This is going to be a bit of a rant, so I apologise in advance.
Last week, I decided that I really needed a new pair of running gloves (I appeared to have lost one of my old ones so I had at least one very cold hand when I went out running – and I looked a bit silly). I thought that while I was at it, I might pick up a new pair of running tights as well, seeing the weather is pretty cold. So, I marched up to Oxford Street and went to a ‘Sports Store’.
Notice the inverted commas there?
Upon entering this ‘sports store’ you might be fooled into thinking that actually there was only one sport in the world (football – not such a bad sport but not helpful in this situation). You could also be fooled into thinking that anyone who does ‘sport’ is actually far more concerned about what they looked like than the sport itself. And then you had to look around at the people shopping there, and realised that ‘doing sport’ probably never came into it.
I am not kidding, but there were quite a few whose idea of sport was probably lounging in front of the TV with a jumbo bag of salt and vinegar crisps. Of course, they would be decked out in all of the latest Nike gear whilst they were in front of the TV, but it wouldn’t go beyond that.
Do these people even know what sport is?
I went to the desk and asked a somewhat gormeless looking young chap whether they had running gloves. He mumbled something vaguely incoherent and waved me over to a corner where a big sign proclaimed the word ‘running’. OK. That’s a start. However, the running section consisted of three sad looking clothes rails, two of which were filled with brand name shirts (of which half weren’t even technical) and the third holding about 10 pairs of shorts and three-quarters in sizes 14 and above.
I marched immediately back out, wondering when sports clothes had changed from being clothes for sport to little more than a fashion statement.
My next stop was the Nike flasgship store. Yes, brand name central. And fashion central as well, so it seems. Honestly, I am a runner. I don’t care if my clothes match. I don’t care if my top is colour co-ordinated with the flash on my super technical running pants which then colour coordinates with my latest super technical running shose. If you saw the state of me on most runs, you wouldn’t need further convincing. But it isn’t just the state of me. Every runner I know couldn’t care less about latest fashion, colour matching or brand advertisement. We run because…
Wait for this…
WE LOVE RUNNING.
And to that end, I just want a pair of running gloves and a pair of running tights and I don’t care what brand, colour or innovation they carry, they just have to do the job.
I know. I’m getting old. It happens.