Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.
To start off with, yes, I am that type of girl. The one who has at least 100 pairs of shoes and still feels that none matches her outfit for the day perfectly. I love heels, I love flats, I love running sneakers, I love sandals, and I love boots. But there is no pair of shoes in the world I love more than my tennis shoes.
It’s not that they are the most used ones, which they definitely are. And it’s not that they are Adidas or that one pair I had used to have Swarowski diamonds on them:)).
It’s the fact that when I put them on, I change. In my white, hopefully redish form clay, tennis shoes I feel I can take over the world. These shoes have seen me in victory and they have seen me in defeat. But, they have also seen me in countless hours of practice. They have seen in setting a goal and working for it.
I know girls that wear flip-flops until minutes before their match or immediately after. I can understand the logic, but for me, preparation for the match and the cool-down after start with my shoes. And stepping on a podium or receiving your trophy in something other than the shoes that got you there in the first place seems blasphemous to me.
And it’s always funny what a love-hate relationship I sometimes have with them. And one example works perfectly to describe it. I would have blisters from running or training and it would literally feel like stepping on needles every time I make a step. I would hurt to walk even barefoot, but I would still put on my tennis shoes, and at least part of the pain would go away. My parents never really understood that. You could hear them say: “Oh, you can barely walk, how do you plan on running?” and then watch in awe how I would sprint in my tennis shoes.
I need to change them quite often though, and it breaks my heart every time I have to throw a pair away. So I developed a habit before I actually get rid of them. I sit down and rememorize the journey I made in them. I remember the first training, when they are so white, I am embarrassed, (because it looks like I haven’t played), the first match, the longest run, the hardest training, and when they start deteriorating. After I remember the last match I played in them, I feel happy, because I see the progress I made in them, and the change me, as well as them suffered.
This pair especially will forever stay in my heart. The state they are in, in that picture, is the result of the three weeks I spent at Bollettieri Academy in Florida. I feel that I suffered a profound change while there, especially, but not only, related to my game. I began seeing life differently and these shoes are the physical representation of how I shed a layer simply through hard work.
And this pair, is the one that replaced the one I talked about above. The change happened more than one year and a half ago, and I still use the same kind. I bought 2 pairs while at the academy and afterwards I ordered 3 or 4 pairs on the Internet, and I hope they will still offer them for a long time. Otherwise, I think I’ll have to make a stock of them.
In the end, I adore how my tennis shoes get me where i need to be, on the court, moving. “I am a tennis player” only sounds right to me while wearing them.