Just do it. The mantra made famous by the all powerful Nike brand. As I slipped off my shoes the other night before bed this familiar logo caught my eye. I stared at the logo as a flash of memories started to flood my brain.
Being completely obsessed with sports when I was younger, I had forgotten how much this symbol meant to me. When I looked at it, it gave me feelings of hope, strength, power, and confidence. I know, it's a freaking shoe... but back then it was also a dream. Surely one day I would be a professional basketball player and trade in my Penny Hardaways for a shoe with my own name neatly stitched on the back. I would play for the Monarchs, straight out of high school and be the Kobe Bryant of the WNBA.
Needless to say, this didn't exactly happen. Not only did I not make it to the WNBA but I quit playing basketball my Sophomore year of High School and my identity crisis began. I had watched my brother play Varsity basketball for years and waited my turn to play Varsity basketball with great anticipation. So why did I quit? That is a long story in itself. One that doesn't require much more explanation than a few words. My choice words would be: politics, recruiting, and burn out.
The upside to this story was that I did get to play 4 years of Varsity high school soccer. Without my soccer coaches, and those 4 years, I would be even more of an train wreck than I am today. The first two years of soccer were the most memorable. I had two of the best soccer coaches that I looked up to more than anyone at the time. They made such an impact on me that I still hear their voices in my head when I need to push myself in running. They created the phrase I say to myself when I feel my body starting to fatigue. "Push it Amber, push it!" ( yes I talk to myself. )
I have yet to come across a run that has been as difficult as one of their soccer practices. I can still hear coach Ron and coach Colleen telling us to keep going, to push, and telling us we could do it. I remember doing sprints at the end of a soccer practice thinking I had nothing left in me, but yet somehow, managed to crank out a set of sprints without collapsing.
Training for a marathon, and pushing my running give me a new sense of hope. Not exactly the " I am going to be a professional runner with my name stitched into a nike shoe hope." But the kind of hope to be able to push through hard times and achieve goals that I didn't know were possible.
And yes, I did in fact rock these shoes and I don't regret it one bit.