“If you want to blaze your own trail in life, you’d best be wearing boots.” -Jamie Cearley, PhD
The American Apparel and Footwear Association reports on average, every man, woman and child in the United States purchased 7-1/2 pairs of shoes in 2013. That is one heap load of shoes. We spent more money on shoes than new cars, alcohol, or toys in 2013. This number continues to climb. We are a nation losing our minds and our dollars over shoes.
Our consumer driven economy convinces us we need all kinds of shoes. We need slippers, casual shoes, dress shoes, tennis shoes, and shoes of every color to match our wardrobe. There is a never ending list of new shoes to buy and pile in your closet. The truth is you don’t need all those shoes. Let's face it, most of them feel more like you put on the box than the shoe they are so uncomfortable. Most often they are good for nothing but to produce clutter in your closet. New shoes, like all other material quests for satisfaction, won’t do much to make life better.
Unless those new shoes are boots; then you might be onto something.
1. Life is better in muck boots. While estimates vary based on height, weight, and gender a vigorous 20 minute stall mucking will burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 calories. Chances are you won’t fill a wheelbarrow mucking one stall. Yet, if you did you could push that load for 10 minutes and burn an extra 60 calories. What a fantastic reason to add another horse to your herd or clean a friend's stall as an act of kindness.
2. Life is better in hiking boots. Not much is better for the soul than a trek in the great outdoors. You will burn 500+ calories in an hour long excursion through the hills. What’s more is you just might have a great idea along the way. That’s right; research out of Stanford University indicates there is an increase in creative thinking from walking. Don’t worry; your increased creativity will continue even after you stop walking. So put on some hiking boots, grab your tablet, and head for the hills. Take in some fresh air and wonders of nature, then perch beneath a tree to record your strokes of genius.
3. Life is better in cowboy boots. Many are referring to the young people entering the workforce today as, “generation unprepared.” For many, “I am here, aren’t I?” means they are fulfilling their workplace responsibilities. Young people who have grown up on family farms are many times more experienced with what it means to work. They tend to accept there are jobs to do that are unpleasant. Moreover, sometimes these jobs don’t present themselves at the most convenient times or under the most blissful of circumstances. Yes, those calories burned mucking stalls are often burnt in the wee morning hours, rain or shine. That’s right; the farm kid knows the stalls need mucking even on Christmas morning.
4. Life is better in the boots of someone else. If you don’t have any boots of your own, don’t worry, your life can still be better in boots. How? Another persons boots are perhaps the best boots you can wear. Putting yourself in the shoes of another creates a compassionate heart. As Elvis Presley sang, “Walk a mile in my shoes. Just walk a mile in my shoes. Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, then walk a mile in my shoes.”
I would not advocate purchasing 7-1/2 pair of shoes or more again this year. However, when you do get another pair, maybe they should be boots. No money for boots; no problem, put on the boots of another. Indeed, life is better in boots.
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