The running teenage fashionista
by Matt Ryerson
Oct 31, 2012 | 716 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Matt Ryerson
My wife recently made me try on some “skinny” jeans. Actually, they were not the new, stylish “skinny” jeans that have swept the fashion world, but rather, a much smaller version of the old “fat” jeans I wore when I was 60 pounds heavier. For those of you who don’t know, I have lost 60-plus pounds over the past nine months. Many of these pounds have been lost running with a group of friends on our own Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.

The truth is I am not a runner. I don’t look like a runner and I don’t feel like a runner. What I do would be better described as plodding or trudging, but I try and ultimately it has had a positive impact on my health, so I keep plowing forward believing in the philos- ophy that an object in motion will stay in motion.

Recently one of our group decided to torture his teenage son and brought him along on one of these early morning runs. Now this young man is my polar opposite in the running world. At 16, he can wake up, and run twice as far and twice as fast as I can after I spend a day of stretching, hydrating and preparing for the same run. I can’t imagine what he must have done for his father to punish him by getting him up pre-dawn to join a bunch of old, slow guys plodding along our Greenway on his birthday ... his sweet 16th, no less! He didn’t say much. He didn’t say anything, but then I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t have either.

One of the many injuries I have suffered in my efforts to get fit through running is intense cramping in my calves. An easy solution for me has been to wear calf sleeves. The sleeves are made of compression materials that increase blood flow, thus decreasing cramping. For me, it has been a magical cure. Don’t ask me about the science behind it, because I have no idea, but it has had a significant impact on the way I feel during and after my runs.

One thought I hadn’t given to these sleeves is how they look. I am now at an age where I simply don’t put much thought into how anything I wear looks. In fact, the point of purchasing the “skinny” was that I was still wearing my “fat” jeans that fit me when I was 60 pounds heavier. I guess they looked a little baggy. But back to our teenage friend, after an entire morning suffering with the old guys, on the ride home with his father, he finally said his first words of the day, “Dad, please don’t ever get me leg warmers.” Ouch.

My daughter has a different opinion of my fashion sense. Recently, when I wore my “skinny” jeans for the first time, she was the first to compliment me, “Daddy, I love your new jeans.” Of course this is a 4-year-old girl who will wear multiple striped clothing in orange and black with a pink tutu over the top and a tiara on her head ... and look adorable, so you can see why my sense of style is warped. Besides, they aren’t “leg warmers,” they are calf sleeves! And I can’t imagine anything less cool as a 16 year old boy than to show up in my column ... that’ll teach you not disrespect your elders!

( Matt has a family of six; a beautiful wife, a son, two daughters, family dogs Tucker and Boomer, and five chickens. Matt can be seen plodding on the Greenway in his pink tutu and “leg warmers” on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. His column appears Wednesdays in the Cleveland Daily Banner. )