Time to Hang Up Your Shorts
This morning, as I was getting dressed in my typical workout/chores/yardwork garb, I heard a not-so-friendly noise as I pulled my shorts over my hips.
It was the wretched tear of an old, dried-out elastic waistband stretching for the last time.
I'm not sure why it made me so sad; I have about 5 pair of these shorts in varying colors. Hey, when something fits and doesn't chafe, ride-up, or bunch, why not? Most active women or lady runners have owned at least one pair of the ever-popular Nike Tempo Running Shorts. They were a big hit.
Although I have multiple pair of these shorts, probably all purchased within a year or two, it surprised me that I remembered a few specific moments when I sported said red with black piping shorts.
The first run that came to mind was after an epic argument with my husband in which I slept on the floor of the office and snuck out early on a Saturday morning for a 7 miler. We were living in St. Louis at the time, and the weather was sunny, but brisk. No, I don't recall what we fought about and yes, I remember that I started my period during that run. Coincidence? Maybe. But it was a good, "cleansing" run and the cold morning air definitely did me some good.
The second run was at my parents' home in rural Oregon in the mid '00s. Most of my visits during that decade happened during my husband's deployments, so I mostly traveled there solo. Mom and Dad's property borders Deschutes National Forest, and there are a gazillion miles of forest service roads and snow mobile trails accessible from their street. I brought the red shorts on one trip because they are pretty bright. And although I have never seen another human out on the trails, I would hate to be mistaken for a wild animal just asking for a bullet or arrow. Thanks to the altitude and the hills, my lungs always burn and so do my legs, but exploring those trails still makes me happy.
The last memory that came to mind was in 2015. My husband and I had recently moved to Kentucky, and I was probably about 8 months pregnant. I lived in old t-shirts and athletic shorts as we were living out of suitcases and actively renovating a 70 year old house before the baby arrived. Everything I own now has paint, blood, or caulk on it.
Anyway, I can't recall what I was doing while at the gym, exactly, but it included push-ups. As I was ever-so-gracefully getting up off the floor, adjusting my red shorts, an older man congratulated me for staying active during my pregnancy. He proceeded to tell me that his wife, not pregnant, had never been able to do one single push-up.
It's funny how a $25 piece of clothing took my memories on a trip around the country. Family, pregnancy, house renovations; some of the better fitness in my life to the biggest change in my body. The funny thing is as I wrapped up this post, I set about combing my photo history for one photo in particular that I knew put me in these famous shorts...every post has to have at least one photo for the thumbnail. And I found two other memories that put the shorts on the map. Ah, good times.
There was a brief second while debating the true lifespan of my clothing (how many more uses could I finagle?) when I considered chucking them in the trash right there. But G man was suddenly very interested in my basket of folded laundry and the yard looked like we had been out of town for a month. So the trusty drawstring was tied, and the shorts stayed on for one more memory. Baby on the back, and G and I were out the door. Plants to be planted and grass to be mowed.
It was a fun 10 years. The trash can will wait a few more hours.