Just got me a brand new pair of running shoes!
Can’t wait to see how much time they shave off my miles!
I mean, you know that happens don’t you? Don’t you remember when you were a kid and you got a new pair of tennis shoes? Oh, how quickly you forget!
You just couldn’t wait to get out there and test them out and put them through the paces. You knew you were going to be soooooo much faster than you were before! It was magical! Your friends didn’t stand a chance. By simply placing a brand new pair of shoes on your feet, you were suddenly – better, stronger and faster – just like Steve Austin – The Six Million Dollar Man!
I mean why do you think professional athletes are always putting on new shoes? When you are playing at that level, you need all the edge you can get and ‘New Shoe Magic’ is a commodity that cannot be ignored. The Payton Mannings, Derek Jeters and Dwayne Wades of this world are amazing athletes, no doubt, but let’s not kid ourselves. There is no discounting the contributions of New Shoe Magic for the Super Bowls, World Series’ and NBA Championships they’ve won!
(You may be asking, “Well, what of Lebron James and all his new shoe deals combined with his talent? Why hasn’t he won a championship?” Well, I’m sorry to report that there is also something known as ‘New Shoe Magic Abuse’ and Lebron is ‘The King’ of that as well. You won’t hear about that on ESPN. It’s complicated and I don’t have time to explain it in this blog, but it has a lot to do with loyalty and baby powder)
A new pair of tennis shoes changes the game! I mean everything is better. You can hit a ball farther, you can catch better, you can jump higher, and of course, you can run faster. There is no other explanation for the explosive impact of a new pair of shoes.
But you know it can’t last forever. You know the day will come, and it always comes too soon.
I mean you’ve been as careful as you could be. Sure, you got them dirty, maybe even a little muddy, but then it happens!
You wipeout! It’s a fall, a trip or maybe you just got knocked down!
For a moment you’re not really sure what happened. It could be a dream, but suddenly you feel a loss that is all too real. Like Superman in a closet full of kryptonite, your energy has been sapped. Maybe it’s the three-inch gash on your right knee, but this is a different sort of loss.
You look down at your shoes. The left one is completely intact, hardly a mark. This brings you momentary relief as your eyes move to your right shoe…and there it is!
The fall has caused a major scuff over the Nike swoosh on your right shoe! You’re gonna need some stitches on that knee, but that’s not important right now.
Almost at the moment of impact, you felt… strange. Something inside had changed.
You quickly try to rub off the scuff, but it’s deep and permanent. That indelible gash is the end of your ‘new’ shoes and all the magic that goes with it. You’re stunned, of course, and there’s not much comfort in knowing that this day would come.
The immortal, became mortal. The new, suddenly became used. Steve Austin became a meer man. You’ll never talk about it and no one will ever notice the change, but the glow, the sheen is gone.
So you sigh that heavy sigh and you relent.
But all is not lost.
All that you gained in the time of the New Shoe Magic remains with you! It merely means that now you have to go back to improving your game the old-fashioned way. You and your ‘sorta new’ shoes are putting in the miles, hitting the court and taking the field. Those shoes are going to see you through some tough training manifested through some long miles and hard work. And after a time, those shoes will take on a new image and a new role – They’ll become ‘the ole’ reliables’.
Those shoes that were magical as new, ‘used’ after the scuffs and tears, have become trustworthy, reliable and the steady comfort you want them to be. They get thrown in the corner, tossed in the gym bag and if your wife gets hold of them, tossed in the washer (ahhh!). But still, they endure. Through the sweat and the ache, maybe even a change of laces, those shoes have carried you.
And inevitably, the day will come when no amount of duct tape, Shoe Goo or fancy laces can save them. They’ve run the good race, carried you through the trials and triumphs and now it’s time to let them go. So you lace them up one more time as you set out on your journey to the mecca of New Shoe Magic- the sporting goods store!.
Yes, it’s that time again! The styles may have changed slightly but the magic is still there! You can feel in the aisles, you can smell it the soles!
“Excuse me ma’am, but do you have these in a nine and a half?”
“Yes, sir, I believe we do,” the clerk replies.
So you smile a knowing grin, your heart picks up the pace, and you lace them up.
Let the magic begin!