So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

My photo
Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Making Good on Threats

Run races for long enough, & eventually there are several risks which can become clearly apparent:
First, the risk of over-racing.
Second, the risk of over-partying.
Third, the risk of having too many race t-shirts.
The first two can hurt you really good. The third is much less of a physical threat, unless you try to carry out the entire ten-year race shirt stash in one fell swoop. I've talked about over-racing & over-partying in the past, but I don't think I've ever talked about the serious problem of having too many race t-shirts.
The problem is not so much having too many shirts as much as it is having too many plain white, generic-design race shirts. What is it with race directors who think they can get away with a minor - or no - variation of the same race logo every year? (All right, we were guilty of the same thing with our triathlon shirt, but they were colored & it's only the second year for the event.) As you approach the Fourth of July/Independence Day holiday season you can guarantee something that has some cheesy flag motif splashed all over the son of a gun. Death by overdose of red, white & blue...bleah...
Come on, guys. Let's use a little bit of imagination here. It's as bad as sponsoring a womens' exposition & calling it something like Sisters For Life. Sorry, I know my sister would barf at the thought of some of the girly-girl stuff displayed at such a shindig. Even the name would probably send her into an apoplectic fit.

Some of the guys I know who are also race directors would tell me, 'Mike, it costs too much to use a shirt that isn't cotton/white/plain print/(fill in the blank). We would take a major loss.' I've also known races which were awful courses, in awful conditions, during awful times of the year...had great shirts, good post-race parties, and efficient scoring. Now a great shirt might not make up for a crummy race, but the individual participant is more likely to wear the son of a gun out in public. Don't tell me anyone wears those white cotton wife-beaters I've seen given for local summer races.
You can only do two things - perhaps three - with a shirt like that. One is use it for bicycle maintenance. Or you can save them for those foreign mission trips...but then, I can hear the cries of the poor souls out in the mission field: 'what is this!?' So, rather than inflict undue punishment upon some poor souls out in the developing world, I think I'd rather use the plain white shirt as a pallette for the use of my imagination.

We had threatened to do something like this a couple of years ago when we first moved into our house. The pile of plain white cotton race shirts were growing exponentially and the no shirt option had not become popular. I joked about how we needed to do something cool with the, say, tie dye them so we could stand to go out in public in a shirt that had a little character.
My wife decided the best way to do something like this was to make it a social thing. She's the kind of person who doesn't mind going out in public in a shirt with character, like a tie-dyed one...but she likes being a trend-(re)setter, too. Give her the chance to start a mini-revolution & she is all over the idea. She wanted to get rid of some of the excess stuff around the house, so it seemed only logical to her to have a yard sale/tie-dye party. She knew she could talk a few of her close friends, as well as my training partner & his wife, into joining in on the fun.

So, we sat out under a canopy in the driveway, basking in the warmth, socializing between customers & turning our excess into eccentricity. Nothing like a little bit of arts & crafts to bring out the inner hippie in everyone...without the threat of upcoming drug testing to dampen our spirits. If you're smart about the process of tie-dyeing, after a little trial and error, you can use the shirt design to your advantage. If it doesn't work, it's not like you have lost anything either...more bike maintenance cloths, right?

No comments: