Get Good Gear

“Get Good Gear.” I love this quote from the book “Younger Next Year for Women” by Harry Lodge and Chris Crowley. The book (and its companion, geared a bit more towards men but with the same overall message, “Younger Next Year”) emphasizes the importance of exercise, good nutrition, and living with a purpose, with community, and with contentment and happiness to overall longevity. I drank that particular glass of Kool-Aid right when I decided a few years ago that my lifestyle decisions were going to affect the rest of my life, and I had a choice to make.

This is a fork in the road.
This is a fork in the road.

A literal fork in the road, as it were.

When Harry and Chris talk about getting good gear, they’re talking about being prepared so that you can get out there and move, no matter what the weather. That means making a certain investment sometimes in decent outerwear, good athletic shoes, decent socks, and a few different flavors of sports “stuff” depending on the weather – so that “I don’t have anything to wear” doesn’t become a stock excuse for not getting out there and exercising.

(They’re bigger badasses than I am on the frequency-of-exercise front, by the way. They say six days a week – four aerobic, two strength training – for the rest of your life. And Chris is way, way into his seventies and still going strong, from what I’ve heard. Poster child there for the idea that exercise is medicine, I tell you.)

Take the coffee money, the fast-food money, and the "I forgot to bring lunch today" money, and put half of it in your piggy bank for good gear.
Take the coffee money, the fast-food money, and the “I forgot to bring lunch today” money, and put half of it in your piggy bank for good gear.

P.S. If you’re wondering how to afford the “stuff,” I’ll write about that in a future blog post. But for now, two hints: add up the money you spend at fast food restaurants and coffee shops, cut that number in half next month and put the other half in your piggy bank to save it for good gear; and hit up outlets, including REI’s great online outlet, for serious deals.

So. Yesterday I had to do a BTN workout. I was landlocked for most of the day and finally was able to get out for a 6-mile run just before the sun set (which it does mighty early in the Seattle winter). What saved the day was my gear. Because I exercise outdoors so much, I’ve tested all kinds of combinations of clothing, weather, rain, etc. and I’ve come up with a few key findings for how to dress for the elements. For me it’s things like: if it’s 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) or less, I need to wear my big winter gloves, not just my thin running gloves. At 45 or below, I wear full-length running tights or pants, not just my running capris. Any amount of precipitation gets the yellow Pearl Izumi water-resistant windbreaker over an athletic wicking layer. I use a buff as a combination headband and ear warmer, and top it off with a running hat (with a brim if it’s running – the better to not get raindrops in my eyes).

Because I have all of that stuff in one place, collected over several years and curated – as it were – so that I give away old stuff (including, sigh, most of my race shirts – who needs 35 race shirts?) – it’s easy to get up and go, quickly. That’s just one of my tricks for organizing my “exercise stuff” so that when I can finally get out there, even if it’s for a Better-Than-Nothin’ workout, I’m always just a few minutes away from being dressed to go and out the door.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout: A BTN run – 6 miles, easy pace, late afternoon.

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