Know thy Inseam

I recently bought a pair of running shorts online.  The prospect seamed simple enough. Shorts are shorts.  Running shorts are typically a little shorter, but I was okay with that.  I can rock ‘em above the knee.  I saw the different inseams.  I didn’t choose the shortest pair, or the  second or the third shortest.  The shorts looked cool and the length seamed generous.  Like most things, “short” is subjective term.

Or not.

Short Shorts for Real Men

The Short Shorts that started it all. (Not my legs)

The supreme court would decisively and unequivocally rule these new shorts of mine to be short and possibly a menace to society… an abomination to mankind.  The language would lack the eloquence of former rulings, containing lots of jarring pauses and sputtered incoherence– as if the justices simply couldn’t retain their composure even with multiple revisions.

So I had a problem.  Wearing these things outside would be okay with me.  There is a certain anonymity on the streets.  People just say, “There goes a crazy runner guy,” if they look at all.  My problem is that the bulk of my running is done on a YMCA treadmill.  People know me there either by face or by name and let me tell you, it’s hard to blend in and be anonymous as a dude in short shorts.  They aren’t exactly the rage there.

Fitting in

So I began to rescind all the reasoning I’d given my wife to convince her that I needed new shorts.  ”The old shorts don’t smell that bad.”  ”That hole is hardly noticeable.”  … “Okay you’re right, the hole in the crotch IS noticeable, but they have a built in liner so it’s not like anyone will see anything.”

In the end she played a card that every wife should use sparingly:  she questioned my masculinity.  ”So you’re saying I’m a wimp because I’m too afraid to wear my new SHORT shorts to the Y?”  Yep.  I was caught in a paradox.  Short shorts, I reasoned, aren’t manly, but then neither is worrying about what others think.


Warming up

On the first trip to the YMCA A.B.S.S. (after buying short shorts) I made a hard line for a treadmill.  I kept my head down and didn’t look up at anyone.  I ran, changed and left.

Gradually I began to say hi to friends again, even pausing for brief conversation.  Apparently they didn’t think I suddenly turned into a creeper after all, or they were good enough to hide their suspicions.  In fact I don’t think I’ve lost a single friend over my short shorts– a statistic I find surprising.

Striding out

It’s been many miles from then till now.  I’ve had a lot of time to think about my shorts.

My Conclusions:
-they are short
-sometimes into a headwind they will pull a Marilyn Monroe on me (remember, there IS a liner and this isn’t QUITE as bad as it sounds)
-they are light with good ventilation
-after 2 years of consistent running, my legs look like toned runner legs
-not chafing is more important than being cool
-I like them
-if you don’t, I don’t care (not quite true yet, but I’m working on it)

The Long and Short of It

Expect the unexpected.  This blog is unequal parts humorous running blog,  support group,  authentic manhood rumination, running log, advice, questioning, and challenges.  I’ve always enjoyed epic challenges.  Somehow they dropped out of my life for several years.  Well now they’re back with a vengeance.   So are short shorts.  Go short or get out of the way.

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