Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | September 8, 2010

Red Shoes

For my 12th anniversary present some years back, my sweet husband Jim gave me just the present I wanted… a pair of red Converse high-tops.  I had been wanting a pair for decades, and simply never got around to buying a pair when I had the money to do so.  It was one of the most romantic presents I could have asked for, second only to that honeymoon trip to Hawaii which we will probably get to around Anniversary #25.  (No, we never have had a honeymoon.)

My red high-tops make me happy.  I wear them on days when I need a lift and on days when my heart is already floating in the clouds.  They are just happy, happy shoes.  People give me looks when I wear them, but they are usually looks with big ol’ smiles, as if they understand that sometimes a middle-aged woman just has to have fun.

When I get to take this boot off, I am going to wear my red high-tops again.  I will wear them probably for a week straight, reveling in the joy of having two matching shoes.  But that isn’t what this post is about.  Here is a quote I took from a newsletter sent by my friend Rob with the Reeve Foundation:

Did you ask, “Why?”
“Thinking about the title of this thread: “why?” I am reminded of a silly comedy routine from my childhood. There was a slapstick comedian named Prof. Irwin Corey who wore silly rumpled clothes and bright red sneakers. I must have been about 10 years old when he was being “interviewed” by his straight man who asked: “Prof. Corey, why do you wear red sneakers?” To which he responded: “this can be broken down into two questions. The first is “why.” And this is a question mankind has asked from Aristotle and Socrates through biblical times and modern man. And to this day, we don’t have an answer to that question.” The second part of the question is “do I wear red sneakers” and the answer is yes!

For some reason I have thought about that for over 50 years. Sometimes we ask the question why and make wonderful scientific or interpersonal breakthroughs. Sometimes we ask the question why and we suffer. Maybe the real lesson is to live the lives we have even if it means wearing red sneakers!”   Dr. Dan

OKAY, I have to repeat that sentence and please forgive me raising my voice:  MAYBE THE REAL LESSON IS TO LIVE THE LIVES WE HAVE EVEN IF IT MEANS WEARING RED SNEAKERS.  

The Buddhists tell us that pain is a part of life.  Pain turns into suffering when we grasp at it and hold on to it.  Sometimes we cherish our pain and hold it close to our hearts as if it is a tender thing that needs to be cared for, instead of letting the pain run through us.  If we feel the pain, but don’t grasp at it, the pain doesn’t become suffering.  I try to tell myself this every time I have a migraine.  Sometimes I am successful, and sometimes not so much, but I do work at it.  I have been truly blessed in my life by not having a great deal of physical pain to practice this with, but I did spend some years of my life practicing this on emotional pain after my first husband died.  To be honest, I was never successful at letting that pain run through me.   I grasped at that pain and held it close.  Suffering?  Yes, I know what that is.  Did I ask “Why?  Why me?” during those years?  Yep.  And there is no answer to that, as the old comedian tells us.  There is no answer to the whys of life.  Life deals the cards and we can choose to grasp at the question of “WHY?”, grasp at the pain, clutch it to our hearts until it becomes suffering, or we can let it run through us, cleanse us with its passing or with the heat of its staying.  Pain is always a part of life, but we don’t have to suffer.  

“Why?” there is no answer.  “Do I wear red shoes?”  Yes, I do.  They make me happy.

Go forward, my friends, go forward.

9/3 – 10 miles on the Airdyne and push-ups
9/4 – 10 miles
9/7 – push-ups
9/8 – push-ups



  1. I pushed the recumbent bike today and got no ill effects!

    The PT guy said he hadn’t seen that bike go like that for a long time.

    I didn’t put in anything like the miles you’re doing, but I did more than they asked for.

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