I’m moving this month, which is great. I haven’t moved in four years, which isn’t so great. When you move more frequently, you tend not to collect things that you might otherwise have thrown away. Things get pushed to the back of the closet – you’ll deal with them later.
In addition to all of those things that you’ll deal with later, we all have that one thing that we hold on to for no particular reason. Or, really, for no good reason. For me, it’s running shoes.
The last time that I moved I had 18 pairs of running shoes at the bottom of my closet. And, I had only been in my apartment for three years. Yes, I have a problem.
The problem isn’t that I buy a lot of running shoes. I actually put on many miles and, because of that, believe in replacing shoes every 400 miles or so, which is sooner than most recommend (particularly with the technology and increased durability of newer shoes). The problem is that I can’t bear to part with the shoes once their useful life has ended.
In fact, once the shoes make it to the pile in the back of my closet, they are never used again. Why, then, can’t I throw them out? Really, I’m not a hoarder.
Call me sentimental. About shoes? Yes, about shoes. Each pair represents something. I ran my first Boston Marathon in that pair. I had my PR in that other pair. That pair got me through Ironman. The funny thing is that they are all the same pair – I haven’t changed brands since 2003. While the model has changed a bit and the colors are rotated by season, they are all pretty much the same shoe. But, each pair represents an accomplishment, even if it is only another 400 miles.
Each time I’ve moved, I’ve thought about giving them away, but I’ve been concerned that the shoes have been worn and won’t provide the protection that a new owner would need if they really wanted to run in them. So, for each of my last few moves, I’ve reluctantly bagged up the dozen-plus pairs of shoes and left them by the garbage. There is a fairly efficient second market in the alleys of Chicago.
So, with my upcoming move, I know that I’m going to have to face my closet and retire an unknown number of pairs of running shoes. On the positive side, I’ll have the much more closet space in my new closet – at least for now.