Nike and I
I’ve been a fan of Nike for as long as I can remember, laying my eyes on my first pair of Nike Air Max at around 8 years old. I still remember the feeling of “walking on air” when I tried a pair on at Olympus Sport in Chatswood. Surrounded by shelves stacked with Air Jordan 5’s and Air Max – I was in heaven. I was taken aback by the aerodynamic and sleek design of these shoes or “works of art” as I saw them.
With a price tag of around $180 (back in 1990), these shoes were my Mona Lisa and Olympus Sport was my Louvre.
To be able to afford a pair of these awesome pieces of work, I’d have to mow the lawn over 36 times and as you know grass only needs mowing every few weeks. I could hold off for Christmas, but it had just passed a few months earlier – this meant my birthday was a few months off. Stuck in a gift receiving no man’s land, things were looking grim – to say the least.
Image from: sneakers-magazine.com
So, I turned to my big bro Pete. Pete worked most afternoons and weekends for Target collecting trolleys, so I was hoping he’d have a cool $180 floating around. Pete was one of the most stylish dude’s I’d ever known, he was a trendsetter and if anyone would understand – it would be him.
On the way home from school one afternoon, I convinced my brother Pete to enter the “Louvre” and check out “Mona Lisa”, that I’d been yapping about endlessly for two weeks.
The staff at the “Louvre” knew me by name now and greeted me with a sombre “Hi Sam”- this threw my brother Pete a bit, so I thought it was time to make my pitch. “Pete, you know…” Pete interrupted me, “I know why you dragged me in here…you want me to buy you a pair of Jordan 5’s.” “Or Air Max…” I blurted out.
After a long pause, Pete turned to me, rubbed the mop of hair on my head and said: “nice try little buddy, but not in this lifetime”.
Image from: mrporter.com
As you can imagine, I was crushed and became resigned to the fact that these shoes were just for looking and not for owning.
Image from: mrporter.com
A few weeks went by and one day after school I came home to find a parcel on my bed.
I cautiously opened it, revealing an orange/red box with a white Nike logo printed on it and a card saying: “Keep dreaming and keep smiling Sammy. Love Pete”.
It was a brand new pair of Air Max and an absolutely surreal moment.
It turned out that Pete had been taking on additional hours to buy them for me – with help from my mum he was able to get them. I still have that card to this day.
This is just one of my many great memories of Nike Air Max. Nike isn’t just a brand to me, it’s part of my personality, who I am, where I’ve come from and where I’m going.
There are three men that I owe a lot of good memories to, Phil Knight for creating Nike, Tinker Hatfield for designing the masterpiece’s Air Jordan 3 – 6 as well as the Air Max and my big brother Pete for always understanding my passion for art.
Happy Air Max Day