Eulogy for my Fat Shorts

Posted: June 5, 2013 in Equipment, In Transition
Tags: ,
My beloved shorts in all their ratty splendor.

My beloved shorts in all their ratty splendor.

It is with great sadness and sorrow that I report on the untimely demise of one of my most precious pieces of triathlon equipment.  No, it’s not my Garmin (thank Christ!), my bike, or anything else that’s ever going to significantly hamper my training or racing progress.  I’m speaking here about my favorite pair of fat shorts.

Yes, my shorts.  Que the bugle (click HERE).

And I’m not even talking about my cycling shorts, tri-shorts, or running shorts here either.  No, I’m simply talking about my lone pair of basic, casual, run-of-the-mill khaki fat shorts.  They don’t make me go any faster and they certainly make me look very good either, yet, this is the preferred pair I wear to all my races.  Over the past few years of racing these shorts have become, well, less say ‘slightly indecent’ and it was high time they were replaced with something a little more functional and less likely to scare small children.  But that doesn’t mean I have to be necessarily excited about it as they have served me well.

People have been suggesting that I get rid of these shorts for a long time now but my response has always been the same:

You see, I’ve had these fat shorts a long time; a very long time as a matter of fact.  I’ve bonded with these particular shorts.  I first bought these shorts when I was still a large (well, larger than I am now) guy, long before triathlon was even a glimmer of consideration or interest in my mind.  The most activity I had back then was perhaps a brisk walk to the corner store for Kraft macaroni and the latest edition of High Times.  You could say that was the daily equivalent of my interval workouts today.  Now these shorts are just huge on me and, needless to say, have some significant wear and tear to them after years of fighting off my expanding waistline.  Of course, this ‘Battle of the Bulge’ is over now – well, it’s in a cease fire anyway – but they are definitely still showing the obvious wounds of battle in their frayed cuffs, the worn holes in the crotch that have now split open like a roasted pistachio, the multiple grease stains from both my bike chain and those long ago consumed fast food burgers, not to mention the huge gaping hole in the rear end.  Even in the past few months they’ve unraveled more than a two cent romance novel.  I’ve had them repaired many times, of course, but let’s just say they are beyond the point of no return now.  I’m sure there are homeless people that wouldn’t even consider wearing them.

A sad day indeed.

A sad day indeed.

However, despite their dilapidated condition, these fat shorts then have become a symbol of all that I’ve achieved over the past four years both weight and fitness wise in my quest to become an Ironman.  Now, they’re absolutely enormous on me, completely worn through, but they’re still one hundred per cent glorious in my eyes.  I still wear them to all my races over my tri-suit as a comforting symbol of just how far I’ve come since those initial days of being fat and out of shape.  They have become my security blanket if you will.

However, this past weekend after our long group ride, I slipped on my beloved shorts before going to grab some coffee and happened to notice that I was receiving an unusual amount of gawking from the other patrons.  While someone wearing your typical tight, form-fitting spandex cycling kit will not so much as get a second glance, put a pair of ratty and ripped khakis shorts over that kit and suddenly – apparently – I’m committing some sort of social felony.  Of course, the ‘Hey Terry, nice shorts buddy!’ comment thrown out in jest by one of my team mates helped solidify this notion as well.  Thanks Kyle!  So this was my intervention in a weird kind of way.  Oh well, time to implement the ‘ol tried and true ‘out with the old in with the new’ scenario I suppose.  They have definitely seen better days anyways.

So it is with a profoundly heavy heart that I finally bid my trusty fat shorts a loving ‘adieu’.  I have already replaced them with another pair in the same style and color for the same purpose but, still, they certainly don’t come with that same sentimental value or fondness that I developed over the years for my original beloved khakis.  What can you do?

Farewell old friend.

Farewell old friend.

Hey, at least I still have my pink towel.  Right, Cathy?

  1. Jan says:

    Oh Terry, this has brought me to tears! I was lifted by the fact that you have found a similar replacement pair but dashed when I saw your old ones hanging out of a garbage pail!!
    I think you should have framed them. Jan

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