Stretchypants Runner

When it’s time to run and it’s cold outside, I have a uniform I have to wear. It’s a navy blue short-sleeved t-shirt, either the one that says Nike and has what looks like a bullet hole right next to the navel, or the one that says “EWPOR,” which at one time said “NEWPORT.” Over that I wear a long-sleeved light gray Nike t-shirt with a royal blue ringer neck. I put on underwear too, of course. But most importantly, silver stretchy pants. Rather than trying to sell myself as a younger, chubbier Baryshnikov, I cover those up with black Nike shorts. Dark gray fuzzy gloves (that honestly, fit a little loosely), and then white Nike socks and Brooks running shoes round out the package.

I imagine if someone from Nike marketing saw me completely outrigged for a ten-miler, it would cost them an anyeurism. Or at least their job. No one’s going to invite me to be in a commercial anytime soon, unless it’s to extol the many benefits of delicious ham sandwiches.

There’s this passage in the Bible about “the full armor of God,” consisting of things like a breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith, peaceful shoes (I’d guess that means Vans), and whatnot. In similar fashion, each element of my winter running warrior’s gear has specific purpose and significance. Most important of all are the stretchy pants. And those are critical, because they don’t inhibit my movement at all.

You see, I don’t see my running as “exercise,” as I imagine most people do. No, when I run, I’m using myself to create art, something beautiful. The outdoors, the sidewalks, are my canvas, and my body is my palette. Eric Liddell, the Scottish Christian who won the gold medal for the 400 meters in the 1924 Olympic games, said (at least in the Chariots of Fire movie version of the story), “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” I know exactly what he meant. I feel God’s pleasure, too.

Granted, it might appear to you that I’m gasping, wheezing, vomiting, urinating on myself and flailing about wildly like a desperate man drowning in oxygen. But I like to make God laugh. Stretchy pants merely underscore the comedic effect.

Do you have a uniform that’s special to you? Is it for creating art? Or just hanging out around the house? Do you know anyone who works for Nike who might be willing to put me in a commercial?

4 Responses to “Stretchypants Runner”

  1. Natalie Witcher August 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    hilarious. I’ve seen you “run” before and I can see how God would get a kick out of you.

    • Brannon August 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm #


  2. Joe Bednarz August 25, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Need mental floss… as many times we’ve shared “events” like these, why haven’t either of us requested the marketing rights?

    • Brannon August 25, 2010 at 9:23 am #

      Silver stretchy pants are broadly available, at least in the winter season. I got mine at Academy. You’ll have to get your own, as I don’t loan mine out. (And I wouldn’t recommend them in the heat we’ve been having lately.)

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