Run Like a Mother, for an RW article about women's running apparel in which she and I had a very specific conversation about those shorts. Sadly, neither the shorts, nor I, made the final cut for the RW article. Orange shorts only get you so far in this world...In fact, the orange shorts are so intriguing to some, that I even got interviewed by Sarah Bowen Shea, from
So, what's the legacy of the orange shorts?
For those who have read from the beginning, you may recall how I started running in cotton. Yes, cotton! My goodness, how young and naive I was! Anyway, clearly cotton is the WORST choice in running fabric, and it didn't take me long to figure that out. So, I started a search for some quality running clothes, and in the fall of 2006, I stumbled upon these shorts. I don't know where I bought them (they're Nike, but I know I didn't buy them from a direct Nike retailer), or even why I bought them. Nothing about their initial purchase stands out to me. What does stand out, however, is how they've performed.
For nearly 6 years now!
These shorts never bunch, never chafe, never ride up uncomfortably in the butt. I've worn them when I've been at my leanest, trimmest self, and I've worn them when I've been 40 weeks preggo; they fit nicely either way. I've worn them to countless races, and in the past week alone, I've worn them for 3 runs.
But the magic of the orange shorts goes beyond their practicality. The magic of them is that they are unique.
Wanna buy some like 'em? Too bad. There are no duplicate shorts out there. Trust me, I've searched. I own lots of other models of Nike shorts, and while I do like Nike's shorts, especially their "tempo" model, none of their other shorts are THESE shorts. I swear, they are an anomaly. No other shorts are as comfortable or as versatile. So, to me, these shorts automatically give me a mental boost when I don them.
I almost always reserve them to wear for the week's long run, or if there's a run I know I don't want to do -- early morning, for instance -- I set them aside for those runs because putting them on immediately helps motivate me to do the run. You can't deny the power of what clothing can do for a person's self-esteem on a daily basis; if you feel good in your clothes, you simply FEEL good. Same holds true for running clothes: if they feel good, you feel like you'll run good (yeah, I'm an English professor, but sometimes the rules of grammar must be bent for higher purposes of symmetry, right?).
I hesitate to label the orange shorts my "lucky" shorts because, honestly, they haven't ever brought any particular running luck. But I can say that, like the word "orange," nothing is quite like them and their rarity is what, in part, contributes to my favoring them.
Fabric can't last for an eternity, so someday, these shorts will lose their precious elasticity and even the sturdiness of their construction will eventually fail; I dread that day, but knowing it's out there makes me value them that much more. Like all the best things in life, I know they won't last forever.