When I first began running, I wore whatever: basketball shorts, an old sweatshirt, generic running shoes.
I’d look at other people jogging around in their fancy athletic gear and think “How unnecessary.” Running’s simple – you just get out and go, right? Why all that extra stuff?
Fast-forward to today and it’s a different story. I wear running shorts and running tights, have a drawer full of athletic shirts, own a legit running jacket, and put on shoes that fit me just right.
What changed? Did I become more vain, more worldly, more prone to unnecessary purchases? Nope. I just learned that sometimes gear matters.
All that stuff ain’t fluff:
- My running shorts help me stay cool and have more freedom of motion.
- My running tights help me stay warm and create less friction.
- My running jacket wicks away snow, keeps the cold air out, and helps me stay visible.
- My running shoes gives me just enough stability to prevent injury but not so much stability that I move unnaturally.
- And as of yesterday, I’ve finally ordered a true running hat and gloves. I can’t wait for them to arrive in the mail!
I run about six days a week, so all these little upgrades add up to substantially safer, healthier, and more enjoyable runs.
If you think about it, “gear” is just another name for “tools”; it’s stuff that helps you accomplish a goal.
Do anything long enough and you’ll realize that there’s mediocre gear and there’s great gear. If the activity itself isn’t all that important to you, lackluster gear may not be a big deal.
But if it’s your profession, your passion, your health, your hobby, your family, your faith, or something else that’s important to you – and you want to do it with excellence – then quality gear should begin to enter the equation.
“But wait!” I hear. “Isn’t there a limit? Shouldn’t cost be a consideration? Isn’t a lot of fancy gear just plain unnecessary?” Yes, or course. Live within your means. Be a good steward. Don’t be foolish.
I’m not arguing against common sense here. I’m simply stating the obvious; great gear isn’t necessarily wasteful – it all depends on who you are, what you do, how much the activity matters to you, etc.
You think poor missionaries ever wish they had better gear – a better vehicle to get them to unreached people, better laptops for staying in touch with supporters in their home base, better Bibles, medicine, and food packs to hand out to those in need? You better believe it! And that’s not necessarily wrong.
We Christians can have a weird guilt complex about quality gear. As though anything nice is inherently wrong. Baloney.
And then in our ignorance and/or bad theology, we judge those who have quality things, like I did when I first started running.
Great gear usually lasts longer, does the job better, costs less in the long run, and saves more time than mediocre gear does. Wanna talk stewardship? Let’s go.
And there’s another benefit to getting the good stuff: motivation. I’ve found that since I’ve acquired better running gear, my desire to get out the door at 5 am in 10 degree weather has never been higher.
Great gear really does matter.
Now, if only this were a possibility: