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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Bye bye, Backpack

You may know that I try not to get too attached to things. It's part of my minimalist lifestyle, which by the way, I was doing long before Marie Kondo (although she is more extreme about it and obviously doesn't have hoarder kids).

There are a few things that I have held onto for a LONG time though--like my fraction calculator from 7th grade, my eyeglasses (2001-2019 RIP) and my white terrycloth bathrobe with a hood that Frank says makes me look like a boxer (high school graduation present, 1995).

Yesterday I had to throw out a backpack that I have carried around proudly since 2004. 15 years! It wasn't just any backpack; it was my claim to fame for running a marathon. I did the Austin Motorola Marathon in 2004 and in case you're wondering, I did it in just around 4 hours. That is a very respectable time for anyone who isn't Kenyan or my sister-in-law, Julie. I was so proud of my time that after I ran that, I vowed to never run a marathon again. In fact, I have barely run since then. It's kind of a quit-while-you're-ahead strategy.

After I ran the marathon in 2004, I took up indoor cycling. And in 2005 I started teaching spin classes. It was then that I began using my well-deserved Motorola Marathon backpack to tote my spin gear. Now I have been teaching spin and other exercise classes for 14 years and I have taken that backpack to every single class. It holds my cycle shoes, my mic belt, my wind screens for my mic, a spiral with my class plans, a sweaty towel or two and a plastic mouth shield should I ever have to perform mouth to mouth CPR.

As a rough estimate, I would say that backpack has gone to 1,400 or so classes with me. It has sat on gym floors, on chairs, on stages, in my car, in locker rooms and of course, on my back.

I used to take (not teach) a 5:30am Tabata class at the Frisco YMCA. Sometimes the instructor would contact me the night before and ask if I could teach it for her, which I usually would. One day I walked in to teach the class and I announced to the people that were already there, "Today I'm teaching" and this lady said, "Oh, we can tell because you have your big backpack with you!"

I would have kept it for 15 more years (because who doesn't like to show off that they once ran a marathon sponsored by a now defunct company?) but sadly, it started to fall apart. And then it became so holey that my precious gear (sweaty towels, wind screens, etc.) weren't even protected anymore.

As I tearfully went through my beloved backpack (well, I didn't actually have any tears but I came close), I found some artifacts. I pulled out an envelope called Cycle 16 which had very detailed lesson plans for a cycle class. Now I have NO lesson plans and I can't believe I used to choreograph all of this down to the second. So much work!!

I dug out an ancient iPod, a pony tail holder, some corroded batteries (ew!!) and two still-wrapped Fiber One bars. I am pretty sure I haven't eaten a F1 Bar since 2007 so that was somewhat frightening. Surprisingly, it still tasted great! *

After cleaning out the backpack that has been my companion for 15 years, I unceremoniously threw it into the trash. Now I have no proof that I ran that marathon. I guess I will have to run another one**

*Obviously, I didn't eat that Fiber One bar!! Did you really think I did? 
**No way am I running another marathon! But if there is something easier I can do for a backpack, sign me up!