I remember I was 17 years old and I would rise to leave for set at 5am. In my groggy state I would slap on my jeans, my t- shirt - branded with some 90’s idol - and fumble in the dark as I laced up my sneakers. I had a favorite pair. We all did at that age. The pair that walked me all over the world. From run through rehearsals on my first set, nerve racking press junkets, meeting young, bright-eyed fans, and flying to London, alone, at 18. I walked all over the world leaving indelible prints in my trusty pair of shoes. They were made of dense white leather and beige frayed laces. They became worn with every journey I took. I cried the day I had to let them go, for they held so many memories in each stride.
I’ve been thinking a lot about shoes lately and how they hold the feet that take the steps that change our lives. One step at a time. And all those steps, from the first one to the last one, all those steps in-between make up our lives. Make up our legacy. As I observe my children’s feet, that keep growing, I think of all the experiences that will occur as they move through their life, from their first giddy kiss to their first painful heartbreak, their shoes will tell tales that I may never know.
My husband grew up without much. He wouldn’t get many new things, and when he did he wouldn’t use them for the fear that they would not be new again. So he would hold onto his sneakers, like an antique heirloom. When we met, I remember stumbling on his wardrobe, and there, shining like white diamonds, were all his sneakers in pristine condition. Shoes to him were held in such regard. They were the few things he could afford to buy and he was not about to let anything happen to them.
This year has been the hardest for many. The loss of freedom and so much of the enjoyable parts of life has made so many of us feel trapped. The main thing that has got our family through each day, are the walks we have taken together. The conversations we have shared and the peace that has washed over us,, although fleeting, as we continue to move our bodies.
Our family has always been a devoted fan of sneaker brand company GREATS. They are Brooklyn’s first sneaker brand, founded in 2014 by Ryan Babenzien. Their motto has always been " the greatest people consider the collective" They are beautifully designed and dependable. They feel like a memory.
Our shoes and our steps make up the stories we carry with us during our days. From our first, to our last and everything in the middle, we choose our shoes wisely, as they make up our memories, which make up our stories, that ultimately make up our legacy.
- Tammin Sursok
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