28 JANUARY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® The Un-Comfort Zone II by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. What Secrets Will Your Closets Tell? My sister Cindy said to me, “Look at your shoes to know what kind of person you are and where you’ve been.” She added, “You can learn a lot about a person by looking in their closet.” It got me thinking, so as I was putting away my biking shoes, I scanned my closet and was dumb- founded by all the shoes I own. Now, I’m no Imelda Marcos; I have very few dress shoes, but what I do have are a lot of shoes with a single function. In addition to my cycling shoes, my specialized shoes include bowling, tennis (just for playing tennis), gym (for working out), running (which I only use for walk- ing - I like the extra cushion of running shoes because they are easier on my aging knees), sandals (open- and closed-toe versions because I live year-round in them), business casual shoes, and hiking boots to name a few. Until my feet stopped growing, I pretty much owned only two pairs of shoes - dress shoes for church and canvas sneakers for school; otherwise, I didn’t wear shoes at all during the long, warm weather months in the South. During those days, my preferred sneakers were PF Flyers (I recently learned PF stands for Posture Foundation arch sup- port insole); white canvas wrapped in lots of rubber with a thin blue or red line, and cotton laces. The only reason I preferred them over the other two brands available at the time (Converse and Ked’s), was because of their advertising. The TV com- mercials claimed I’d run faster and jump higher, and I believed it. Now, I don’t know whether it was my belief in the shoes or simply my ability, but I won every 100-yard dash, and long-jump contest whenever I wore those shoes. I’ll never forget the diamond-shaped design on the bottom of the soles; they might've improved my athleticism, but they were also perfect for col- lecting mud (and the devil for getting it back out). My mother was constantly yelling at me for tracking up her kitchen floor. One day I wore a brand new, gleaming white pair to school and was bullied mercilessly for it. I had low self-esteem in elementary school, and generally liked to keep a low profile; I never imagined a new pair of shoes would attract an attack. The older boys who spotted them surrounded me outside the school, then made a point of ruining their new look. They kicked dirt onto my shoes and stepped on them with their dirty shoes until mine looked like theirs. They would’ve gotten that way on their own within a few days, the newness never lasted long; but the next time my mother bought me a new pair, I made a point of playing in the muddy creek by my house before I would wear them to school. My feet stopped growing around age 15, and my shoes began to accumulate. I promise I don’t still have any shoes from when I was a teenager, but there are some I should eliminate that I’ve kept for nostalgic value. Through the years, shoes have become a popular metaphor and storyline, perhaps because they enable you to travel farther than you could without them. In folk and fairy tales, shoes represent change, stories such as The Elves and the Shoemaker where the change shoes brought was wealth and Wilson cont’d on page 30.