In 1993 or so I bought a very posh pair of hiking boots from LLBean - from their store in Maine, no less. They were at the time a small fortune for me: $100! Yes, they were stiff leather and would take some breaking in. Throughout all of my subsequent global rambling those boots followed me, from Scotland to Seattle to California and parts in-between. My expensive hiking boots!
Fifteen years later I finally admitted that they did not fit properly. I had relinquished countless hiking opportunities because I'd clung to a pair of boots that were supposed to do the job and yet hurt my feet after 20 minutes of walking. "I paid $100 from LLBean, dang it. They're supposed to be GREAT!" They might well have been but not for my odd, semi-flat and duck-like wide feet. I held on in denial. And didn't get my heinie out into God's glorious lands unless the weather and terrain were just right.
Two years ago I gave them away. I let go. I told myself the truth. This isn't working.
Two weeks ago I high-tailed it to REI, found a harried yet helpful salesperson in their shoe department, and proceeded to try on pair after pair. I had 10 minutes remaining before I was to leave to attend a Eucharist with the Benedictine monks in the Berkeley hills. Eyeing a pair on display, I asked for these in two sizes. I often need a shoe a full size larger than my size 6 feet. Slipping on the size 7's, I walked around the store. I felt like I was walking on air yet supported. I walked some more. SOLD. Mine!
It wasn't even until I made it to the checkout counter that I realized I'd found a $200 pair of footwear. Barely blanching, I got out my credit card (which I do pay off every month, incidentally). And this past week, injured from a fall last Sunday and taking a break from the gym, I put them on and went for a one-hour walk in the local hills. I breathed the air, I watched a deer eye me and then scamper away, I made it to the top of a small hill with yes, multiple stops. It was muddy in places. It was twisty in places.
It was beautiful.
I have been humbled by the consequences of slipping on early morning ice en route to church last Sunday. Landing soundly on my butt I also pulled a few muscles. I am healing ... however my self will run riot I WILL lose those eight pounds dammit! fervent go GET 'em! gym rat run has taken a pause. Is all of me God's or am I still trying to impress Him by attempting to atone for my in-denial gluttony of the past year? Granted it's been a muddle, which is why I can take so long to wake up. Of COURSE it's awesome (lavish pat-pat-pat) that I'm going to the gym! I'm rebuilding my brokenness by His Grace! Or am I also trying to make good on my own until it's Showtime for God? Houston, we have muddle. Of course "God didn't make me fall" - however post pity party has found me contemplative. And prayerful.
This past week I tried out my new hikers on a glorious cold winter day. I've paused my almost relentless gym run which has built muscles but not addressed my in-denial snackaholism. I've prayed more. I've given thanks more.
Wry humble pie as Lent draws near.