To My Cleats, From A Former Athlete

To My Cleats, From A Former Athlete

To My Cleats, From A Former Athlete

Dear Cleats,

First off, I would like to officially apologize to you. I am sorry you smelled so wretched. I probably should have let you air out a few times a week instead of shoving you to the bottom of my sports bag to spread the stench to the innocent sweatshirts I had carelessly left in there. But while the smell was truly terrible, any whiff of stinky sports equipment now immediately brings back a flood of memories that all center around you.

When you first came into my life, we were both small and absolutely clueless to what we were getting ourselves into. I could barely tie your laces to keep you secure to my feet that first day I nervously stepped onto the field to play. But, when the ball slowly rolled to us and I planted you firmly in the ground and swung my leg back to kick, I knew we were going to be best friends.

Slowly, my shoe tying skills became better, my kicks became strong, and you and I fell in love with being an athlete. You were always right there with me as I developed into a better player and, most importantly, a better person. We learned to never give up, no matter how tough the opponent or how slick the grass. We made some lifelong friends along the way, me with my teammates and you with our shin guards. Together, we survived ugly losses and bloody blisters because of the our undying love for the sport we shared.

And then suddenly, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, we were forced to say goodbye. Goodbye to late night practices and early morning games. Goodbye to scoring goals and stopping shots. And sadly, goodbye to each other. Who knew a girl could become so attached to such a smelly, worn pair of shoes? Yet, when the dreaded moment came to dig you out of the bottom of my bag for the last time, I couldn't help but cry. You should know that hanging you, and everything you represented, on that rusty nail in the garage was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

So in conclusion, my deary stinky spikes, I would like to thank you for being a part of the best memories of my childhood. You picked me up after every tough loss and kept me grounded after each victory. The lessons we learned together while playing on that field have made me into the person I am today, and for that I can't thank you enough. You should know that no matter how many fabulous high heels I collect over the span of my life, you will forever the best pair of shoes I will ever own. No matter how much you smell.


Your Former Athlete


About the Author: Mackenzie Malley

Hey! My name is Mac and I'm currently studying business at Villanova University! (Go Cats) I played soccer for over a decade and now firmly live in the glory days of playing my favorite sport. When I'm not napping or rewatching "The Office", I'm most likely writing. If you want to check out more of my work, head to Thanks!

1 comment

  • Julie Esparza: August 31, 2017

    Hi, my name is Julie and I wanna say you guys inspired me everyday. You guys give out great advice that helped throughout rough times, I just love yall stuff. One day im hoping to become a professional soccer player one day. You guys give me hope thinking I will.

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