Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
They looked innocent—black with lime-green laces and trim that extended around the shoe like a platform for a fast take-off. They were technically running shoes, but I’m old enough to call them what I please. The grandkids approved. I finally looked badass. Grandma had entered the appropriate century.
Like many love affairs destined to go bad, it began well. The shoes repelled water. Their treads gripped the rugged dirt of the unpaved road. We spent many happy miles together. And then accidents began to happen—accidents that appeared natural enough in the beginning. But malice was preparing to unfold.
On the first day, I was unloading composite planks destined to become decking so my focus was elsewhere. The right toe of the killer sneakers seized the moment, sticking in a depression in the dirt that had been sculpted by the dogs, tipping me into a face plant. (Were the dogs complicit? They seemed loyal.) Luckily for me, I was bundled in thick outdoor clothes and evaded injury. Raised to assume responsibility, I shrugged and said I was a klutz. I had no idea what was in store.
The next time I fell I was walking between dear friends at an outdoor concert venue. We were laughing and talking as I cradled our picnic bag when… whoops! My toe stuck to a protrusion in the sidewalk and suddenly I was on the bag on the ground. This time there was a casualty—a defenseless wine glass, and my knee was badly bruised. A friend suggested I would be labeled a fall risk if I were in a care facility. Care facility? Only the previous week a man was hitting on me at the gas pumps!
That spring my right toe caught a protruding stone as my husband and I walked the dogs on our daily route. Splat. My knee suffered…and we were hours from flying to Florida to join family at Disney World and Universal Studios! Say it isn’t so! I had to purchase a huge knee brace to manage the 12 miles per day we trudged to be sure to see everything. I set off metal detectors.
My right foot was to blame again when a year or so later I slipped on a patch of hard-packed snow as I was walking the dogs on lead. The honeymoon was over. This time my hand hung at a right angle from my wrist. The sneaker torture had intensified.
A couple years have passed. Skin has healed over the pin in my wrist. I had accepted blame for all those falls, even though I practice both balance yoga and Tai Chi daily. This week we decided to embrace the protection of our COVID boosters and welcome house guests for the first time in three years. They were family we hadn’t seen for decades—family we needed as much as they needed us. I was ecstatic as I rushed to meet them at a turn-off. After brief joyful hugs, I hurried to my car to guide them and DISASTER! My toe caught on the uneven asphalt and I landed on my face. Yes, I broke the other arm and cracked a rib. Surgery is in my immediate future. My lip turned into a bloody purple balloon and my chin slowly turned black. All my fault? Maybe. And maybe not.
The killer sneakers are worn now as they lie in the trash. They look innocent, but who knows what treachery they were plotting for the future.