We are getting ready to move to a new house, which is always a time when my inner Buddhist monk starts having little freak-outs over how much STUFF I’ve managed to mindlessly accumulate over the past few years. Like, why do I still have receipts from shopping trips to Target that I took in 2010? Why are there two disposable cameras in my nightstand? How many cheap drawstring bags does one person really need?
Don’t even start me on the stuff I have that I actually wanted, like books. My husband said that when we first moved into our condo five years ago, he swore he would never move seven boxes of books again. “And I’m right – this time I’m moving nine.”
The shame spiral. It never ends.
But one of the most illuminating aspects of frankly assessing all of my STUFF has been seeing just what kind of person I have become over the past few years. In my closet, for instance, I have an entire rack, just dedicated to running shoes! One full drawer is dedicated to running clothes: shorts, tank tops, tights, capris, you name it. I have so many racing shirts, I don’t even know what to do with them, so they sit in stacks in the shelves of my closet and in my ottoman. I would take them out and use them as throwaways on cold race mornings, but ha, it hasn’t actually gotten cold in Florida since February, and even then it was just for two seconds.
Don’t forget the stack of fitness-related magazines in my reading area. Oh, and the piles of books about nutrition, training, running and athlete memoirs I couldn’t cram into my already-groaning bookshelves. Because, you know, a girl can never read too much about the correct way to do super-complicated shit like running and eating.
Let’s move to the spare bedroom, shall we? The bedroom that holds not one, but two bicycles AND a trainer AND a spiffy stand-up pump. (The tire marks on the beige carpet are truly a sight to behold.) The room that has an exercise ball, a yoga mat, two sets of dumbbells and a bunch of stretchy resistance bands I’ve never learned to use properly. The room that contains a whole pile of swim gear: goggles, swim caps, towels, paddles, pull buoys, even two wetsuits.
And then we’ve got all of the medals dangling from overburdened racks on our wall in the front room, plus all of the age-group plaques and trophies we’ve earned over the years, sitting haphazardly on the TV stand because frankly, we didn’t know what else to do with them. There are other plaques tucked away in dressers in the spare bedroom, where they do little more than collect cat fur and dust.
The kitchen has an entire cupboard filled with water bottles. Big jugs full of protein powder sit on top of our fridge. Running gels and chews have their own shelf, alongside all of the quinoa-based freebie snacks we’ve collected over the past year.
The utter jock domination continues even at the house that is not quite yet ours. One of the big criteria when selecting it was ensuring it was close to the Pinellas Trail, so we’d have access to a place to go for long runs and bike rides, and that it was close to a park with quality trails. Another big criteria was that the house be located near a rec center with a master’s swim team.
The madness doesn’t even end there. We are already talking about how we’ll turn part of the biggest room in the new house into a home gym.
WHO PICKS A HOUSE BASED ON ITS PROXIMITY TO REC CENTERS AND TRAILS? WHO DEDICATES THE BIGGEST ROOM IN THEIR HOUSE TO WORKING OUT? We do, that’s who. Big dorky jocks who pay money to run around in circles and who can spend more time picking apart a 5K than it actually took to run it and who plan their vacations around their races.
But hey, if I thought this was really all that bad, would I be sharing it on my blog? Doubtful. (Although the dustiness and lack of organization are rather shameful…) I do have to admit that I can’t help but feel a little proud, if alarmed, to look around my living quarters and see all of these signifiers of my life as an athlete. I’ll probably be paring it down over the next few days – getting rid of most of the shirts, tossing the quinoa snack bars, packing up some of the trophies and trying to figure out what the hell to do with them – but it will be so much fun to relieve those experiences as I do it.