for the love of s-i/s-o

When I was 15 and my number one goal in life was “getting my kicks up”, I did sets of high kicks in my ski boots instead of my ballets.

With “Build Me Up Buttercup” blasting on the 45 record player and the grace of an elephant, I threw one boot then the other over my head —

I’ll be over at— CRASH! — you told me time and a — CRASH!  

At 15 determination knew no bounds it seemed, and the only thing feelin abuse was the cement floor in the basement.  Ooo-oo-ooo, ooo-oo-ooo. 

Now I know that was a really long time ago, but if you factor in the evolution of plastics and technology over more than 30 years, and you put the boots to their intended use — well, breaking them in, it seems, shouldn’t be like giving birth through your feet.

And it turns out, after two days of excruciating wanna-kill-the-father-of-my-devil-baby pain, it really didn’t have to be this way.   But I didn’t know that. 

On day one, I blamed the murderous discomfort on the fact that for the first time in 15 years, ski-in/ski-out was missing from the equation and I was walking miles in brutal conditions with the stiff new beasts on my feet.   I reached out to the Big Bear who replied ‘gotta breakem’ and ‘aren’t you flexing?’  So, with a few adjustments and new hope, I went into day two, convincing myself that I couldn’t feel my feet due to wicked Mary Jane and the 30 mph wind chill at 10,000 feet.  But then I cried.  And it was all over.

Upon my return, I took my blackened toenails back to see the man who seduced my feet, convincing me it should feel “snug”. 

This is when I learned that 23.5 is the equivalent of a size 6.5.

I am a size 8.5.

Trust your gut.  Listen to your feet.  And stick with the s-i/s-o.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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