Walkin’ Hard?

Published 7:25 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

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First, let me say, I have great admiration and respect for the young men of Alpha Tau Omega

who are walking 128.3 miles from Troy to Panama City in support of Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warriors Outdoor Adventures.

I, too, have walked hard, taking one agonizing step after the other, until my feet were bloody and bruised. Until I could not take one more step. Not one more. And for nothing more than a pair of boots.

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My older son was going off to a wilderness camp and needed a good stout pair of hiking boots to trudge the treacherous journey on which he was about to embark.

The boots cost more than the car I was driving but his survival depended on his footwear.

Although the boots were the right size and color and had the necessary red shoe strings, they hurt his feet. The boots needed “breaking in.” No, he would just wear his tennis shoes even though there was impending danger for those without “the boots!”

There was nothing for me, the mother, to do except break in the boots and save my son from the impending dangers ahead.

So, every morning, I “booted” up and went about my daily chores breaking in the boots. By the week’s end, blisters and blood were my game and myrtar was my name. Yet, those boots were as soft as kid gloves. My mission was accomplished.  However, my son decided to “just wear his tennis shoes!” and my mouth said words I didn’t know it knew!

So, when my second son decided he wanted a pair of cowboy boots with heels, like on women’s Sunday shoes, I simply asked, “Do you have a saddle to go with the boots? My son didn’t get it.

“Cowboy boots are for riding horses. The heels keep your feet from sliding through the stirrups on the saddle,” I explained.

He had his birthday money.  He wanted the cowboy boots. He just didn’t know what he was asking for.

I watched him lumbering home from school that day. It was a sad sight. After walking all day in “heels,” his couldn’t get the boots off his feet. I pulled and he pushed.

“Walking in cowboy boots is hard,” he said. I nodded.

Walking hard is a feat not soon forgotten.

Congratulations to the ATO’s for walking hard for a cause more than self.