We all have them.
With our partners, families, kids, friends, co-workers, pets, bus drivers, baristas, massage therapists...
We might not have relationships with all of the above but we all have relationships with some of the above...and more.
We also, as far as I'm concerned, have relationships with things. And, for the running, swimming, cycling athletes out there a lot of these relationships are with sporty things.
I have a very good relationship with a long-sleeved running shirt. It's super soft, thin, it has built-in gloves that pull back easily when my hands get too warm. I have worn it for probably four years now, perhaps five. As soon as it's cold enough for long sleeves, it's the only shirt I wear until the spring warmth returns. It fits beautifully, have NEVER caused any chafing and fits well under multiple layers on winter runs. I have a drawer of long-sleeved running shirts and this is the only one I ever pull on for an actual run. When it eventually bites the dust, there will be a mourning period.
You have been warned.
I have a love-hate relationship with my running belt. I love the fact that it allows me to be self-sufficient on long runs. It allows me to carry all the carbs I need, plus my glucometer, tissues and lip balm. My pump hooks on securely and never budges no matter how many kilometres I run. My running belt keeps me safe...and hydrated. It's also heavy, it chafes, it slows me down and I dread putting it on.
I have broken up with two pairs of goggles because we just couldn't get along. In fact I bought one pair of prescription goggles, wore them twice, hated them twice and gave them to a girl I swim with who, as it turns out, can see very well with them and finds them really comfortable. Good riddance and I hope the two of them live happily ever after.
I have since found a pair that I am more compatible with and have bought a back up pair that sits in my bag ready to go at a moment's notice. When I find something I like, I stick to it.
I have also broken up with running shoes. With swim caps. With running pants and with cycling gloves. Sometimes I find a way to work things out, other times I send them packing. When I reach that point, no amount of relationship therapy will help.
I have four running hats that I received at various races. They all fit well. I decide which one to wear based on my mood that day and the weather. If it's a hot sunny day, I wear the white one. If it's a cold sunny day, I wear the black one. If it's neither, I just go with what feels fun that morning. I do not have a bff hat.
I do have a bff sports bra. And running t-shirt. Oh, and running shorts. And running pants.
Socks - I go with whatever is at the top of the sock drawer.
Bathing suit? I buy a different kind every time I need a new one. As long as it fits well in the change room and is chlorine resistant - I'm happy. Swim cap? I use the free ones I get at triathlons. They fit well, much better than the ones I've actually spent money on, and I think it's fun to wear something with my race number on it. It makes me feel fast!
But when one finally rips and needs to be replaced, I grab another one out of my bag and don't think twice about it.
Relationships with athletic clothes are kinda like relationships with family. Some you can't imagine living without. Some you're happy to see when you see them but don't miss them when they're gone. Others you put up with because, well, because they're family. And you have to. Even though they're annoying, or mean, or a pain in the ass - literally.