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Gabby Douglas & Simone Biles: Hop off their edges

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Tuesday

On the Heel Top


When I was in my teens and twenties, I had more of an athlete’s edge. I was the rail thin girl with the hint of an onion (ass if you’re not familiar) that foretold great things in my body’s future. My boyish figure, then, fit comfortably into the loose and baggy style of young women in videos: baggy jeans, sweats, and sneakers. I’ve always been a sneaker freak and got off on the hottest pair while other girls were buying shoes with more girly appeal. The year 1996 was great for me, with the start of the WNBA, and the availability of ball shorts that I could wear without needing a belt. It didn’t help that for 5 years I danced just about every day of the week. I took dance class, assisted with teaching dance classes, taught myself, and rehearsed with the company. Seven. Days. A. Week. I worked and danced. I wasn’t a club head, and having already abused drinking in my freshman year, I wasn’t concerned with being around bars. I literally had NO reason to dress up outside of interviews, weddings and funerals.
Like I said, I had an athlete’s edge. I did gymnastics in elementary school, played basketball in Jr. high, ran track for 6 years in between, then went hard in Phys. Ed in high school and got good at volleyball, archery, weightlifting. I started waking up with aerobics shows on ESPN in the 6th grade. My mother took us hiking in the mountains of Colorado, skiing, and biking. We’ve always been active. That was my comfort zone, physical activity in clothes that did not show my body and that I could hide away in. When playing sports I was able to focus on the sport itself, and not worry about what I looked like. I was hiding behind layers and layers of fabric, with my lifestyle, in terms of activities, as an excuse that I never even had to think about. It didn’t help that I’ve always been DEEP into Hip Hop, and my favorite female MC’s were never over the top in appearance.

Now, I’m in my 30’s and comfortably coming into accepting my femininity. I’m still a sneaker freak but I’m a part of a different shoe-movement, these days. I love a shoe that represents another side of who I am as a woman. I wouldn’t call myself a vixen, but from time to time there’s a vixen-ish personality to my shoe taste. Arthritis in my knees and back problems once helped to affirm my more comfortable choices of tennis shoes. But what woman has never sacrificed a little in order to raise it up and stack it high?! Now is my time to play peek-a-boo with a mean peep toe or to tease with a little ankle strappage. And I’m so excited about the Crayola colors available! It’s like coloring a foot canvas, creating a different mission statement every time I go out. People who’ve known me forever are slightly taken aback, wondering who I am when I step in the place these days. The tight faced chick who was always prepared to burst into a sprint or break into a solo has been traded in for the mischievous smiling woman who is ready to 2-step from on high, in a form fittin' something and shut the party down. When I do it, I’m always there for the final song of the night/morning, and thoroughly fulfilled.

I’m a woman and enjoying sharing that with me first, and y’all second. Strappin’ on my heels.

Watch me move.

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