Sweaty to Office Ready

A few Februaries ago, while standing on a streetcar, politely absorbing the cloud of germs radiating from the human flu cases all around me, I glanced out the window and had a revelation.

A happy-looking runner bounded up the sidewalk. A vapour trail of snow whorled behind her.

*Jan 19 - 00:05*Brilliant, I thought!  Why hadn’t I thought of it before?  Instead of suffering for hours on public transit, I could be running to work, and losing weight at the same time!

Ever since that revelation, I’ve been running to and from work every day.  I’m saving money on transit, I’m saving time, and my oxygen-rich blood has led to improved performance at work.

Still, I’ll be the first to admit that the running commute can be fraught with peril. Over the years I’ve been caught half-in and half-out of my spandex tights in the photocopy room.  I’ve been referred to as “Chicken Legs Carroll” at a staff meeting.  And I’ve been accused of “stinking up” workstations 2G208 through 2G212.

More on that latter item in a moment, but first, I’d like to address the most significant challenge facing the commuting runner: wardrobe planning.  Any casual runner is capable of keeping a spare shirt or two at the office.  But what about us addicts who run both to and from work, each and every day of the week?  To do this successfully, some planning is in order.

Once a week, I pack a duffel bag full of clean clothes and shlep it downtown. Three pairs of pants, three dress shirts, and four tee-shirts generally do the trick. I also leave a few items at work permanently – sports jacket, belts, a filing cabinet full of clean socks.

clothes pic

My filing cabinet holds all manner of fine toggery

It’s not a fail-safe plan.  Countless are the times I’ve grabbed a clean shirt, shoes, underwear and socks from my filing cabinet, and headed for the showers only to discover that I have no pants.


Ever sat through a board meeting in dri-fit shorts?

But maintaining a satellite wardrobe is only the half the battle.  It’s also critically important to be pre-emptive with one’s sweaty laundry.

cooler pic


For this, I look no further than my trusty Coleman cooler.  With its airtight seal, that baby can store up to 3 days worth of biological waste without emitting any foul smog.

Despite these precautions, I still get the occasional complaint from my neighbor at workstation 2G212.  I’m doing everything I can, but frankly, I think it’s time for our industry leaders to lend a hand.  If companies really want to attract health-conscious and carbon-neutral employees, they need to get ahead of the fitness curve.  I’m not talking about bike racks and shower rooms.  These days, those are the mere baseline.  I’m talking about lunch-hour massages, Gatorade and Clif shot energy gels in the vending machines, and most importantly, same-day dry cleaning service.

And would it really kill our bosses to keep an ironing board in the photocopy room?  I mean, c’mon!

The evidence beneath my desk

The evidence beneath my desk

You’ll find a good article with tips on how to run-commute here.

One thought on “Sweaty to Office Ready

  1. I am impressed. I’m simply not brave enough to do this, as A) I don’t want to stink at work (no showers) and b) I live 14 miles from where I work..

    But this would be incredible to do!

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