Personally, I didn’t expect to have a contract this year. I didn’t compete last year or have any season to speak of so I’m back on the grind trying to prove myself and compete well enough in the meantime to support myself through money I earn at competitions. This in and of itself is a stressful situation but what makes it even worse is deciding what to wear when you compete. It’s like planning for a first date times 100. The thing is, most anybody can get there hands on an actual uniform that the handful of shoe companies who sponsor our sport produce. They’ll give you a uniform, you can borrow one from a buddy, or you can wear last season’s after it’s been put in the discard pile. But on many levels, I’m against that. If you wear a company’s uniform it looks like they are your sponsor. Now that might not matter to a lot of people, but to me it seems like free advertising. What incentive is there for a company to give you money if you are already on the line looking like you run for them and they didn’t have to shell out a dime? And on the other hand, it’s just principal. Right now I run for me, so I might as well dress for me too.
The only problem with this is that it can be very difficult to put together an outfit that is both functional and fashionable without the help of a swoosh or three stripes. Yesterday my friend Jenny and I, who is also a training partner of mine, set out to try and do just that. We found ourselves at American Apparel in some of the most ridiculous looking costumes you could imagine. I’ve walked past that store plenty of times and always wondered who really shopped there. I suppose if you were looking for a pair of purple stretch tights to wear with your striped hoodie, v-neck t-shirt, and beat up converse sneakers then that’s your store. We knew they sold their share of spandex so we were hopeful we would be able to find something useful. The gold lame` hot pants and faux leather bodysuit was good for a laugh and not much else. We actually considered trying to make some of it work until we really thought about having to disrobe in front of thousands of fans and take ourselves seriously.
We ended up purchasing something we might be able to work with. I’ll post those pictures after they’ve been unveiled in competition but for now just thank us for leaving the stretchy glitter pants alone.