Change is the only constant

Why is it so difficult to let go of old stuff?



My faithful pair of running shoes has served me well over the past 2 years and together we covered an excess of 1600 kilometers of injury-free runs. We shared many moments and emotions together and gathered many medals. But I knew they were worn out and could cause injury and I knew I had to replace them soon. The only challenge was that I could not really afford to spend so much money.


Then I received notification of a payment from the SAPS Widows’ and Orphans’ fund. Policemen contribute monthly towards this fund and should they die, their widow receives payments to assist them financially) There’s an allocation for the “widow” and for each “orphan”. As they turned 18, their allocation fell away, but I continued to receive my allocation through the years. It took me back to the years when money was scarce with two hungry, growing and sporty boys and they were financially needy (school,sport and social stuff too). At times I needed to say no to new sport shoes or take-away treats and desperately had to find creative ways to get through the last week before pay-day to ensure there is enough food in the house and petrol to get to work – and then I receive a Widows’ and Orphans’ payment. And once again, life was good and the kids happy!


And again, it came to the rescue at the right time. Life was good again. Only difference was that I could spend it on myself (the “widow”) and not on the “orphans”who were always my priority. It was not enough to cover the cost of the shoes, but then my loving and generous boyfriend offered to contribute the balance (as an early birthday present)


To those who are runners, know very well what a harrowing experience it is to have to buy new running shoes. It is a very complicated and emotional process. You need to find the right pair that compliments your running style and stride as well has your feet and body, otherwise you experience discomfort or injuries. I’ve experienced it before and it was costly mistake. Its ambivalent. Excited to get new shoes, stressed about finding the right pair and nervous to let go of the old pair you were familiar with and functioned well.


Nonetheless, I was só excited to go shopping for my new running shoes. And I got the perfect pair! I could not wait to take them for a run this morning.


But I feel so guilty abandoning the old faithfull pair….


It’s like that with everything in life. We tend to hang onto emotions or possessions that no longer has a positive or beneficial purpose in our lives. It seems easier to hold onto the familiar and suffer the damage, rather than making the choice to take the chance to embrace the change and to face the fear of the new and unknown. Unfortunately, the subliminal turmoil results in internal conflict, that, not only consumes a lot of energy to manage, but also causes disarray and discontentment.


Embrace the new, feel the excitement that fear creates. Harvest the energy and feel alive with the adrenaline running through your veins. The reward, once accomplished, is accelerating.


So, after my short maiden voyage through Northcliff streets with my new shoes, I was relieved that I trusted my choice to take the chance to change my running shoes! I had an awesome and comfortable run and smashed my average pace without effort and experienced no aches afterwards (other than burning calves, but that’s understandable because my body needs to adjust to the new shoes). Only possible after learning the lesson and finding the positive intent of the painful and costly mistakes I made in the past when choosing shoes.


I am happy!!!


I looked at the old tekkies lying on the floor and for a brief moment felt guilty, even though I know they are no longer any good to me. I realised I should not see them. If I don’t see them I won’t think of it. In Afrikaans there’s a saying “uit die oog, uit die hart”, so I packed them into a drawstring bag and put them in my suitcase. I decided to still give my old running shoes a purpose in life, and will donate them at the Cape Town Marathon for their charity drive.


If you want to let go of stuff, you must remove them from your sight and thoughts and replace it with the visons and thoughts that serves you positively, also known as desensitisation.


I am excited to run my second Cape Town marathon in my new running shoes and happy to let go of the old ones that will add value to an aspiring runner who is not as lucky as me.

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