I am not alone when I say I am a pack rat. As I sorted through a pile of odd loose papers in the back of my desk and organize photos to their shoe box until I get them to an album, I came a cross a booklet handed out to me at my first race. The little booklet has the design of the race shirt on the cover and inside info about the beneficiary, the course map, sponsors, etc. I never threw it away. I still won’t throw it away. I’m driving my husband crazy.
I haven’t been running for very long, but I have built up quite a little stash of what I’d like to think of as treasure.
Cups, mugs, champagne glasses, medals, pamphlets, race bibs, photos…. And it has to go somewhere. We are downsizing for the next year (or so…) and while this isn’t stuff that will end up in the dust bin, it certainly is going to be a cramped space and not everything of sentimental value can come with us. I’ve already boxed up several photo albums, my wedding dress and other life memorabilia to go into storage…. but there is something about my running tokens that I just can’t seem to part with. Is this a “crazy runner” thing? It certainly makes me wonder if I’m crazy as we par down our things we love (but they are just things) and I can’t let go of a course map for a 5K from 2011.
I’ve already written on here how much running means to me. You can read in my bio how I attribute my 80+ pounds of weight gone because of this “fad called jogging”. Perhaps these tokens symbolize how I am able to get up, get out there, make healthy choices and finish each event. That in itself is an accomplishment since I started having issues with patellar subluxation and knee surgery for continued patellar dislocation as a teenager. Finishing 3.1 miles was a miracle for me… not to mention each and every race (and half marathon!) I’d complete after that initial race I signed up for.
Don’t get me wrong! I’ve had my fair share of sacrifices for this move… I’m not much for having a huge wardrobe, but I’ve easily diminished my closet by half. (And I only got rid of one race shirt!) and I’ve sent several little mementos and nicnacks to the thrift store, but I can’t help but feel a little selfish. I have an entire dresser devoted to running. I kid you not. The top drawer has a road ID for each family member, mp3 player(s) and ear buds, plug-ins to charge my Garmin, etc. etc. Other drawers have “the stick” and other recovery items, fuel belts, water bottles, tech shirts, hats, visors, cow bells, on and on and on. Try as I might, I can’t seem to get this dresser diminished into my regular-clothes-dresser. So, that lead me to a search on Pinterest…
What I’ve learned about moving and running:
1. Pinterest has some great ideas on organizing in a small space. You CAN put a dresser in your living room and make it an attractive space to be in at the same time.
2. You might only need a few race shirts. It pains me to say it and I’ll probably put them in storage before I actually get rid of them, but do you NEED fifty billion race shirts? Yeah. You do. But if closet space is small, keep the ones you really love and find a safe place to store the others if you can’t send them off to a new home. If you are ready to let go of some of your running gear (like old shoes and race shirts), please check out One World Running and the great things they can do with your old things hanging out in the back of your closet. You can also have them made into a quilt or display them on the wall.
3. “I’m all about the bling!” Seriously though. I’ve overheard runners at our local races who throw the finisher’s medal away. If it isn’t something you want, need, or if your ready to par down your collection to the most favorites, head over to Medals 4 Mettle and save your bling from the waste basket and let it serve as an encouragement to someone else. They accept marathon, half marathon and triathlon finisher medals at this time.
Certainly everyone cannot run a marathon, but people who are battling life-threatening illnesses and severe disabilities demonstrate mettle everyday. Marathon runners experience the cheers of support from total strangers as they run through the streets, and these same runners cheer the wheelchair competitors that they may pass on the course. Medals4Mettle celebrates our collective human courage, and our innate desire to reward and support each other as we all face life’s challenges.
4. No matter how creative and full of inspiring ideas you might have from surfing Pinterest, you are likely not going to talk your family/housemates into letting you turn the treadmill into a sofa so that you can take it with you and toss the sofa. Or a bed. Or anything else than what it is…. a treadmill (and a space hog in 800 sq feet).
6. No matter how insane your family thinks you are, make sure your top most priority is that your new home is close to a fantastic trail, a running club meets near by, or there is plenty of “13.1” or “26.2” bumper stickers in the area. Seriously. School ratings and HOA covenants are over rated. Do you live near a runner-friendly area?
Okay, I’m kidding. But I’d be lying if I said that the location being “running-friendly” didn’t cross my mind. Especially if I can’t take my treadmill (“Big Bertha”) with me. I haven’t completely ruled that out though…. Can you run out your front door for a little jog without getting hit by a car? My current neighborhood is high traffic with no sidewalks, so I’m looking forward to that change!
I wish all my friends in the process of moving the best of luck as well. It is a stressful thing in the best of circumstances and I hope that there was one useful nugget in here.
What would you get rid of in your running mementos if you had to move tomorrow? What will you never part with? I’d like to know!