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Going All In: The Runner and the Shorts

Going All In: The Runner and the Shorts

I did it.  After several years of labeling myself as a “runner,” I finally started wearing the REALLY short shorts.  I know you are familiar with them…the ones where you can almost see the person’s rear end…not quite though…not quite…but, almost.  I’ve only been wearing the standard black ones thus far, but I think a more brightly colored model will be brought into the rotation in the near future.

Looking back, I have been wearing short-ish shorts for a while – the ones that compare to your standard soccer shorts…although perhaps they are a little more streamlined in their design.  I definitely still looked the part, but I always knew that I could step it up regarding my running attire, hence, the move to the Triples S’s (Super Short Shorts).

So, why did I make the move?  Of course there were some practical reasons such as comfort, and Ease of Leg Turnover (ELT). I also thought that it would be blessing to the rest of society to be able to witness my pale upper thighs on a regular basis.  However, most interestingly, I realized that there were reasons tied to both my identity, and my place in social circles.

I have always felt the need to have some go-to activities to help define myself.  Everyone has their job (or in my case, school), then comes music/movies/TV, and of course everyone loves “hanging out with their friends.”  But I always felt the need to have an additional activity to give meaning to my daily routine.  So, for me…I claim running.  (I still occasionally claim fishing, but I have only fished, like, twice in the last year or two, so I’m starting to feel dishonest).  I think it gives me comfort to label myself within a larger group of “runners”, and it seems to make me feel like I have some added value or interest when interacting with others.

As I have gotten used to claiming the sport of running, I decided that I really needed to go “all in” and really commit to making it a part of my life.  Perhaps it makes me seem authentic, and not someone who simply said the words.  It therefore became very clear that I couldn’t go “all in” as a runner and not wear the Triple S’s (I also felt the need to subscribe to Runner’s World magazine).

Obviously, running is a healthy activity to pursue, and I have truly grown to love it.  But I find it interesting to carefully look at the underlying reasons behind my various pursuits in life, and how those affect my differing levels of commitment.  I wonder if any of my activities are based solely on an innate desire to enjoy them, and not tied in some way to other personal/social motivators or insecurities.

Final Note: The feeling of running in the super short shorts is comparable to diving into a pool wearing a speedo.  (If you don’t know, it feels like freedom).

Julian Burton


About The Author

Julian Burton is a writer for The Pender Journal. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in both Psychology and Religious Studies, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at The Florida State University.

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