A few weeks back, in the final days before running the LA Marathon, I had to decide what to wear.
When I ran San Francisco last year, it was an easy call, I tie-dyed a cotton Nike running shirt and lead my inner-hippie run wild for 26.2 miles.
Originally, when I saw that the LA Marathon would be held on St. Patrick’s day, I thought I would wear the “Irish you Were Here” shirt that I purchased a while back. I had also purchased the same shirt for my sister, who lives in London. Wearing the shirt during the race would be a reminder of friends and loved ones who for various reasons (distance, other commitments, death) couldn’t be with me that day.
I had a few training runs in my Irish shirt and it worked just fine. No problems what so ever.
Then, about a month ago or so, I came across a “We Run Santa Monica” shirt on clearance at a Nike outlet for $5. I normally loath shirts like this, but as the LA Marathon ends in Santa Monica, I thought it would be a nice keepsake. A week or so later, I started thinking it would be nice to wear that shirt instead during the race.
I struggled about which shirt should I wear, the one that was perfect for this day and reminded me of friends and family both alive and departed or the one that is most apropos to the venue of the race.
So I sought council of my wife and explained the long story of the dilemma. She understood the points and struggled the same way I did and had no clear guidance. So I decided to ask The Child.
The Child paused the DVR to listen to my long tale of the two shirts. She looked at me somewhat disdainfully and said, “wear the one that is more comfortable”.
With furrowed brow, I replied, “they are both comfortable”.
Barely hiding her contempt for my obvious stupidity, she said, “they’re just shirts” and she dismissively released the DVR from its pause.
Clearly she did not understand the nature of my ontological crisis. Or, perhaps she didn’t see it as being as being an issue as I did. In her world there are no great messages being sent to the universe in the wearing of a shirt.
Maybe I put too much significance in something insignificant? Besides, who cares how you look in LA?