There is a reason we use workout clothes and that reason is sweat
9th of July, 2014 · 2 Comments
Yesterday, I went for an impromptu run up Bishop’s Peak, a local favorite hiking spot. Everybody’s hiked it at least once, even if it was 20 years ago. For a while, I was hiking it weekly with Blaine. We’d complain about our wives, our work, and drink a beer and a shot of airplane vodka.
It’s the hike that got me into hiking and on the road — ha ha — to healthy living. So having a bit of frustration and at the prompting of my insightful and wise brother in law, I left work and hiked the bejesus out of that hill.
Actually, I ran as often as the terrain and my body would allow. Running up hill is really hard. That’s why people say it’s “an uphill battle” and why Hades made Prometheus push a rock up a hill every day for eternity or however long it was. Because it sucks.
Pushing my body to go up the hill for 40 minutes suddenly seems much less impressive based on pushing a rock up hill every day for eternity.
Never mind. It was satisfying and worth while. And it took only half the time, 20 minutes, to get from the tip-top back to my car. That’s why we say things like, “it’s all down hill from here.”
To be clear, I’m proud of my performance. It took only an hour to complete the round trip, and broadly speaking, I’m pretty sure you can’t do it. It’s the hard stuff that makes people proud.
And you know what else? I could have gone faster but for a whole damn slue of stupid obstacles that slowed me down.
The hike was impromptu. I was wildly unprepared for such an undertaking. I was wearing my hiking shoes that day, thank goodness, else I’m not sure I’d have gone at all. But I was wearing a standard t-shirt, some cotton shorts, my big brown leather belt, and white cotton blend athletic socks, which are a goddamn joke.
No athlete wears white athletic socks while performing athletics. Why? Because they are a terrible lie, that’s why. Cotton is a miserable material for socks. It gets wet and stays wet. And as soon as cotton socks get wet, they stretch out and get soggy and puddle up at the toe of your shoe. When that happens, you have to wiggle your toes weird to get the sock to sort of settle itself in the area under your toes, between your toes and your foot. And that’s if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, you just end up with half a sock bunched up in front of your toes making you wonder how the hell anybody put up with Chinese foot binding long enough for it to became a thing.
And if you happen to have had band-aids on your index toes because of a weird malady? Let me just advise you to stay the hell out of my gym bag right now because it is more disgusting even than my laundry basket when I was 15. I dread emptying it out for to do laundry.
Thank goodness I wasn’t wearing cotton underpants. That’s the stuff divorces are made of.
When I’m planning and smart, I wear wool socks. They shed moisture well, they don’t bunch up, and they stay springy around my delicate little piggies as I haul ass down the hills. Same with running. And biking. And having self-respect.
So why are these horrible socks marketed this way? Poly-cotton blends are super comfortable for loungewear, but for any kind of sport, they’re an unfunny joke:
Q: Why did the athlete wear white athletic socks?
A: Because he got duped!
But that’s not all! Stupid cotton again, I took off my shirt about half way up the hill because it was soaked, heavy, and chafing. I’m usually a keep your damn shirt on you idiot kind of guy, but I felt like I really didn’t have much choice. So when I got back to the car, I had no shirt because it was befouled. There was a left over bath towel from a trip to the pool in the back of the car, so I just wore that like a cape on the way home.
Seriously, cotton. Why are you everywhere?
The good news is it’s not all bad. When I got home, I dumped all my wet, gross clothes on the floor, got re-dressed, and took care of some errands. My dog was so happy about that. She laid right down on my stank clothes and made herself happily at home in her nest of my unique fragrance. I think I’m flattered by that.
Anyway, if there’s a lesson to be learned, I think it’s, “keep a gym bag in the car at all times for just in case.” Which is really just a variation on, “be prepared!” Which means I need to pack a bag with a change of clothes, gym clothes, shoes, a Swiss Army knife, some extra shoelaces, my spare glasses, a bottle of water, some Cliff bars, an iPhone cable, $100 cash in tens, sunscreen, a map of California, a Field Notes book, some pens, a Sharpie, a flashlight, a bus schedule, a bail bondsman’s phone number, a bag of USB cables, a calendar, and — above all — some wool socks. For to be prepared just in case I want to do anything at all out of the norm.