Monday, October 3, 2011

The Legend of Ol' Blue

Do you have a favorite running shirt?  I do.  It's my plain blue Nike technical tee.  I love it.  Yeah, I've had some good times and some pretty decent running success in Ol' Blue!
Ol' Blue and I running from some
"bad-trip" hippies after Woodstock

But the other day, The Unexpected Runner left this comment on a post ...
"... plus, we got to see a pic of you running in something OTHER than that blue shirt! Please tell me you own more than one of them ;)"
Blue and I raising the roof
in Istanbul

When Michael read this comment, it was like the funniest thing she had ever heard.  She laughed and said, "That's hilarious, someone called you out on wearing that stupid shirt all the time!"

Well laugh if you will everyone, but the fair amount of success Ol' Blue and I have shared together on the race course is just the beginning.  We've actually been through quite a bit together.

I first met Ol' Blue when I returned home from the war in 1945.  He was an out of work running shirt, and I was just a young runner looking for a garment I could depend on.  We entered a lifetime partnership right then and there.
Rushing Blue to the hospital
after a "green thread" reaction

In 1952 on a hunting expedition in Guam, we were attacked by a pack of wild dogs.  Admittedly, I had been warned not to wear Ol' Blue because wild dogs can only see one color ... you guessed it BLUE!  But like a stubborn fool I insisted.  We were sitting ducks out there in that field.  But Blue and I fought off those dogs like warriors that day.  Not a one of those mangy mutts were left standing!  And though a little tattered, Ol' Blue and I walked away with not only our skin ... but also respect and admiration for each other!
Me & Blue the day we helped free Mexico

Round about '71, Blue got mixed up in the whole Watergate scandal.  He had always had political aspirations and thought being a "staffer" on Nixon's crew was the ticket to the Oval Office himself.  When I couldn't convince him that no one would ever elect a running shirt as President, he did his own thing for a while.  I'm not sure how deep he was involved, but after the smoke cleared, we joined back up - Blue was a lot wiser from the experience.  To this day he doesn't talk much about it  ... but I've learned to just leave it alone.

From 1983-85, Blue and I decided we would try the pop scene.  You should have seen us - two young crazy guys out on the town.  Me with my Jerry-Curl, and Blue in his parachute pants.  Can you imagine ... a running shirt and parachute pants!  They just didn't work together. But you know what ... that crazy S.O.B. pulled it off!  And don't think the ladies didn't notice.  There was this halter top in 'Frisco that still has a piece of Ol' Blue's heart!

Like everyone, I suppose, Ol' Blue does have his demons. This is kinda personal, but I think never knowing his mother, the HV5 Champion Ski Jacket ... or his father, the Power Glide XL Warm Up Pants, has really taken it's toll.  Sometimes he'll get all dreamy-eyed and tell me how they both were official gear for the 1968 Olympics ... I'll just smile and say, "That's great Blue ... that's great".  We both know it's not true, but it gives the little guy a sense of purpose and being in this life.  And really, that's what we're all looking for.

One day I walked in on Blue watching "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".  Now I'm not gonna judge him, but when I asked what he was doing, he just said, "Uh, oh I'm just flippin' through channels man!"  But there were a couple of tears near his collar ... I guess its just a clothes thing.  But why he was watching that movie to begin with is beyond me.  If I ever ask him about it, he'll just change the subject.

I could go on and on about the good times I've shared with Ol' Blue!  He's more than just a thin polyester-woven piece of athletic wear.  He's a friend.  A friend with a big heart and great personality!  Sure his moisture-wicking capabilities have slipped a little over the years, he's only human.  But I can't think of anyone else I would rather spend fall Saturdays on the race course with!  So yes Michael ... someone did "call me out" on this "stupid shirt".  But they also called me out on a great friendship and a wonderful companion ... Ol' Blue!

... But seriously, yeah I bought it 3 years ago and just like it.  No ... I only have one of them.  But I do wash it!  C'mon people ... a talking shirt?  Really?

Question of the day ... Do you wear the same thing for races or try to change it up a little?
Have you ever met a talking shirt?
... be great today!


  1. I think men are the same, we have one outfit we like to race in and thats it. We never had "what to wear at a race stress", just saying

  2. Too funny. I too have a similar shirt (same color btw). I have tried others and its not the same. I have one shirt; it shall remain nameless; that I will never ever wear again. It was the one I was wearing when I fell in my first full -- which later led to surgery.

  3. I HAD a favorite running shirt (Under Armour) but finally had to let it go..something about it coming out of the washer 'clean' and being just stankarific within 5 min of running.
    It was tough....but then the tough go shopping...

  4. You are so darn creative! Yes, I have a favorite shirt and shorts that I like to wear more than others. But the weather is always so weird here that I have to layer and thus the changing pix.

  5. You are male, through and through. Mr. Z. is so attached to some of his favorite workout shirts/shorts. Quite sure he has some as old as 'ol blue. But hey, it's clearly working for ya, so who am I to judge?

  6. My dad asked me if I owned more than one pair of shorts because he always saw my racing in the same pair.

    I also have a purple Nike shirt that I love to wear during the winter. I have 3 different race photos with this shirt on.

    And then there is my long sleeve Nike Chicago marathon shirt. It's seen a few races too.

  7. That's quite an imaginative story there, Jim. :^) You know, I never even noticed that you were always wearing the same shirt until I, too, read that comment. I think I'm more male than female in my choice of running wear, as I tend to use race T-shirts for everything. I rarely *buy* a shirt because you get such nice ones as part of racing now. I do buy shorts and capris, but I do laundry often so I can alternate between the same three (black) pairs.

  8. If I wore the same outfit it would be so much easier when it comes time for race day. Just keep on wearing your Good Luck Charm Blue. Blues your color.

  9. ha ha seriously hilarious. I am definitely guilty of having my favorites. I think I am going to retire my epic fail outfit I wore for both Ogden and St.G marathon. I am 100% blaming my performance on my outfit!

  10. Geez Jim, I thought Michael was exagerating when she said you were as old as Jagger....;-)

  11. You are hilarious! lol

    Love the raise the roof in Instanbul, haha

    I'm with you, I only race in shirt now too (SF half marathon shirt from 2009), I like it because it fits me perfectly, and that race was my first race I would consider long distance, so its a special shirt to me...

  12. Does Ol' Blue have his own manly scent that's suspiciously like yours?

  13. Haha! hey if old blue has good mojo who am I to criticize? Whatever works right?
    Me? I change it up as much as possible, although I almost never get rid of any of my runningwear. Hoarders here I come.

  14. I usually just wear another races shirt or last years if it's the same race. I like my new custom shirt too with my blog on it.

  15. Aren't you ever going to forget that bike helmet running thing? (no problem)

    Today I was writing my morning message to my students and I channeled you and signed the closing, be great today! You are inspiring 3/4 students from afar.

  16. I have a pink running skirt, i kinda love,,,

  17. Plus you weren't even born in 52.

  18. I have a favorite race outfit. They are my favorite shorts and shirt. Nothing wrong with wearing what works best.

  19. I only like you because of your sense of humor.


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