Recent trends in running fashion have left me worried that we are all slowly losing our identity as runners. (On a completely unrelated note, the recent upsurge of vehicles with Alberta license plates in my hometown has left me worried that we are slowly being invaded by Canada.)
The more we “borrow” gear items previously designated for sports that are not running, the more we look like athletes who are not runners.
“That’s hogwash!” you might say.
But before you write off my concern as irrational paranoia, consider the following evidence.
Women running in skirts originally intended for playing tennis:
People running in rubber foot-gloves originally intended for yacht racing:
Dudes running in calf warmers originally intended for Jane Fonda:
If that’s not enough to totally freak you out, get this: legendary running coach Alberto Salazar recently revealed that he is asking some of his athletes—namely Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp and high school national recordholder Mary Cain—to wear equestrian shoulder braces while training.
Yep, you read that correctly—equestrian. As in horse riding. Because duh, small people who sit on top of horses that run have a lot in common with small people who run like horses.
When I read this story, I couldn’t help but imagine poor Galen decked out in all of the crazy gear that is surely lurking in his closet. How ridiculous would he look?!?
Well, thanks to my rudimentary Photoshop skills and a slightly embarrassing amount of free time, we don’t have to imagine anymore. Below you will find my most recent exploit in a string of non-revenue producing ventures. I call it Paper Galen—soon to be the number-one toy among kid marathoners everywhere! (So far this only includes the Welsch sisters, but I have a feeling America is on the cusp of a youth running craze.)