college (also in California) and they were Nikes. I ran all summer until I could run 5 miles. It changed me too. Thanks for sharing your story!