My brother is a high school teacher and also coaches cross country and track. The school is in a blue-collar area where running is definitely not the “cool” thing to do. But the kids that run, end up really enjoying it. And I think that running has changed the lives of some of the kids (I need to get more stories out of my brother because I love success stories when it comes to running).
The last time I was in town during cross country season, I ran with his kids. When I was running with them, I noticed the craziness of clothing they were wearing. One girl had on velour fashion pants on with really worn out running shoes and a huge cotton t-shirt. Another kid looked like he was on his way to basketball practice. They were good runners, but didn’t have the running gear to back them up.
I got home and went through all of my running clothes and decided to bag up half of it to give to my brother to give to his runners. If these kids are going to run, they need to look like runners! Plus I used to (and still do) LOVE getting free stuff, especially sporting clothing. My brother handed out my stuff at practice and the kids LOVED it, as I expected. One girl said, “Coach, this is better than Christmas! I never imagined how much I loved running clothes!” A girl after my own heart, as I spend 75% of my allotted clothing budget on running clothes.
I don’t know about you, but when I wear actual running clothes, I FEEL like a runner. And when I feel like a runner, I typically perform better. Running clothes are meant for running; they fit well, wick sweat, etc. so you can concentrate on running and not worry about your clothes.
In my mind, my small contribution made these kids feel more like runners and maybe, just maybe, made them a little faster.
I am headed to Kansas City and will go to my brother’s high school track practice on Friday. I have with me some running clothes to give out. Unfortunately I don’t have as much this time because I gave it all away last time. I wish I had more to give.
This got me thinking, I should ask runners to start going through their running clothes and put aside the shirts and shorts that they don’t really wear or maybe don’t fit anymore. Instead of throwing that stuff away or giving it to Goodwill, runners should save it to give to high school runners that would appreciate it more and some who really need it. Maybe I should use this blog to do some good? I could call it “Recycled Runners.”
What do you think???