Several years ago, at a time when I rarely bought our kids T-shirts on trips, I rewarded Rowan for uncomplainingly handling an arduous hike with a tie-dyed “Peace Frogs” shirt from the Happy Hiker in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
I’m not sure she ever liked it as much as I did, and eventually, after I lost enough weight to fit into it, I claimed ownership rights by salvaging it from the Goodwill discard bag.
This became the shirt I ran in when I wanted to feel cooler than I really am. And it worked, too. As long as I was careful to not wear it too often, it seemed to bestow a lighter, freer step. I’m wearing it in my favorite photo of myself running, at last year’s Waterfall 5K Trail Run, and that photo wound up as the design on this year’s official race T-shirt.
Much as I hated to give it up, it seemed only fitting to pass the shirt along to Colleen this spring after she exceeded expectations and made it up Chimney Top trail in the Great Smoky Mountains.
In a way, though it’s getting kind of worn out now, this shirt has become our family’s version of the Tour de France yellow jersey. I’d love to win it back. And I probably could’ve laid a claim after the Fox Island Triathlon, if I’d thought of it. But I haven’t done anything noteworthy since then — whereas Colleen is prepping for Saturday’s Iron Kid Triathlon.
Maybe if I double up on 5Ks next Saturday, running the Swiss Days Race in the morning and the Gator Gallop in the evening, that would qualify.
“Nah,” said Colleen, who just came in and started reading this over my shoulder. “That wouldn’t do it. I don’t want it to become our ’yellow jersey.’ I want it to be my yellow jersey.”
Hmm. So much for that idea. I’m still inclined to try the double races thing, though. We’ll see how that works out…