Shoes in Havana
The very first day in Cuba my feet led me to a concrete plaza. Here dozens of children and a handful of adults played soccer. They divided the plaza into 8 courts, the park benches being the landmarks. The goals would be sticks and trees would be VIP seating. I watched as each competitor shared #SimpleJoys into the moonlight, connected to each save and each goal as though it was the World Cup.
As I sit on the floor of this stadium after a sunrise run along the Malecon I am reminded about the power of play, how a simple game, a simple ball and #SimpleJoys with my friends in Dalton, PA also changed my life.
So like many times on previous adventures I leave my shoes, along with my heart and soul from this exploration in Cuba.
Like my Dad, a former wrestler, told me at 19 when i asked him why he left his shoes under his desk when he retired, ‘…when your career is over you leave your shoes in the center of the mat, signifying you left your heart and soul, with nothing left to give.’
He, nor I, had any idea how that simple sentence would impact me and how that simple story would cultivate and form my curiosity in ways I had often dreamt of as a child.
So as the act of leaving my shoes happens again it’s vital to say thank you to those of you who have left your ‘shoes’ with me on this Life In A Walk journey. From Jonathan ‘JJ’ James and Ed Borneman, who were there from day 1, to thousands of others, today’s shoes also represent the gift you’ve given to me–quite bluntly, you changed my life.
And while I’ve had similar moments in over 20 countries to date–today’s ritual is making a slight alteration, as I am leaving a few extra things.
Thank you for the incredibly gracious notes, hilarious comments and wisdom from all of you on this recent #LWOL journey.
Much love and keep walking,