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Damn the Mirrors, Full Speed (or something like full) Exercise Ahead Anyway!

Posted Jun 04 2012 5:18pm

So I love the quote from 1864, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Admiral Farragut really wanted to inspire his men to ignore the obstacles (aka the torpedoes, which were actually mines of a sort that were exploding all around) and push on. They did and the rest, as they say, is history.

That’s how I sometimes have to talk to me (or others) to inspire exercise. There are always those days when obstacles abound. You’re tired. You gained weight and lost your mojo. You look in a mirror and just don’t feel like getting out there. I’ve heard people say they don’t want to exercise in public because they don’t look good and that’s an obstacle.

So, for anyone out there who lets the mirror get in their way, I say, “Damn the mirror, full speed ahead.” Here’s a photo of me taken this morning.


Nope, I don’t look good. I’d like to say that’s because I had just run 5 miles but the fact is, I looked like that before the run, too. I have no make up on. I’m sweating and quite disgusting. I am totally not wearing an adorable running outfit. I don’t think my shirt matches my shorts and don’t even start me on the look of those black running shoes and socks up my ankles.

But who the hell cares what I look like when I run? If I let that stop me, I’d still be sitting in the house. Plus, each part of my outfit serves an important purpose. Start with those ugly shoes. I am an overpronator. That means that after the outside of my foot makes contact with the ground, my foot rolls inward too much. So, I need a running shoe that offers increased stability and controls that motion. Lots of runners are overpronators and there are tons of shoes that help. (I wear Asics Gel Kayano and they are amazing.) The point here is that my ugly shoe saves me from lots of post-run pain. If you run and you don’t know about pronation, you should so click here to learn more.

The higher-up-the-ankle sock keeps small stones and/or sand out of my sock. Lower socks tend to creep down into the shoe, too and that drives me crazy so these somewhat ugly socks keep me a bit more sane while I’m running. More sanity is a good thing.

Moving up the body, the shorts and unmatching top are both lightweight and wicking-ish so they keep sweat away from me to some extent. They don’t match, but they don’t need to. They do the job and they were both in my drawer this morning so they were clean at the same time which is why I’m wearing them together.

Now the hat. I realize this does not look cool in any way. And when I say cool, I’m not referring to temperature. Temperature-wise, it does a great job of keeping my head a bit cooler. It just doesn’t provide a flattering look. But, even though I wear sunscreen while I run, that doesn’t provide enough protection for my face because I sweat that off. The brim shades my face and that’s a good thing. Also, I can’t wear sunglasses when I run because they slide off so I need that shade to see as well. I wish I looked good in hats, but I just can’t care that much.

So, all in all, no, I wouldn’t want to go to a party in this outfit. Hell, I really wouldn’t even go to the store in this get up. But I will run. I don’t care what I look like. Maybe I’ll look better later as a result of the run but for now, “Damn the mirrors, full speed ahead.”

What obstacle will you be damning for your next exercise session?

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