Just last week I was packing up my bags for our trip up to Coeur D'Alene, ID where I will race Ironman 70.3 CDA on Sunday. I had finished packing my bags and had gone over all my checklists, but there was something missing.... my lucky pants. I went into a little panic. Did I lose my lucky pants? Could I have taken my lucky pants to Goodwill? Matt and I have really been trying to simplify our lives by getting rid of all of our "stuff". When you are constantly on the road and in and out of bags, you realize just how much CRAP you accumulate in a house and just how unnecessary all of that stuff is when you become aware of how little you actually use. I have reluctantly gotten rid of many things and thought there was a good chance the pants may have been in one of those piles. I could just picture myself committing such a heinous act in one of my mad cleaning frenzies. What was I thinking???
While I am not really a superstitious person I have always found myself being so when it comes to my racing. It started in high school with a pair of lucky boxers. These boxers were white with red polka dots and I HAD to wear them before EVERY cross country or track race. In addition to this I also HAD to listen to several songs on my walkman pre-race. (Yes, I did just say "walkman"... I am that OLD!). These songs included War's "Low Rider" and Matthew Wilder's "Break my Stride". I had to google that last one. I have NEVER heard of Matthew Wilder even though this song was one of my faves. For those of you wondering what it is, let me refresh your memories... "Aint' nothing gonna break-a my stride, Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no, I got to keep on movin'....". Got it? No??? Youtube it then and I'm sure you'll recognize it.
The former song, "Low Rider", has absolutely nothing to do with running, but I thought I was a pretty cool, not-yet-pot-smoking hippie and this song was on the soundtrack to "Dazed and Confused" which I thought was about the coolest movie ever. (I know, I just aged myself again.) In addition to that, there were a few of us on the team with a little Mexican blood running through our veins and we just thought we were cool Vatos if you know what I'm sayin'.
So back to my pants... Man I get off on tangents pretty easily. The pants were never meant to be any sort of lucky charm but since they were just about the only leisure/sweat pants I could afford when I first started to race they naturally just became the pants I wore almost EVERYday. Yes, I did just say the only "sweatpants" I could afford to buy. My dental school days were pretty dismal. Ask anyone in my class and they will tell you I wore scrubs and wife-beaters to school EVERYday. Not lying there either. Okay, and for those of you that are confused by the term "wife beater" which I am fully aware is NOT PC, it's the white tank top that's worn by... well... men who beat their wives. You can usually pick up a 4-pack of them at Walmart for about $10. Think Eminem peeps.
While I was busy digging myself a MASSIVE hole of debt paying for dental school I had just enough money left over to pay for food and a roof over my head so the purchase of these pants was a hasty and impulsive one. You know, the kind of shopping that gives you that rush where you start to sweat with excitement like a crack whore waiting for her next hit. It was a "want not a need" as my oh-so-financially-responsible brother-in-law would tell me.
So in addition to wearing these pants everyday outside of my scrubs and wife-beaters, I also wore them before EVERY race and with some good early racing began my superstition.
What? You want me to describe the pants?? Okay, they're black and long and flowy and soft..oh so soft to the touch. The kind of pants you're so glad to have covering your "behind" you wish you could cover every inch of your body in them. When I first met Matt I thought about how cool he must think I was in these oh-so-sexy sweatpants. Until one day, when he said to me in his most sarcastic manner... "Oh, are you wearing your favorite pants again???".
Well, that put the kabosh on the wearing of these pants on a daily basis. They have since been retired to a box. A box that's dark and scary and hides under the bed. I sometimes feel I have betrayed them, but the excitement we both feel when they come out for races is worth resisting the temptation on a daily basis of feeling those soft, oh-so-soft pants on the daily.
I know, I know, you are all on the edges of your seats waiting to hear what became of my lucky pants. I am happy to report and conclude this riveting, highly edifying blog with this... I did NOT lose my lucky pants. They were still there all along being suffocated at the bottom of a large pile of... well... more sweatpants. I have moved up in the world since those dismal, dental school days and now have all the sweatpant-buying power in the world. But don't be fooled, none have satisfied me as much as the pair I bought when I was dead broke.
Come this Sunday morning I will adorn these sacred black sweatpants. If you see me race morning let me know how cool you think my pants are, even if you don't. And please, don't tell me there are holes in the ass. I am fully aware of this fact, but will still wear them proudly soaking up all the success they promise to bring once that canon blows.
See you at the races,