Monday, September 5, 2011

(Guest Post) Retired: Lessons Learned from a Decade of Socks

Retired: Lessons learned from a decade of socks
Though the original owner of these socks is debatable, the longevity and consistency of said socks is unquestionable. Whenever they were called on for duty, they were a faithful pair.

And there are lessons we can learn from this faithful pair.

1a.. That they were a pair and remained a pair. In a day and age where it is becoming increasingly acceptable to part ways with one's covenant mate, they resisted the spirit of the age and went against the grain. Though they did most of their activities together, there were times when they were separated due to certain washing conditions or various and sundry kid-nabbings. When they caught sight of younger, less worn socks - they remained faithful to one another to the end.

1b. Community commitment. They did not isolate themselves when one was turned inside out. They did not grumble and complain when one was given the right foot of fellowship. They were in it for the team - and understood that though neither was indispensable, it took both of them playing their role for organizational success.

2. At the same time, they never 'paired off' from the rest of the community. While it is true that there were stretches of life where they camped in the gym bag away from the others, that was during times of training. They could re-assimilate themselves with the best of them. They treated the single socks the same as the paired socks - showing no favoritism to either stage of life.

3. Persevering under trials. They did not let disappointment deter their resolve. Though certain training runs and races were unable to be completed because of user error, they always got back on the horse the next go round.

4. Ready in season and out. Evening, morning or noon. Winter, summer, spring, fall. Short run, long run, sprint work, cross train. They were a sock (pl) for all seasons.

5. Through thick and thin. They stuck with me through the thick and thin. Though their fabric is thinner in their older age, they never wore out in the traditional running sock spot: the achilles. They were in no way the traditional achilles heel.

6. Mortality. Though it appeared that these socks might challenge the known limits of sock-life, they too faced what all socks will face - the realization that they too will wear out and face the reality of their own liminality.

7. Identity. They may become part of a quilt, a bean bag or may play the part of a puppet - but that is not their identity. They knew who they were and why they were created - therefore they were able to serve their purpose in their generation.

As they are laid to rest today, I can safely say: well done, good and faithful socks.