Lee Marvin + Gerard Manley Hopkins + running clothes = ?
Yep, in those tense minutes before a major long-distance event the fevered ^z mind moves along mysterious trails. As I nervously don my polyester shorts and singlet and socks ... as I shake the dust out of my shoes and double-knot their laces ... as I strap on a fanny pack ... as I fill a water bottle and snap the top shut: those are the times when I think of the scene in the classic 1960's movie Cat Ballou wherein actor Lee Marvin, portraying an old worn-out alcoholic duelist, puts on his gunfighter uniform for one final shoot-out. It's a lovely, brilliant, glittering silver-and-sable suit in which to go to battle, much like the traditional matador's costume. Putting on that vest, as music of the Spanish bullfight rises in the background, Marvin's character puts on his long-forgotten bravery.
And that's also the moment when I remember "Pied Beauty", the G. M. Hopkins poem in honor of diverse speckled things, "And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim." Praise them!
In those moments a simple running outfit becomes my own traje de luces, a suit-of-lights in which I may go forth with honor and courage—if not to conquer, then at least to strive.
(cf. ThanksFor (22 Nov 2001), FlyingEagle (16 Apr 2002), UltraMan (8 May 2002), GoodDay (25 Jun 2002), AchieveNewBalance (17 Jul 2002), WelcomeToTheClub (11 Jun 2003), AikidoSpirit (9 Dec 2003), TechnicalShirt (2005 May 24), ...)