For the past 30 years of my life, I have known only one way to tie my shoelaces. My mother passed this knowledge unto me, as her mother had passed it on to her and so on and so forth.
It was very simple, really. She taught me to tie a ribbon, then to knot the two “bunny ears” once again to avoid them from coming untied in school or the playground. It was ugly, but it did it’s job well.
Then, it happened. In the January 2009 issue of Runner’s World, I came upon an article (Knot Perfect) that woke me up to the awful truth: I had been tying my shoelaces the wrong way for practically my entire life. That there was a much better and prettier alternative to the double knot. That, in my naivete, I had also taught my son the wrong way to lace up.
However, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. The article provided step-by-step instructions for the Reef Knot: the recommended way to lace up using a balanced knot that would hold throughout a run. I realized soon enough that it was not too late to relearn the lacing system and move forward.
I sat down on my stool in the bathroom and tried the knot. It was amazing! Just subtle changes in my old lacing ways created a completely different ribbon, one that was tight and perfect. Better yet, after running 10km that day, it remained secure and strong!
That same day, I showed the article to hubby. And, within the week, I taught my son how to do it. Mom, you’re next!