I hate junk. I ritually clear out closets and drawers in an effort to get rid of erroneous paper and miscellaneous things. I try not to hang on to old stuff just because it once had meaning.
But, there’s one thing I can’t get rid of: my running gear.
I’ve been an avid runner for several years and in that time I’ve managed to amass an entire dresser full of running clothes, and I love them all. Typically, my wardrobe would get a seasonal purge, but this is one area of my clothing collection that just continues to grow.
Every piece reminds me of a certain time or race.
My pink long sleeve with the half zip is the shirt I wore during my first half marathon. My green sports bra reminds me of my marathon training and the time it chafed me on a long run (and yet, I still can’t get rid of it!) The white hyperwarm long sleeve was a gift from my husband and the shirt I wore during last year’s Around the Bay in Hamilton. All my race shirts – even the ugly ones – are all neatly folded and full of memories. Shoes? Don’t get me started. I have 7 pairs of running shoes, and I adore them all. Whether it’s because they ran the Oasis Zoo Run with me, or carried me over the finish line for my 10K PB, each one is special – and not just because they match my outfit. Believe it or not, I can’t even seem to get rid of running socks.
And the race medals? They’re out of control. For a while, they were neatly isolated to a basket in my closet, but soon they began to overflow. That once neat basket is now a tangle of ever-growing hardware. But what’s a girl to do? You can’t throw out a race medal! That’s madness!
Year after year, I purge my old clothes, but my running gear remains.
Let’s face it. Runners have a tendency to keep things long past their expiry date. But who can blame them? Each piece is a story. Each shirt, despite the holes and sweat stains has a memory. They tell stories of hard work, dedication and persistence. They’re worn and comfortable and familiar. They remind you of great runs, bad runs, challenges and victories. You tell me what other piece of clothing can do that!
Now, as we ramp up for another race season, I’m anticipating adding several new shirts to my collection, including the 2014 edition of the Toronto Yonge Street 10K. I hope that this shirt will be able to tell a story of my new 10K PB. Yes, I can see it now: that time I ran fast and smooth down the gradual decline of Yonge Street, sun gently beating down, crossing the finish line victorious with a sub-50 time to humbly brag about. A girl can dream…
With that hopeful memory, I hardly think my collection of running gear is going to decline this year. The more shirts the merrier, I say.
Really, now that I think about it, it’s high time a race started giving out shorts.