This I Believe

Meghan - Elmhurst, Illinois
Entered on April 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

It is often said that you must walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you can really get to know them. I believe, however, that you may get to know someone not by walking in their shoes, but by observing the reaction on their face as they slip into them. The best pair of shoes takes you from one point to another throughout life and helps you recover from the bumps and bruises you encounter. A good pair of shoes changes your mood and holds the ability to transform your personality. Truth be told, one indisputable belief in my life focuses around the power that a good pair of shoes retains. I believe that a good pair of shoes can transform your life.

I have undoubtedly witnessed this life-changing ability that a good pair of shoes possesses through my own experiences. As a freshman in high school, I thought I was on top of the world until an uncommon dance injury set me back almost a year. At this time, I contracted closed compartment syndrome, a rare sports injury that occurs following dehydration where your leg muscles break down and excrete through your kidneys. It was too painful to dance and almost more painful to watch. At this moment, surgery to release the compartments of both my legs was the only option. During this time, I felt as though I lost who I was. I became depressed and unmotivated; I lost my will and determination and blamed everyone but myself for my injury. This changed, however, while searching for my sister’s cd in my dance bag. When rummaging, I suddenly stopped when I touched a pair of my dance shoes. These weren’t just my shoes; these were my passion and infatuation in life. Instead of tossing them aside, I picked them out of my bag and set them on my desk; my shoes made me realize that any goal was not worth discarding over a setback. After months of rehabilitation and constant pain, I was given permission to try my luck again. While slipping on my hard shoes for the first time in months, I was transformed. Joy and excitement rushed back into me at that moment. I knew who I was again- thanks to the power of my shoes- without which I would have given up all hope.

As I looked in the mirror at dance class, I glanced past the scars on my legs and right to my shoes. When you stumble or trip, your shoes are with you, helping you up, allowing you to put one foot in front of the other, never allowing you to quit. Your shoes offer you unending support; they never fail you. A good pair of shoes will always get you where you need to be in life, no matter the obstacles or circumstances cast before you. That is why my one unchanging belief is the necessity of every individual having a good pair of shoes to take them through life.