· By Toby Morrell

Cold Feet

I got cold feet one time and it changed my life forever. Now when I say cold feet, I mean literally cold feet. Most people don’t use “literally” correctly but I am. I didn’t back out of anything.

My feet actually got extremely cold and that changed my life.  

We traveled all over America for several years in a 2001 Ford E350 van. I love that van. It’s parked in my front yard as I write this. It’s done more for us and lasted longer than any other vehicle could have done. But there’s one issue that plagues me with ole Martin VanBuren.  When it’s cold and we use the heat it only heats half of the van. What’s worse is it’s the top half. So when you sitting on the bench from the knees up you are warm and toasty. But from the knees down you might as well be sitting outside in Antarctica. So my life changed.

I went from loving cold weather to hating it. I became a warm weather, beach climate person over about two winter tours. Cold was always in the van on fall and winter tours. If you were happy it was cold. If you were sick it was cold. If you were trying to have sex with your wife in the DIY bunks we made...well you get the point. It was always cold. If only I would have known then that I could treat myself to better socks and shoes.  

I always felt guilty buying more expensive clothing, especially socks and shoes. I felt like I was being selfish and kind of a wimp. Man up and take the cold. I wish somebody would have told me back then that it’s okay to buy the right things you need. It’s not selfish to get something that more expensive but better quality. In fact, I’ve found that it often saves me money because when I spend my hard earned money on a good product, I will take better care of it. And since it’s a better quality product anyway, it lasts so much longer.  

I’m 40 years old. I could be looking back with so much more fondness on my early touring days if I would have just told myself that I was worth it. That it’s okay and even a good thing to buy the right clothes and products when you need them. I wish I would have realized that the clothes don’t make the man, but they sure as hell can keep your feet toasty.