Switching Gear


The way to a woman’s heart is through her running gear.

Maybe that’s an oversimplification, but it’s pretty darn close.

“I’m looking at racks and racks of running gear,” said the voice on the phone. “What do you need?”

My heart fluttered. After sixteen years of marriage, the spark is still alive.

My husband was calling from a huge, American-style shopping mall on one of the military installations a few hours from here. When you have lived in Germany for four years, you come to appreciate the very places you consider the bane of American culture.

Not only did my husband pick up three running outfits, the perfect hat, and the perfect socks; he also found the Oakleys I’ve had in my shopping cart for three weeks on Altrec.com. There was only one pair left in white–the shop clerk had to get them from the back.

I should make this clear: love cannot be purchased. Nor can it be returned with the receipt, even if in the original packaging.

Love is patient. Love is kind. But love is also a man who will buy coral-colored running shorts for his wife.

That is love in action.

I went for a six-mile run today geared up like a superstar. No doubt, the village children will soon be asking me to demonstrate my Nathan hydration pack. My landlady will nod in approval as she notes my “Supernova” running shirt (as Germans know Adidas is superior to Nike). I’ll look at all of them sweetly through my Oakley Flak Jacket XLJs and smile as I scrawl my autograph on a PowerBar Gel pack.

Or, maybe they’ll stare at me as if I should be institutionalized.

It matters not.

While the new running gear makes me feel like an elite athlete, rather than a middle-aged housewife, I am happier knowing my husband and children support this endeavor.

After all, if they weren’t behind me, I would trip over the starting line.


Miles: Thursday 4, Friday 6

Miles forecast: 16 on Sunday, heaven help me.

Weather: rain. sun. rain. it’s still too cool to be summer.

Terrain: sometimes I do the treadmill to remind myself why I should run outside–rain or shine. Thursday t-mill inspired me to run outside today. I was rewarded with a parting of the clouds for my Roller Coaster Plus run. I even got to wear the Oakleys:)


One response »

  1. It is good to know that love is growing more each day. Mike is a great guy and I am sure that he understands and is proud of your desire to run. Mike is still on the top 5 of my “best husband” list.

    Sixteen mile sounds like pure torture to me but I can understand the attraction. I used to run up a steep hill in our local park and one in Canada. I got so that I could run back and forth, up and down that hill. The satisfaction came when I could finally do it without huffing and puffing, I loved the feeling of my lungs expanding easily and naturally and the air entering almost unnoticed. Hmm, wonder if I could ever do that again?!? But long distance running, torture for me. I really admire your effort and your ability.

    PLease post a picture of you in your new coral-colored shorts and your water pack. I kind of picture you looking like a modified astronaut. ha! ha!

    It was 97 degrees here today. Ghanim and I walked for 45 minutes after the sun went down. It was a bit cooler then but still very humid. We talked about your running and the cooperation it must take from Mike and the kids. You are a great role model!

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