Shelf Number Four In Progress

I did a 5K today that represents a turning point in my running T-shirt collection. I had to start a fourth shelf to accommodate the next phase of expansion.

The three other shelves are nicely stacked and neatly packed with a colorful array of shirts, never worn but highly valued. For a long time, those shirts represented the only thing I received to show I’d been there, run that. Then I got much older and a little better and started placing in my age category. (I’m also probably outliving some of the competition, but let’s not get all smug about it).


Run enough, and your collection overtakes your space.

A total stranger approached me before the race this morning, just to ask me about my running experience. I told her I’d never done this particular event before, but I’d done about 100 others (based on my T-shirt count), plus triathlons and competitive swim events. She was just starting out, and was mostly walking her races at this stage. I told her to keep at it, because it would get easier and she would run more and walk less over time. She asked me why I do this. It’s the one question for which I never seem to have a good answer. I enjoy it, and believe that competing against yourself first and others second is the best way to obtain a sense of where your training routine is and where it need to go. It’s a means to challenge the ravages of time and the onset of disease, and a great way to get involved with a very caring community. It’s how to be alone in a crowd, a team of one against the clock.

And it’s a means of expanding your wardrobe. Unless you’re like me, and those T-shirts  sit on shelves, testament to early mornings, long drives, heating pads, ice packs, easing out of bed or a chair due to day-after aches and pains and untold money spent on entry fees. And in case you’re wondering, there’s an empty shelf number five about shelf number four.


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Filed under athletic competition, Cycling, Exercise, Relationships, Running, Swimming, thought

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