An ode to a traveling locker room

This is how a recent conversation went with Mark:

Mark: Remember how wet the field was when I played soccer on Sunday? Well, I forgot to take my spikes out of the truck and they baked in the sun on those really warm days.

Me: That doesn’t sound good.

Mark: No it’s not. The first thing I thought of is that my truck smells like your car.

Me: Laugher. Laugher. Grr. Laughter.

While my lack of housekeeping skills sometimes causes me to deal with issues of internal shame and eternal embarrassment, I’m actually much more accepting about the state of my car. Especially this time of year.

In my car, one can usually find my bike helmet, mismatched bike gloves, empty water and gatorade bottles along with empty reusable bottles which will likely end up in a landfill because they have started to grow mold after I forgot to bring them in after a run/ride weeks ago. There will be gel and energy bar wrapper and plastic sandwich bags which have held fig newtons, IDs and cell phones. Scraps of paper used as bike cue sheets or reminders of workouts will be crumpled in between the seats.

And, from time to time my car will house my cycling shoes and running kicks from which the bulk of the funky smell emanates although leaving my wetsuit in the back overnight might not have been a keen idea either. I love Lake Erie, but that doesn’t mean I want Bounce to make a dryer sheet which smells like Lake Erie.

I know this complete tally since I tidied up my car. I may have passengers in it who are not endurance athletes. Hence, they might not appreciate a stray Clif Shot Block attached to their shoe. I love to proselytize about running, cycling and swimming but I don’t think baptism by olfactory ambush is a good way to win recruits. No one ever walked into a dressing room at an ice rink, took a big whiff and said. “Gee, I really want to play hockey now!”

Not everyone turns their vehicle into a traveling locker room.

For me, it’s one of the sure signs that I’m an endurance athlete, even if one of my weekend task involves cleaning and a mega dose of air freshener.

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