The shoes I wear when I hike are ridiculously old. And I love them. They tracked through Germany with me when I was the Ambassador of Disneyland and ran me to the finish line of my first triathlon. There are little holes above my big toes and the front of the shoes are coming apart which sometimes flings dirt forward as I walk. But I can't give up on them. They fit my feet perfectly, they have been so good to me.
However, last night Matt and I were hiking. I had mentioned to Matt for the last couple weeks that my shoes are more slippery with every hike we took. But I still attack every hike the same way. Yesterday, we were on our way down a pretty steep bank and my shoes finally gave up and my leg flew out from under neath me and I slammed onto the ground. It hurt. My hip was throbbing, I scraped and bruised the bottom on my leg, and my hands were stinging from catching me on the jagged rocks.
Matt and I decided that the path we were on was probably to steep for my little old shoes, so i knew if we headed back up the mountain, I could dig my toes into the mountain and succeed. So we started up the steep incline. I won't lie, I was scared. It was steep and I doubted that my shoes could do their job, but I went forward anyway. I went ahead of Matt and only about 10 steps later, my shoes gave up. I started to slide down the cliff and my shoes would not grab on. My hands grasping for something to hold onto, but I wasn't stopping. I screamed to Matt, and he reached out and grabbed me. Thank God for Matt and his solid shoes.
We gave up and ended up hiking parallel to the cliff until we were on a path that was flat enough that I could hike safely.
I can't stop thinking about how I can't remember the last time I fell while hiking. And yet, I had just had two pretty bad falls right in a row. Maybe it was my shoes. Maybe they really had hit there breaking point, but also maybe it was me. The first fall had put doubt in my mind, I had started wondering if these shoes could really get me through this hike. I wonder if subconsciously I had started hiking differently because of that little tiny doubt in my mind?
Tiny little doubts can start making you live differently. They can get into your mind and you start making decisions out of fear that you don't even know you are making. The thing is, sometimes you need to change your shoes, but sometimes you just need to stop making decisions because of fear (or at least start noticing when you are).