Sole Sister: MARYBETH
in the Red
Wife/ babyloss mama/ runner/ teacher/ liver/ doer
Illinois, USA
                       
                                 
The Salomon XA Pro 3D Women’s Trail shoe in lipstick red is a shoe that is marketed for the trail. “A top of the line running shoe, combining outstanding cushioning and stability with agility.” I am in love.

And, since being on my feet, they have blazed many trails.  Trails of triumph.  Solo trails.  Trails of massive length.  Trails of tears.  It is mandatory that my shoes have cushioning, stability and agility.  Especially when they are expected to take me in unforeseen places.

I’ve spent years in these shoes.  Four to be exact.  Too many miles for one pair of shoes to handle.

I bought them for my first trail race.  A race that took place on a cold and rainy November morning.  A race that left me soaking wet, with mud up  to my ass, and an all day chill.  I crossed through icy streams, over mudbanks, through sloppy grass, and down skinny trails filled with leaves that had just fallen.  I completed that 10 kilometer distance in a little over 45 minutes in shoes that had never before been worn.  They didn’t disappoint me, because after the race they came clean.  Like brand new.
 
Ready to start a new adventure.


The next adventure in my lipstick red shoes took me from Chicago to Denver to Jackson Hole.  Each day of that week, I pushed those trail runners to the limit up mountains and down rocks.  And each night I slipped them off, left them outside our tent, ready to be slipped right back on the next day.
 
My dependable old friends.


I spent much time at camp in these shoes, between trips to the mountains.  I belayed kids up and down a climbing wall in them.  I took kids 40 feet in the air on a high ropes course wearing these beauties.
 
They’ve seen lots of action.


When I traveled to Montana to visit a family member, my trail shoes and I visited caverns, crossed streams, hiked to a lake halfway up a mountain, and played in the snow at a peak in July.
 
Always pushing me to my limits.


But, the most memorable is the longest trek my shoes and I have ever taken.  It wasn’t to accomplish a masterful feat of strength for a timed race.  It wasn’t to take my soul to another peak, escaping suburban Illinois, of which I do not belong.  It wasn’t to counsel children during the summer at the local day camp.

It was to shuffle my heavy feet through the doors of the maternity ward to deliver my stillborn son.  I had only chosen these shoes that day because they matched my shirt.

Have I tainted my perfect shoes?  The shoes that brought me so much joy, that brought me to the tops of mountains and to some of the most beautiful places in our country?  Do they now hold the deepest and darkest sadness of my being?

A well rounded shoe.

~ 2 Beautiful footprints: ~

Salma says:
at: Saturday, April 17, 2010 said...

Dear Marybeth, thank you so much for sharing your shoes with us.

I am so sorry for your loss, and I have to say it is very interesting that you choose those shoes because they matched your shirt...I think it was meant to be.

Once A Mother says:
at: Friday, April 23, 2010 said...

Marybeth, this beautiful and heartwrenching post brought me chills and tears. I have items, not shoes, but items that I associate only with my loss now, even after many moments of joy with them before hand. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for ending with "a well rounded shoe" it gave me a different perspective.


Copyright 2010 The Sole Sisters Collective Blog & its contributors. We work very hard on the many stories told here and all photos belong to the contributors, unless otherwise stated.

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