This I Believe

Meghan - Novi, Michigan
Entered on March 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Shoe Laces ?

I believe shoelaces are more than just strings that are used to hold my shoes together. They’re a memory that holds my life together and reminds me to take a deep breath, calm down, and just take a minute to think. I need this reminder. I tend to worry- about everything. Whenever anything new, overwhelming, or unexpected comes along, I panic. Instead of thinking about the problem I worry. ?

While I was preparing for my high school cross-country conference race, I had 15 minutes to get to the start line. It was the final race to decide our place in our competitive conference. There were two powerhouse schools that were always in front of us, but we had a solid third place going into the race. To keep that third place, every girl had to run her best. I could already feel the adrenaline pounding through my blood as I started to put on my running spikes. Then my anxiety went through the roof as I realized my cat had eaten a huge part of my shoelace. Oh no! I couldn’t tie my shoes. I would have to wear my heavier tennis shoes. Every second mattered in this race, and I couldn’t wear my running spikes. I started panicking, I mean really freaking out. If I could not run well the entire team would suffer! We all wanted at least third place and I was going to ruin it for everyone. I was such a wreck that you would have thought someone told me the world was coming to an end and everyone was going to die. Those precious minutes before the race began to tick away, and I was a shoeless mess. After a few minutes of this hysteria, my dad walked up, “Why don’t you just use your tennis shoe laces in your spikes?” Wow! It was that easy. ?

I couldn’t believe what an easy solution there was, and it made me realize that if I took a second to breathe before I started panicking, I could probably have thought of my own solution. But this lesson was not easy to remember. One week into my second semester of college, and I had already started to panic. I was in complete disarray, worrying about the work I would have to do and dreading all of it. I started planning a work schedule for the rest of the semester, and almost started hyperventilating as it continued to grow. I was still freaking out when my parents called to see how things were going. I got one response, “just remember, shoelaces.” ?

Shoelaces are my lifeline. This simple reminder of shoelaces keeps me together and prevents me from becoming a panicked mess. When a new, overwhelming problem comes along, before I go into panic mode, I take a breath and just remember, shoe laces.