The Evolution of Purple
My life of fitness wouldn’t be complete without Purple. “Purple” is the backpack which I use to lug all of my “new life” necessities around. Why we continue to give items random, unoriginal names is beyond me. Why they stick is even further beyond my comprehension.
Purple’s original purpose was never fitness. I bought it a few years ago for an event that I needed to carry around a lot of stuff. It was one of those “run into TJ Maxx at the last minute and pick up whatever’s cheapest” kind of situations. Once the event was over I squished it in the back of my closet and figured it would be good to keep around for another situation like that. Cue the “If only I knew”.
As I’ve told many times by now, I picked up running in the summer. I had one pair of shoes. I wore the same pants and tank tops that I work for my personal training sessions or bootcamp. And that was it. I remember when it finally started getting too cold for capris and I bought my first pair of running tights. I bought some zip ups and even a fancy ear warmer. Suddenly I had options depending on the weather. When I started adding in a run after bootcamp I realized I would need to bring a wardrobe change… and out came that dusty backpack. I figured “It will work for now”.
As I slowly began to dabble in new fitness adventures I found myself acquiring more and more gear. Bathing suit, swim caps (got to have more than one handy!), goggles, helmet, deodorant. Training for a triathlon suddenly required so much “stuff” – and all the time. When I went on a camping trip this summer I knew I was going to have a few workouts to get done. Panicked that I would forget something I needed I simply zipped Purple up and took it all with me.
Aside from all this multi sport training my runs started getting longer and more complicated. In the summer months I gave in and got myself one of those “runner hats”. I found myself stashing Purple with bandaids for blisters. Kenyan Beans for long runs. Body Glide, sunblock, Nuun tablets, hair elastics.. you name it, and I keep it in there. When the weather got colder I added several different sets of gloves, hats and ear warmers. And when I decided to throw yoga into my repertoire? In went my new grippy socks. Not to mention the assortment of race bibs, pamphlets and handfuls of safety pins shoved in there constantly.
Purple isn’t great for organization. For as often as I find myself neatly re-organizing things, a week later its chaos again. There have been far too many times where the entire contents of my backpack have almost tumbled into the pool because I didn’t zip it up all the way. Often I find myself looking online at new bags. I’ve added the same swanky triathlon bag to an online shopping cart at least 4 times now. But then I close my browser. Something inside of me just isn’t ready to move on yet.
Call me a sappy sentimental (Because we all know I am) but I feel like Purple and I have gone through so much together that it’s hard to just throw her away. She sits stuffed in a corner every Saturday morning during bootcamp. She’s thrown on the floor of the pool locker room day after day. She sat under the bike rack while I finished my first triathlon. She waited patiently in the car while I ran my first 13.1. When I bought her, I had no idea I had no idea what I’d end up needing her for. And when I started this journey, I had no idea where I would end up going either.
For all the fancy triathlon and gym bags out there- Purple is original, she’s organic. She’s trying to pass for something she wasn’t necessarily built for – just like me. So for the time being I’ll stick to my simple purple backpack. The one that smells like running socks no matter how many times I wash it. The one that has become a black hole to my cell phone one too many times. The one who’s faking it till she makes it. She’s evolving. We both are. We owe it to each other.