A couple of years ago, a friend turned me on to a newish brand of shoes. TOMS is a California based shoe company that has become fairly popular, not only for their stylish kicks, but also for their social consciousness. TOMS’ pledge is that for every pair of shoes they sell, they will donate a pair of shoes to an impoverished child. They have expanded this pledge to eye glasses and they have also started a clean water initiative in conjunction with the coffee roasting branch of the company. TOMS has received some criticism but for the most part, I think they do a lot of good. Their slogan is “One For One”.
The other day, while I was browsing the new selection of TOMS paseos, I couldn’t stop thinking about this “One For One” mantra, but in a way completely unrelated to the purchase of a new pair of shoes for the summer. By now you have all become familiar with Betsy’s Operation Lace Up. Once a joyous activity, running has become a laborious task for my wife. She does it to maintain her health but it is a struggle. I would even go as far to say that it is a battle. But it is a battle that Betsy wins. Time and time again, even when she gets knocked down and has to start from zero, she laces up her running shoes and gets back on the treadmill or goes out, pounding the pavement of our neighborhood. Although her body might work against her, Betsy makes up for it with a strong will and a disciplined mind.
Betsy and I are complete opposites in that regard. I have a perfectly healthy set of lungs and a body that is still in relatively good condition. But I am lazy. So lazy! As part of her quest to improve her lung function, Betsy completed a couch to 5K training program last summer. In all honesty, the couch is about as far as I have managed to get in terms of running in recent years. It is so easy for me to give into to the TV or the tablet. I don’t really have a good excuse. I’m busy. But so is everyone. I’m tired. But so is my wife (even more so than me, truth be told). Betsy runs anyway.
I watch her run and I am amazed because I imagine that if I was the one with compromised lung capacity, I’m pretty sure I would have thrown in the towel on running. Betsy runs for me and she runs for Lucas. It’s not easy, but she is unrelenting. She embodies the old Nike catch phrase “Just Do It”. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed with shoes?
So I’ve decided to get off the couch. I’m out of excuses and honestly, I feel guilty. Running will be good for me but mostly I’m going to start running because I can no longer ignore my wife’s example of perseverance. I have made a promise to Betsy that I will match her running schedule. Every day that she runs, I will run too.
One For One.
I am not looking forward to this. I hate running! Running is the worst! I used to do it to stay in shape for soccer. As I’ve gotten to be an adult I have done it sporadically to prevent myself from weighing 300 lbs. It’s never something I’ve enjoyed. But that doesn’t matter now. Now I’m running for a different reason. I’m running for the sake of solidarity. I’m running so that Betsy doesn’t feel like she is doing this alone. Don’t expect me to be signing up for a marathon any time soon (you do realize that poor Pheidippides died when he got to Athens right?????) but if this gesture can be the smallest bit of encouragement to my wife, then I will have accomplished my goal.
One For One. Wish me luck…