This posting is long overdue, and not because I am behind on writing for my large base of loyal readers. (Hey, I had 78 views one day last week. That’s huge from where I sit!) It is overdue because it has been about a month since I received the first Atayne samples, and I am just now writing about it.
Why did it take me so long? I am not quite sure. I think when I first received the tops I treated them like they were priceless pieces of art or ancient artifacts. I handled them gingerly and even had a hard time letting others touch them. I know it sounds odd, but they were my babies. So I finally got over that and decided it was time to treat them like what they actually are, performance tops.
After nearly three weeks of having the prototypes in hand I finally threw the men’s top on for its first flight. Decked out in Atayne’s first sample, the run I took on May 21, 2008 will have its place in my memory as the first run of the rest of my life. It is kind of hard to explain how I felt during the run. A friend of mine used a great analogy. “Was it like when you got a new pair of sneakers as a kid, and you felt like you could run as fast as Speedy Gonzales?”
Yup, it was a lot like that. I felt like I was running at the speed of light, and in fact I was running pretty fast. I would consider myself a decent runner. I usually run an easy 6 miles in the range of 43 to 44 minutes. But on this day, I ran 6 miles in 42 minutes and 16 seconds, and I did not feel like I was pushing much harder than usual. I also felt like a kid again. Like anything was possible. Nothing could get in my way.
Was the shirt perfect? I would be lying if I said yes. There are some issues with the fit that I need to work out, and I am still deciding on the optimal logo size and placement. And those are just the start. But I can say the shirt was very good, and of course in my mind it is already better than what is available. It performed just as well as my other shirts by Nike, Under Armour, Asics, and Saucony. But it did not have the hidden, compromising side effects. It was not virgin polyester, derived directly from petroleum and it did not have questionable chemical treatments. Not perfect yet, but well on its way.
What was perfect was my run that day. I don’t think many people would consider a hilly run in a thunderstorm with a stiff head wind perfect, but on this day I did. A weight had been lifted off my shoulders: the weight of years of running in apparel that also comes with guilt, but even bigger, the weight of a year of work without having something tangible in hand.
As I hit the home stretch on my run and a grueling ¾ mile stretch uphill, I thought the timing would be perfect if “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” came on my iPod (see blog on May 19 for more on this theme). It didn’t. Instead, and perhaps even more appropriate, was Keane’s “Everybody’s Changing.” I am hoping everyone will be changing from Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Brooks, Asics, and Saucony to Atayne.
So here is my final assessment of the first Atayne run. My expert research shows you will run faster without the weight of the world on your shoulders.