Utility

Posted on November 2, 2012. Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A shiny new red lawnmower is sitting in my garage. I was forced to buy it last week when my old one finally died.  Old is the operative word.  The dead lawnmower was blessed with a long life, having been manufactured when I was still in high school, roughly sometime around the invention of the combustion engine.  Three years ago when I took it to Sears for its annual servicing I was told that they don’t make most of the parts to service it anymore.  I knew then that it was just a matter of time.

I borrowed my sister’s lawnmower to cut my grass while I waited for my new lawnmower to arrive.  My Chihuahuas disappeared somewhere in the long grass, and I couldn’t wait much longer.  Her mower is still in my garage, next to my shiny new red one. I am hoping she forgets it’s here, in case the grass grows a little more and needs one last cutting before fall decides to stick in Texas.

My mower is so shiny and red and new that I really don’t want to use it, to muck it up. I’d simply like to leave it sitting there in my garage, fresh and clean like a shiny red apple.

My friend chuckled when I told him about my new lawnmower holed up in the garage.  He suggested that I might be a bit odd.

He may be right.  It seems to be my habit to use items longer than they should perhaps be used and to delay using new items simply because they are shiny and new.

I have the same habit with running shoes.

I own 5 pairs of running shoes, yet run in only 2 of them.  I received my newest pair as a birthday gift in March.  I didn’t wear them until July, and even then I ran in them only on nice days.  When it rained, I wore my old shoes.  My new ones were so shiny and silver and nice that I didn’t want to muck them up.

The rest of my running shoes have graduated to other uses, like walking the dogs or mowing the lawn.  My lawn mowing shoes are relegated to the garage.  Once bright blue and white, they are now a dull green and brown, treads worn off.  But useful nevertheless.  They’ve cut many a lawn.

As I considered my lawn mowing shoes and my habit of holding on to things until they can’t possibly be used any longer, I remembered where those shoes had taken me.  They were the first pair I bought that were strictly for running.  They saw me through at least my first 2 half marathons and multiple shorter races.  More miles than they should have seen. Passed down from one use to the next.   And not ready to be retired yet.

So what’s wrong with utility?  Or with appreciating the things that are shiny and new?

I wore my new shiny silver shoes this morning to run in the fog.  They flashed in the dim light of each passing car, marking my presence on the road.  Seems my new shoes are not so new anymore.  They’re finally working their way into my comfort zone.

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