Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dressed to Impress

The recession has hit many people in a number of ways. In our sport we are definitely feeling the effects in a big way. That is not to say that before track and field was considered a great way to make a living. But now, more than ever, athletes are being forced to try and make it work without the security of a contract. From what I hear, people are being cut left and right, no new contracts are being negotiated, and option years are more than likely not an option. I personally know people who made the Olympic team this summer and did not have their contract renewed. Now that’s what I call recognition for a job well done. NOT.

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.


Liz said...

I totally support your notion of not wearing a name brand if they aren't paying you. In fact, I think that's a nice rule that should apply to most people and not just atheletes. You pay extra money to be a billboard for a company? Huh? At least as an athlete, there is a chance that you are being sponsored by the brand!

And few others could totaly rock fauz leather, spandex and whatever else. Runners sure have AMAZING legs!!

Bianca said...

What's wrong with gold lam'e? It think it looks fabulous!


Jasmine said...

My eyes!! My poor little eyes! I can't see! They were burned after looking at those gold shorts! God help me!

Nikkie T said...

That picture is hilarious!!!

Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
Hummf. OK.
I will concede it IS somewhat different for one for whom it’s an occupation (or goal).

Interestingly there is an example of this working. It was in the early ‘08’s when the (soon to be) great German motorcycle roadracer Anton Mang, as a young ‘up-and-comer’, had to buy his own Kawasaki 250cc Grand Prix racer, pay for his own team and everything. So he refused to place the name Kawasaki anywhere on the machine. Why should he, he argued; ‘I bought the bike, I’m paying for everything.’ Funny thing, he was on his way that year to winning the first, of many, 250cc World GP Championships. Guess what Kawasaki did? Yep, they started paying him about midseason to run their name on his bike! He ended up with a long, multi-championship, very lucrative career.

As far as regular runners/consumers getting upset about any clothing/apparel/shoe company logo’s their products, come on, get real.
Besides who’d buy a Coach Penelope handbag or some Dooney & Brook heels if people didn’t know that’s what you had on. Spend all that jack and NOT show it of?! Hummf!

Oh, and just what in the world is that horrible looking streak down the FRONT of your shorts?! Wow, looks they were used and you got ‘em on inside out and backwards!

LaLa said...

It is insane that some people actually wear clothes like that here in Philly during the summer. You'll figure something out. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

you should get a good supply of monistat if you plan on wearing those.

Anonymous said...

My god! Look at those thighs on you girls. No wonder there are no legs on those tights, there is not enough fabric in the world to make them!

Calvin Coolidge

p.s. I'd rethink the hat too skippy....

brit_brat said...

I know someone did not just imply that you have big legs.
that's it! a picture of me in little hoochie mama shorts is going in your next blog. THEN we shall see what big looks like.
p.s. I happen to like your hat.

jenny adams said...

LMAO!!! this blog still cracks me up!!