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955 Sweaty 2014-09-25

shirt after a daily run

I sweat a lot. When running, I sweat so much that it really seems almost unnatural. After just a few miles of jogging, my shorts and shirt are usually soaked. I see other runners that are barely sweat soaked, maybe a bit under their arms, while I am leaking everywhere.

Last week, while running the streets of Nashville, I saw a bicyclist coming toward me on the sidewalk. The rider was either homeless or unkept. He rode a very used looking bicycle with filled plastic shopping bags attached to various points of the bike. As he approached, I could tell that he was also eying me closely. Maybe, he had just never seen anyone sweat quite as much as me ...

As we were approached he called out, 'don't try to get in a store looking like that!'


The rider did not say anything else, he just sped down an incline, leaving me to ponder, exactly how I looked.

I was wearing my normal running clothing - Patagonia shorts and shirt and Hoka running shoes. I thought I looked similar to the many other runners that I see every day on the streets. Of course my clothes were very wet from my excessive leaking, but I still would have assumed that most folks would have thought that I was a runner, engaged in the act of running. Well, other than the bicyclist.

Perhaps, the bicyclist was relating a personal experience. Maybe, he had tried to enter a store while wearing running clothes or maybe after he had been sweating and had been turned away.

Too bad. I hope that folks are not being discriminated against because they are sweaty. Some businesses do have dress codes but I have never heard of a perspiration policy! If they did, I'd be banned from a lot of places.

When I am on a run, I cannot really think of stopping to visit a store. I sweat so much that the store workers would have to mop the floor wherever I stood. (I do however, stop fairly regularly at Cumberland Transit and resupply my water bottle on really hot days. While in the store, I try to move quickly (so as not to leave puddles) and I don't touch anything - Thanks for the cool H2O, Allen and TJ.)

Still, I am haunted by the bicyclists comments to me - on how I looked. To fix my smashed ego, maybe I should buy new running clothes after all mine are over ten years old. I probably also should try running a little faster so that I performed more like an athlete. Or, I could just be happy with my style and laugh!

The deeper issue is that the bicyclist had probably been hurt when he was not allowed in a store and so he commented to me. Those fixes require more than fixing a bruised ego and are not so easy. All discrimination is hurtful. Peace to all.


Happy sweaty running trails


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