On long runs I often find myself checking out what other runners are wearing. A little window shopping to pass the time. Since the start of summer I’ve noticed several runners clad in denim shorts. It’s like I briefly run into a time warp, emerge in 1978 and give an early morning nod to Mr. Bluejeans, and just as quickly time warp back to the Lululemon and FuelBelt wearing runners of 2009. The first time I spotted a pair of denim shorts on the run I concluded that the “jogger” was not a jogger, but a person hastily rushing, not jogging, in their cutoffs, tank top, snazzy running shoes, and iPod to some event for which they were running (ha) late. But what’s that old saying … if it looks like a runner and walks (runs) like a runner? The second time I was on a trail, far removed from buses and sample sales and other things worth rushing toward and again I saw it – a jogger in denim cutoffs. Yesterday I spotted another of these strange weekend (always a weekend) creatures. Again on a trail, this jogger wore cutoffs, a cotton tee shirt, an iPod arm band, and carried a water bottle, so I think it is safe to say she was out for a jog. Yet another crossed my path this morning, also witnessed by my running companion who agreed that the individual in question was most certainly jogging in her denim short shorts and it appeared, shoes that would not be sold in the running section of any shoe store.
I call these folks joggers because how can you really run in cutoffs? Back in the anything goes 80s and early 90s I would run in a too-big cotton tee shirt and my high school gym shorts, but even then we knew that denim cutoffs were to be avoided. Intuitively it just seemed like you would be asking for a world of chafe-related pain. Ouch.
I blame this strange new trend on Miley Cyrus:
Miley gave up running soon after the photo was snapped, venting to Ryan Seacrest “I don’t get the big whoop, but whatever. I guess it’s just… I’m not allowed to jog any more.” The crazed media backlash over a teenybopper role model showing a little of both “Hannah” and “Montana” on her run seemed a bit overblown. No she’s not really dressed for a jog, but perhaps she was going for cuteness over function. She is, after all, 16. When I first saw the photo my reaction wasn’t one of shock over the scantiness of her bikini top and short shorts, but a sense of wonder that she would run in something so ill-designed for bouncing and swishing. I, in all my practicality, am decidedly not 16.
Title Reference: Janis Joplin (originally performed by Roger Miller) – Me & Bobby McGee. From the album Pearl. 1971.