Oh how I owe you both an apology! It dawned on me yesterday, as you lay out in front of my on the podiatrist's bench, how cruelly I've thought and spoken of you in the past! At best you've been the brunt of many a joke, at worst I've hated you and wished to replace you with a different pair. You were a victim of my teenage rebellion when I had one of you tattooed so thoughtlessly. And now I see what a gift you really are; both of you together in working order, letting me climb mountains, run through woodland, dance all night with the man I love, cycle through fields and by rivers. You've given me freedom, and I've gone 22 ungrateful years without thanking you for that!
I've criticized you for not being slimmer and longer and more toned. I've been ashamed of you and hidden you away, fearful of what other people would think, so sure that they would find you as unsightly as I did. Instead, I should have cheered in celebration of your sturdiness, your strength, your opposition to all clothing above the knee. You allow me to walk and cycle wherever I like; I never have to pay for the bus and I have no need buy a car; together you're saving the world!
What on earth would I do with spindly matchsticks? Would they get me through 86 miles of hill and dale? Would they get me to the top of North America? And they'd look even siller than you on roller skates, that's for sure! My Dad gave you to me along with a love for adventure; the perfect combination. If I'm lucky you'll last me for a while yet, and I promise, I'll be more grateful in future.
I don't know why you've suffered more than everything else. I've denied you of my respect as if the rest of me were perfect, but that is not the case; you're just as wonderfully imperfect as the parts of me that I love the most. But from now on, I will have more respect. I will continue to admire your shape and your abilities. And I hope that we'll carry on doing all the amazing things that we've been doing for a long while yet. I pass old people walking so uncomfortably, or people confined to wheelchairs, and I know that they would be so grateful to borrow you for a day. Now is the only certain thing, so let's enjoy it while we can.
I can't wait for our next adventure!