Running seems like the simplest sport in the world. Just throw on a crappy t-shirt, some shorts, gym sneakers and go. By this standard, running should also be the cheapest sport in the world. No gym membership. No expensive safety equipment. Just you and the road. In the words of Cher Horowitz, “As if!”
Running is expensive, though it didn’t start out that way. Just like everyone else, it DID start with a crappy t-shirt, some shorts and gym sneakers. But then I signed up for my first race. And while I was not even close to becoming a serious runner at that point, I knew I wanted to be my best and headed to Niketown to get a cool pair of running shoes. I found a cool pair on sale and called it a day.
Now, years later, I look around my apartment. Running shoes fill my closet, both currently in rotation and new pairs for when the current ones hit 300 miles. Piles of running clothes are hanging to dry on a clothes rack. The clothing I worked out in earlier is hanging on hooks in my closet to air out.
And that’s just the beginning. I have a drawer filled with running gear. Gu, pre-run Clif Bars, Gatorade and water bottles fill my kitchen cabinets. Not to mention that I am now a triathlete – my bike is parked next to my bed, my wetsuit hanging in my closet, my bathroom cluttered with drying bathing suits, towels and swim caps, and my cycling shoes, helmet, gloves and assorted clothing taking up any space my running gear might have missed.
Yes, my apartment could be mistaken for a locker room. And all that stuff? Expensive! I looked back over my credit card statement from 2011.
Races (12 races): $619.18
NYRR Membership: $40
Assorted gear/shoes: $678.06
Medical (DRs, PT): $380
GRAND TOTAL: $1,677.24
And that doesn’t include my gym membership, which I still need because strength training is an important part of staying healthy. (If you don’t believe me, see the medical piece above which stemmed from not balancing out my running with strength straining and yoga). Thank goodness triathlon costs didn’t hit till 2012!
Yes, running isn’t cheap. But consider this: running and exercise keeps you healthy. It prevents a plethora of diseases ranging from heart disease, diabetes, and mental health issues.
According to a NY Times article I found, “Diabetes patients spend an average of $6,000 annually,” costing us a staggering $174 billion, and that excludes indirect medical costs stemming from complications. Heart disease costs our country $273 billion, and is projected to triple over the next 20 years, according to another article.
You know what that is? Perspective. Motivation. Running and being poor is better than being sick and super poor. Now go throw on those expensive shoes, fancy running shorts, and flashy GPS watch – and get out there and save some money.
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Does your home look like mine?
Motivating Track of the Week: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by The Notorious B.I.G.