During the lifetime of your Brooks running shoes, you’ll go through many ups and downs. We’re talking about hills, of course.
And you’ll go through mud and dust and you’ll cross streams and you’ll pound pavement. And after a few hundred miles, you’ll reach a point when it’s time to do that dreaded thing that every runner must: retire their running shoes.
Brooks super fan and runner Stephanie Schultz knows what that’s like, and she wrote a poem about it to share her love of running and the feelings of nostalgia every runner gets when it’s time to retire a pair of shoes.
The Shoe Retiring Ceremony is held for runners
once every five-hundred miles,
on a Saturday afternoon after a final race
in an old casket factory on the Northeast end of town.
The ceremony begins with the shoes—
bald, wrinkled and tired—
and their moment to say thanks
for the ability to do the job they were made to do,
the miles they were meant to run.
The runner then gets to remember
her ten minute improvement in the half marathon,
crossing the finish line of her first full marathon,
kicking up red dust in the Arches of Utah,
taking an unexpected dip in the Mississippi River.
These memories are then inscribed onto the box
in which the shoes came
and in which they will finally rest—
a box to be displayed on a mantel or bedside table
like a photo of a loved one or a gold trophy
where they can whisper to a new pair of shoes:
Take these feet, these legs
to further distances, to new places.
They are ready for you.
We feel you, Stephanie. Every few hundred miles, we all feel the same way!
Share your poems, love notes, and odes to running with us!
Stephanie Schultz earned a BA in English and Graphic Design and Media Arts from Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., in May 2011, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She participated in track and field at the varsity level in high school and college. Stephanie’s poetry and essays have appeared in Paddlefish and at tcmevents.org, respectively.