Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Dark Side of Running

Don't get me wrong. There are a ton of benefits to running. I love the feeling after a strong run. The runner's high. I feel accomplished, knowing my body can carry me 26.2 miles. I enjoy eating my way through the calories I burned, calling it "re-fueling". 

But, there are some dangers to it too. 

It probably starts small. Just one race shirt. You get it at packet pickup and, even though it's the shirt for your very first half marathon, you seriously consider giving it away. Because... it's bright yellow! This isn't the kind of shirt you wear.

Seriously. I don't wear bright. Or yellow. This is my work wardrobe. Check out all those jewel tones. Aren't they pretty!

But then, you go to another race. And the race shirt itself is just fine. But there's a souvenir shirt you can buy (whoa! I just spelled souvenir right on the first try!). And this is the first time you're doing a classic race that everyone in your family does. So, sure, it's super bright. But, it's ok, it's a tech shirt, you're only going to wear it while you're running. You can wear a bright pink shirt while you're running. No one will care.

And then. Then. You're ordering compression socks. They don't have a ton of colors. The basics - black, gray, white. But those are boring, wouldn't you rather have some fun colors to wear? You'll only wear them around the house, anyway.

By this point, you've become, well, almost immune to it. You see it, but you don't see it as completely hideous. You might even go to Target, and buy a bright shirt. Just because. No race printed on it. No special purpose. Just a running shirt in bright pink.

Be careful. Perhaps you can run, and not let it happen to you. But if it does, know that you're not alone. The neon is out there. You'll often encounter it in its native environment, and it may catch you unaware.

This may not look like that significant of a neon collection, but it's still five times more neon than I ever expected to own. I'm trying to come to terms with it, but it's difficult. Is this who I am now? Is this what running did to me? I'm proud to be a runner, but I didn't know it would come with this affliction. Is there any way to reverse it?

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