Take a walk in the steel-toe boots of Ashley from the Raven 1 blog team as she reflects on the boots that complete the AmeriCorps NCCC uniform.
I remember the first day I got to the Atlantic Region Campus at Perry Point was the day I fell in love with my steel-toes. Jet lagged and tired, but running off of adrenaline, I was escorted to the gym where I filled out a lot of paper work. And that’s when it happened. In the corner of my eye I saw corps members getting fitted for work boots. So SHINY. I couldn’t wait to get a pair. Those boots are what stood between the Ashley who was lost in California to the Ashley who was ready to serve, travel the East coast, and have a fuller sense of herself.
I tried them on, wiggled my feet, and walked around to make sure they fit. For me, these boots were a symbolic test to see if I was ready for the lifestyle I was about to endure for the next ten months. I found a pair I liked, gave the staff person all my measurements, and then it was only a waiting game until the order came in. Those days leading up to when my boots arrived seemed to take forever, but when they finally did, my uniform was complete. I was proud. I was ready. The way I walked was different. Look at me and look at my cool boots.
My boots wait for me downstairs every morning before work. Putting them on means it’s time to wake up and get in the zone.
Coming home from work I take them off one lace at a time. After each lace, my body becomes more relaxed. I put them in the same corner and they wait for me to return the next day.
The dirtier they are at the end of the workday makes me feel more accomplished, but I shine them when the both of us need to be “polished” for our presentations back on campus.
My Ameri-boots have become an extension of myself.
“You never truly know someone until you've walked a mile in his shoes”