Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Random Pieces Of Running Gear That (Unexpectedly) Stood The Test Of Time

Will used to have a pair of ragged old rugby shorts that he would slip into every night after work. Dating back to his high school glory days, the shorts were about 20 years old, and, trust me, it showed. Its edges were frayed, its once bright green colour had faded to an unappealing khaki shade, and it had a strategically placed, gaping hole that some would regard reason enough to deem its wearing completely inappropriate. But to him, even after two decades of wear and tear, those shorts were like baby bear's porridge: Juuuuuuust right. It was comfort personified.

And while I teased him endlessly about being stuck in the 80s (he firmly believes that I had something to do with the mysterious disappearance of those shorts when we emigrated to New Zealand three years ago...), I completely get it. Sometimes, either through chance or a hefty price tag, you come across a piece of clothing or gear that just keeps on going no matter what. And so it is for me too.

Back in 2009, at the race expo of my very first half marathon, I bought a bright pink New Balance running jacket completely on a whim. I paid something like R90 for it (NZ$9!) and didn't even give a second thought to either its quality or potential durability. But looking back now, I realise that it was the buy of the decade. It's the jacket of eternal youth! And unlike Will's beloved green PT shorts, the jacket (genuinely!) still looks brand new: No fading, no fraying, and no gaping holes. I should have bought ten.


The hot pink jacket of eternal youth.

Another piece of running gear - if you can call it that - that has (unexpectedly) stood the test of time, is a leather Endorphin Warrior mantra bracelet that I received in a Secret Santa-type runner's gift exchange back in 2011. I fell in love with it the moment I set eyes on it, and today, 8+ years and a bazillion sweaty, rainy runs later, I still love it just as much, if not more. The clip is still in perfect working order, the wording hasn't faded one bit, and the leather strap is well-worn but sturdy. The perfect Secret Santa gift if ever there was one.


Five hard-earned Kalahari kilometers... The mantra was very necessary that day!

Last, but not least, special mention has to go to my trusty little Samsung YP-60 MP3-player. At the risk of sounding like my dad, who only switched to a smartphone because his beloved old push-button Nokia phone started leaking battery acid into his pants, I love this little gadget to the point where I feel no need to upgrade to something more modern. Yes, I realise that MP3-players are so yesterday. But this little beauty is compact, light, rechargeable and didn't cost an arm and a leg. What more does a girl need? And, best of all, it's still going strong after 15 years of use. Sure, these days I have to apply constant pressure to the earphone socket in order for sound to be distributed to both ear pods instead of just one (which, admittedly, puts it in the same category as Will's dilapidated green shorts), but who cares? It's my MP3-player and I'll play it until it dies. 

Juuuuuuuust right.

... or at least until it mysteriously disappears or starts leaking battery acid into my hot pink running jacket! 



6 comments:

  1. Great post! The memories of our "glorious" past are beautiful. Unfortunately I don't have anymore rugby items, only a couple of pics in black and white but .... I keep jealously the jacket in cotton that I received when I joined the Navy in 1977 and the outfit of the Navy Running Team (1988).

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    1. I feel the same way about my 2011 Paris Marathon finisher's t-shirt, Stefano... I don't think I'll ever get rid of it!

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  2. Ag wat n lekker post om te lees. Daai NB baadjie is pragtig, ek het hom al baie so bekyk, en dit vir R90!!! Ek en Nico is PRESIES so oor ons goed. Gooi nie n ding weg wat nog werk nie! Ek moet bieg, daai Nike langbeen skipants wat jy my gegee het moes ek onlangs aanpass (na 20 +jaar?) Vir my was hy nog heeerlik, maar ek het opgelet dat my velkleur begin deurskyn het... Ahem... Selfs Nico het n paar keer in hom gedraf, kan jy glo?!!!
    En Nico het ook n broek soos Willie, hys net swart, en sy GANSE droesem is oopgeskeur, dis meer gaping as lap, maar dink jy hy gooi h weg?!!
    Gelukkig is ons omgewingsvriendelik :)
    Dankie vir die lekker skryf, Saartjie! Liefff jou baie xxxxxx

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    1. Lyk my elke man het ten minste een so 'n lekker-dra oop-droesem broekie wat hy nie kan of wil wegmaak nie, hiehie...! Maar, soos jy se, dis gelukkig mos deesdae die omgewingsvriendelike in-ding om te reduce, re-use en te recycle.

      Hier in NZ is 'n nasie-wye re-use kultuur wat ek nog nerens anders teegekom het nie. Seker maar omdat alles so duur is, en dit boonop nog geld kos om goed weg te gooi ook...! Mens kan nie sommer, soos in SA, ashoop toe ry en 'n ou bank/TV/boekrak gaan weggooi nie - jy moet jou goedjies laat weeg en (bitter duur) per gewig betaal om dit te dump... So daar's 'n ongeskrewe reel tussen die Kiwi's dat jy goed wat jy nie meer wil he/gebruik nie op jou sypaadjie sit vir ander om op te laai en verder te gebruik. Daar's gedurig 'n rusbank of bed of stootwaentjie of kinderspeelgoed op al wat 'n sypaadjie is vir wie-ookal om op te laai. En die tweedehandse buy & sell mark is massief! Die hele dorp is ook vol clothing donation bins waar 'n mens jou ou klere kan ingooi. Een soort bin is vir klere wat nog gedra kan word - dit word versprei na behoeftige gesinne in die Pasifiese Eilande. En die ander soort is vir gaar klere wat niemand meer kan gebruik nie - dit word ge-recycle en die winste word gebruik vir kankernavorsing. Ek is in my element!

      Dankie vir die saamlees en -lag - lief jou en waardeer jou so baie!

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  3. Klink al hoe meer na my tipe wonderlike plek, Saar! "Weggooi" is altyd 'n nagmerrie vir my as ek dink aan al die vermors van goed wat nog gebruik kon word. Beboet is sekerlik maar die enigste opsie om mense te laat hoor!
    Dankie vir die lekker skryf, Saartjie. Meeste liefde! Xxxxxxxxx

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    1. Ek stem, liefste Saar! Lief jou!

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