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It All Comes Out in the Wash

It All Comes Out in the Wash

Article by: Michael Selman

Reproduced with permission of the author

While I was getting ready for work this morning, my lovely wife was busy folding the laundry. "You know" she said with ultimate contentment. "It's such a nice feeling to see a set of my running attire for every day since I last did laundry." I knew what she was talking about right away. She's been running well, and running often. And it all comes out in the wash.

Your laundry reveals a lot about you. The window to the dryer can be like a window to the soul. It suggests the seasons, and it showcases your tastes, private as well as public. It reveals how you like to spend your leisure time, and it tells no lies about your running. If you're not running, there is less to wash, less to dry, and less to fold. Give me an extra load any day.

When running has a focus and a goal, it seems to also achieve the type of consistency that makes the early wake-up call easier to answer. More often than not, when running is going well, the alarm is turned off before I have to face the music. That's how ready I am to add another pair of shorts and a singlet to the pile of dirty clothes. There is no snooze button for the runner with a mission.

Folding a pile of our running clothes always puts me in my own world. As I watch Harriet fold her lace tops, I can't help but to think of how good she always looks in them. While I fold my special racing top, I always recall and relive the race I ran in it the past weekend. And when the pile is small, it means that the week was not as fulfilling as it could have been. We both take joy in the fact that running clothes in the laundry is a part of our lifestyle and our commonality.

Once in a while, the dryer seems to have a ravenous appetite. If there are more of my wife's bottoms than tops, I try to recall exactly which day she ran topless. You would think I would remember something like that! If I end up not finding a match for one of my socks, I wonder if I actually hopped instead of running one day. The dryer monster strikes again.

The laundry isn't much different than the running, if you think about it. With both, you will get out of it exactly what you put in. If you put running clothes in the wash, then it's running clothes you will soon be folding. And if it's good running you put in, than good races will be the result. You can't expect anything else, because it all comes out in the wash.

Michael Selman
Roads Scholar
Atlanta Georgia USA
Michael Selman is a freelance writer who has appeared in publications and web sites throughout the world, including Runner's World, Footnotes, and CoolRunning.

Michael has published many other articles on running and his personal experiences in the Thoughts of a Roads Scholar. Feel free to E-mail him at

This page last updated: Saturday 20 March 2010

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