The Silver Lined Tennis Shoes
“We’ll be walking a lot on our field trip tomorrow” - says the 5th grade teacher – “whatever you do, don’t forget your tennis shoes! “You won’t be able to participate in gym class if you don’t have your tennis shoes.” “Please bring an old pair of tennis shoes for the rafting trip.” We’ve all heard these phrases at least once, if not many times over.
I mention the phrases listed above because they’re familiar to us. We can all identify with them. But… they have absolutely nothing to do with this story. The tennis shoes that I’m referring to belonged to Mickey Dora, one of the main characters in a book that I recently read titled “The Surf Sting” by Linda Cuy.
Mickey and Linda traveled around the world several times in search of the best surfing waves, the best food, wine, parties, and lifestyles that they could possibly find. No!! They didn’t need comfortable tennis shoes because they had to walk a lot – c’mon man. They needed shoes so they could quickly, efficiently, and most importantly bust ass out of hotels and restaurants before being confronted with the bill, or even worse, by the law. It was a common enough occurrence that Linda got nervous when Mickey wore his tennis shoes to dinner, or to a party. She knew, that at some point, he was going to make a break for it. She had to be focused, and nimble on her feet. It was all about the shoes.
Behavior like this isn’t ethical; it’s mean, and selfish. But, in every story, including this one, there’s always a silver lining. The ‘Surf Sting” is an intense, but exciting book taking the reader through approximately 20 years of tennis shoe scams and so much more. Just reading about Mickey and Linda was exhausting at times – can’t imagine having lived their lives.
Having said all of that, it makes perfect sense that the more I read; the more I struggled to identify redeeming qualities in these characters. What was to love about them? How did they move mankind forward? Well, the simple and short answer is the fact that they were absolutely lovable at times. I know that sounds complicated, but aren’t we all? You’ll just have to read the book to learn about their gentle and agreeable moments, of which there were at least a few.
What Mickey and Linda did was to have the gumption, the drive, the strong sense of adventure, and the unstoppable determination to never live in a box, to never settle for a comfort zone. They wanted to feel the most outer reaches of what it meant to be alive, to be human beings on earth. They never wanted to settle for what they viewed as a ho hum, or ordinary life. Of course, I would never ascribe to their life styles. But, what I would ascribe to is their desire to follow their hearts, to a fault in this case, but with no less commitment and passion. Mickey and Linda always went for bust, and that’s my take away, that’s my silver lining.
Gaining a wider audience for my music in order to promote love, passion, grace, compassion, and goodwill is very important to me. 2018 will be the year that I wear my tennis shoes with an air of certainty, and with a freshly infused focus a la Mickey Dora. The way to include these characters in my life is to challenge myself to respectfully reject behaviors that are overly cautious, safe, ho hum, and hum drum. It’ll be more about choosing the more exiting, impactful, and powerful option when life presents it. It’ll be about busting the bubble of comfort, and welcoming in the challenges of which I will be aptly prepared for with my new found tennis shoes.
So… if you see me attending an important business meeting with tennis shoes on, then laugh to yourself and say, “oh snap, Dave’s not joking today, he’s go his tennis shoes on, he’s chasing his dream, he’s ready to run, with a new found passion, commitment, and sense of adventure!” And so I hope you find a new pair of tennis shoes, and are able to have the confidence and commitment to seek out challenges that will cause you to grow in every way possible in order to feel the outer most reaches of what it means to be alive, and what it means to be a human being on this grand place, that we call earth.
Until Next Time, Surf It Mellow My Brothers and Sisters - the MD