In the corner of our mud room stands a shoe rack, where I keep my working and riding boots. The rack for some reason stands six inches away from the wall, and for the last couple of years I have been carefully ignoring the pair of boots that have been hiding there. Those boots meant a lot to me, I remember so clearly when I bought them, I had lost 100 pounds and felt like I could take on the world. They became my wear everywhere boots, every picture taken that summer you can see those boots, I was riding two horses every day, and ground working others, always wearing those boots, the pointed comfortable boots of the fit person.
Summer turned to fall, and I wore those boots while combining, I wore them grabbing rides when I could, I loved those boots. There came a day though when I kicked the boots off carelessly throwing them on the rack, still with muck and mud on them, and there they stayed, and I still don’t know what happened. Well the snow came, riding boots weren’t needed, time for nice warm winter boots, time for elastic waisted pants, for comfort eating and a slower pace of life, and then it was spring again. Now instead of feeling thin and feeling fit I felt fat and a failure, I had gained weight, I couldn’t look at my boots, they were for fit people.
Time passes, the boots gradually fall off of the rack and down beside it, one lands the right way up, one is bent and folded over, and I try not to notice them. I get so used to them being there that they become part of the scenery, I see them but never SEE them. One day recently I noticed them there, and had this pang of nostalgia and guilt, they are perfectly good boots, and shouldn’t be ignored. I dug them out emptied the dirt, dust, screws, dog biscuit, a bunch of insulation granules out of them. I took the Dyson and hovered them, and then thought “Why not” I’ll try on these thin persons boots, and what do you know THEY FIT.
I spent a wonderful couple of days washing, cleaning and conditioning and now they look as good as new, and I have been wearing them, and you know they still make this fat woman feel good. It made me wonder how often we think ‘I can’t’ or that that time has passed and that person has gone, when all that is stopping you is your mind. Henry Ford may have had it right with his “If you think you can you can, if you think you can’t you’re right” Now instead of feeling doubly guilty when looking at those boots, neglected and abandoned, I now feel great wearing them again. I may not be the person I was when I was first wearing them, but again I AM still that person, just packaged a little differently.
Interestingly enough the boot that was upright was being used as a stand, a rifle had been stood in there, and my walking stick…that stick took me back even further, to the woman before the big diet, the one who used the cane for walking, who had to rent an electric scooter to go around the big agricultural show. That version of me can stay in the past, surgery, exercise and not putting ALL the weight back on means that now I don’t need that cane anymore, that I will keep as a warning.