(Last Updated On: September 10, 2013)
My hiking shoes have been comfortable for the many years I’ve owned them. So, it surprised me when they began to rub my heel a little wrong on a hike a couple of weeks ago. Upon inspection, I realized that the treads were nearly gone, and the threads were hanging on… by a thread. It was time to replace my Keen Targhees.
But, admittedly, I’ve grown attached to these shoes. They’ve been to Spain and to the Azores. They’ve climbed many a mountain with me, and I’ve walked countless miles in these shoes. But, sometimes, it’s just time for new shoes.
I don’t pretend to be different than most humans, most of whom are resistant to change. Why change something that’s comfortable? Why change something that works?
And it got me thinking: When was the last time I really put on a new pair of shoes? It was the spring of 2008. I owned my Keens then too – they were new. And they made the move with me – the move I made to Crested Butte.
I’d been living on the Front Range for over ten years. I had a good job teaching at a school that I loved and I owned a townhome which I adored. I was comfortable. But, my shoes were wearing out and I was growing tired of my routine life. Just as the shoes rubbed me wrong on my heel, the Front Range was rubbing me wrong. I was growing tired of the poser-people and the fact that I had to drive too many miles to go ski or ride single track. It was time for a new pair of shoes, even though the old ones had done well for me for many years.
When I moved to Crested Butte, I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have any money (well, I still don’t) and I didn’t know very many people. Most of all, I really didn’t know if I could make it work. Although the shoes fit, they weren’t broken in, and they weren’t comfortable yet. But, the shoes broke in, just as any good shoe. I found my job, and I found my niche here in paradise. And, to this day, I look back on it as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I exchanged my life of city-stress and putting 40,000 miles on my car annually to a life of riding and skiing right out my front door. Instead of sitting in I-70 junk-show traffic, I put ski boots on inside and walk across the street. And, I live with the best roommate ever, my now husband.
I say this because I’ve known many people to visit us here in Crested Butte, and they gaze upon us in envy. “I wish I lived in a ski town.” I always reply, “Well, why don’t you?” The people always respond with excuses, sometimes citing monetary or job constraints, or some other excuse about “being responsible”. But, their main excuse is something they never mention – fear. They like their old shoes and are afraid to try on new ones.
This past weekend I tried out my new shoes for the first time. Frank and I are both breaking in new pairs together as Frank ventures out in his new career in real estate. It’s a change from the comfortable, and hopefully a change for the better.
As I look back at friends that have tried on new shoes – mind you, shoes that fit – they’ve never been unhappy with their decisions. Yes, there is some break-in time and sometimes blisters may form. But, the blisters heal. So, if you’re looking at getting yourself into a new pair of shoes, I say go for it. You may find that they may even be more comfortable than the ones you currently wear 🙂