Note: The following was an essay written for a college course that has since been placed here for archiving. It was required to be written without “to be” verbs.
The approximately two-inch gash that calls the left edge of this right footed Adidas Men’s Traxion Soccer Cleat home provides a hint to the trauma said cleat prevented for its owner, me.
The shoe features the classic Adidas three stripes and a black and white pallet, though the white portions have become discolored. This reveals the shoe’s age, a handy down from an older brother. Despite these signs of age, the mostly black shoe shines well in the sunlight.
The gash formed close to a year before the writing of this paper, in an intramural soccer match at James S. Malosky Stadium. Playing as a central defender, I made a hard challenge on an attacking player and managed to get to the ball first. He made an attempt on the ball too, but instead found my foot. I wouldn’t notice until ten minutes later that my big toe felt numb and that my shoe felt strangely large, as if a size too wide.
While the outside of the shoe portrays a slick and smooth feel, the gash exposes a rougher interior that hides between the cocoon of the foot and the shining exterior which strikes the ball.
Memories are often stored within scars, for cleats as much as people. This shoe shows its work through the tanning of its white stripes and the damage to its side, reminding its owner that it made a sacrifice to save their foot. Note that its owner suffered a sprained foot, though some of this is surely due to the owner’s late realization of the situation. The shoe retains a meaning through both its sacrifice and the wound of its owner.
Despite the wound, the shoes still represents meaning and ability. The cleats on the bottom still clack when they hit a hard floor and still dig into the grass when they run across a pitch. The laces still pull in tight when tied up. The back of the shoe still hugs tight on the heel. While the sides of the upper foot feel strangely loose, most of the shoe feels good as new, or at least good as reused.
My Adidas Men’s Traxion soccer right-footed cleat represents the ability to sacrifice for a good cause and that even when battered, an item is not useless. I can feel my toes unusually surrounded by space when the right-footed cleat is on my foot. It’s a reminder of the shoe’s damage. It’s also a reminder of the damage it saved me from.
Someday this shoe might see repair, but until then, its sacrifice shall always bring a smile and sense of appreciation. My foot got better, my cleats didn’t. The cleats, however, ended up meaning more to me.