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Thursday, September 5, 2013

{happy things} Collections

I've never been much of a collector. When I was a little girl I loved Nancy Drew and read the series. I still have some of the yellow hardcover books but I was never one to try and collect every book.  Even now, as I sit at my desk and look around my studio I see seashells, starfish and a small, perfect, crystal seahorse (a gift from a lovely friend) but I don't think of it as a collection.

The other day as I was lacing up my running shoes I realized, I have more than a few pairs around the house. I started gathering them up and I realized that I was indeed a collector -- a collector of running shoes.

You have to understand, I am not a shoe girl. I am happiest when I am running barefoot in cool, soft, dewy grass. I can count how many pairs of regular day-to-day shoes I have on one hand (or foot!) Typically I wear a pair of Cole Haan black ballet flats with my signature jeans and crisp oxford shirt. There are also the black riding boots for jeans and cashmere sweater days, the Hunter boots that make me feel like a British schoolgirl and a pair of aquamarine sparkly Manolos that make me feel like a Bond girl.

However, it's my running shoe collection that makes me happy. A year ago when I started getting fit I had some sneakers that hadn't seen much wear. I started working out, hurt myself and saw a podiatrist who recommended Mizunos and Asics for my particular foot. I was committed to working out so I bought a pair of each brand, switching them out each day. Then, as I worked out more and started running, I bought a new pair every few months. If I traveled and forgot my running shoes I bought a pair. This is how I ended up with a running shoe collection.

I showed Larry the collection. "What is up with you and running shoes?" he asked. I smiled. "I collect running shoes. Me. The non-athlete. I collect RUNNING SHOES!" I was actually kind of pleased that I was no longer a girl who would circle the parking lot to find a space close to the door. Instead I was interested in the foam density of a shoe and if it could help me cross a finish line.

You see, it isn't about the shoe, really. It's about what the shoe represents-- a shift in perception, a change in what I value. Before I loved handbags (or pocketbooks if you're from New England). Now I know what running shoes represent. It means that I value my health. It means that I can fly faster towards my goals in life. It means I am a Happy, Healthy Girl.

What do you collect? What makes you happy?

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