Do remember that children's story about the magic ballet slippers? I can't remember the specifics, but I remember a little girl thinking that her shoes had special powers that made her a wonderful dancer; at the end, it turns out that she had the power to be a wonderful dancer all on her own--but that part is irrelevant to today's story.
A few winters ago, I ordered some new winter boots. They're fantastic. They're waterproof and warm. They've got a lot of ankle support (which is important when you have a dog who heels so well that she insists on walking beside you on the teeny tiny patch of plowed sidewalk and occasionally nudges you off the edge of the sidewalk into the snow). Most importantly, they've got great traction. This year, I added some more winter shoes to my wardrobe while I was at the Merrell outlet over the holidays. They're water resistant, warm, and are the hight of a normal tennis shoe; they also have great traction. I thought they'd be the perfect addition to my wardrobe for the days when the roads are just icy since my boots take a LONG time to get on.
There have been many times over the last few years that I've started to slip, but I had never fallen. I was convinced it was because of my shoes. I just knew that my shoes were like those magic ballet slippers--if I just believed in them hard enough, they'd keep me upright. And believe me, I believed in those shoes.
Yesterday, we got ready for our morning walk and the parking lot was a sheet of ice--and we have to cross the whole entire parking lot just to get out to the road. Normally, we can wade through the grass and stay in the snow until we get out to the road, but there's so much snow piled up from the plows that it's walk through the parking lot or don't walk at all.
I had to skate a little bit, but we survived the parking lot. Our walk started out well, so we added a second road to our walk. Then a third. Then all of the sudden I was sliding and I wasn't stopping. I wasn't necessarily falling, either, but I was definitely not in control.
My sweet little herding dog is so in sync with me when we're walking that she immediately noticed I was moving differently than usual and she decided to take action. She started to circle me--I knew that I was going to plow her over if I kept going, so I started to squat down, hoping she'd move out of the way. It quickly became apparent that I was just going to have to give into the slipping--and I just lowered myself to the ground as gracefully as possible.
Luckily, I was fine. There was quick "ouch" moment, but as soon as I got back up, I was fine. Except for damp pants.
The biggest injury was to my faith. I had spent so long believing in the magic of my shoes and now that magic is gone. Maybe, like Tinker Bell, they just need the rest of you to clap and say "I do believe in magic shoes." I'm having trouble getting my belief in them back, though.