11 March 2013

These Shoes were Made for Walking

These Shoes are Made for Walking

There are things in one's life that seem to always "be there".  They may not  be highlights but they are fairly important in the development of a young person.  For me one of those things was the kind of  shoes I wore when I was age six until I was twelve.

Why would I remember the shoes that I wore?  Kid's shoes in those days were quite ugly - not the large choice of type, style or colour of today.  But mine were even uglier because they were different from my friends.

I was born with a very low arches -  flat feet.  They were not much problem until I went to school at age six and had to wear shoes all day long. 

My parents were advised that I needed to wear "corrective shoes".  If I wore these shoes for a number of years, my arches would improve.  If I did foot excerises - twisting my feet to strengthen the muscles, walking with marbles inbetween my toes, etc...that would also help.  If I paid attention to my posture, paid attention to the way that I walked (heel, toe), did my foot exercises,  wore the corrective shoes with the huge, stiff arch supports in them - well, all would be fine in the future.

The future was looking a long way off for all of us involved.

These shoes were not available at the local shoe shop.  We had to go to a special shoe store.  The shoes were always made out of leather and they were just plain ugly.  I had a pair of brown ones for school and white for church or anything else.  The heels were very important and I was constantly running them down - off they went  to the repair shop.  I would then have to wear the white ones to school. They got dirty easily - my parents taught me how to clean them up and polish them.

The cost of these shoes was high and the arch supports had to be made to fit them.  I had only one pair of the supports and if I lost one - more would have to be made.

This was something I just lived with.  I had my whole family - grandmothers, uncles and aunts, etc....encouraging me to keep going - they kept telling me that I would be glad to have done this when I was older.  I think that the whole thing was much harder on my mother then it was on me.  She was in charge of the shoes, the exercises  which I just hated - she would often do them with me - and telling me to stand up straight.  Endless.

The best day was when I was twelve.  We drove into downtown Portland to a regular shoe shop - a well known one - and I got to buy a pair of white, leather loafers with my babysitting money.  They were deluxe.  I was allowed to wear them to church and other events and slowly the corrective shoes were forgotten.

Seven years I wore those things - they were not the only thing I spent a lot of time being involved with.

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