July 8, 2012
I’m not a believer in gear. The other day, I went for one of my infamous runs. I was wearing Ye Basic Running Shorts, those stretchy kind that squeeze you in unflattering places. I bought them when I injured my leg last year; my doctor thought they’d help with swelling. Thus, I have running shorts. Also, a faded Derek Jeter t-shirt, so my honey knows I love him. My running shoes, which are fairly basic and inexpensive. My aging (and thus incredibly cool) Yankees cap to keep my sweaty hair out of my eyes.
I passed by another runner who was completely tricked out: she had on glow-in-the dark sneakers, running shorts, running shirt, which apparently lets the sweat whisk off you or something. There was a pocket for her water bottle. She had on a visor with a well-known logo. Two little straps on her knees. A heart rate monitor strapped to her arm. Her shirt had a special pocket so she wouldn’t be inconvenienced by having to actually hold her iPod. I imagined it had probably taken her longer to get dressed than it took me on my wedding day. What I found even more entertaining was that we were both running the same distance: 2.5 miles. (She lives in my ’hood. There are no secrets here.)
When I go for a bike ride, I put on my helmet. I don’t require gloves, special sunglasses, a mirror, the special sweat-deterring shirt, the padded shorts, the clip-on shoes. Why? Because I’m not in the Tour de France this year. I’m just going to the post office, or, should I be on Cape Cod, to Ben & Jerry’s. There’s that fabulous Cape Cod Rail Trail, so I see a lot of people channeling Lance Armstrong up there. I do my best to encourage them by pretending to be those funny Brits who narrate the Tour. “He’s rifling through his suitcase of courage, drawing his sword for the final sprint!” It must be noted, sadly, that no one has ever complimented me on my passable British accent, my memory of completely inane phrases, nor my utter lack of regard for sports gear.
Ah, well. Maybe someday.