As the year winds to an end, it’s time to surrender.
Surrendering to the 1,470 unread emails in your Inbox.
Surrendering to the fact that a Dry January won’t atone for a Drunk December.
And surrendering to all the 2022 New Year’s resolutions that didn’t make it past February.
But those are all small-scale surrenders.
Surrenders with a lower-case “s.”
What’s an upper-case Surrender?
Buying pants from Costco.
This past weekend, I Surrendered.
Here’s the backstory.
I needed a new pair of workout shorts. If I’m honest, I had a very old pair (circa 2012) that were fraying, coffee-stained and too big.
And for those of you who don’t know me, I care a lot about fashion. I get my jeans tailored regularly. I think Japanese denim is rad. And I have been known to spend over $100 on the perfect-fitting T-shirt.
So as I contemplated my athletic short options, I ran through a mental checklist:
Meh, I don’t really see myself as an athleisure type of guy (unless it’s Vuori). Plus every single person in my town wears head-to-toe athleisure year-round.
I’m an OG Nike sneaker head with over 10 pairs of Air Maxes. Lebron and Nadal inspire me. But I scoffed at the price $50 price. And the Nike swoosh at 43 feels a bit “boyish.”
Here’s where it got interesting. As a reformed Crossfitter with a few small tattoos – there’s something aspirational about the brand.
I see this picture and say, “Yeah, I dig that vibe.”
The camouflage shorts honoring our nation’s warriors. The creeping forearm tattoo. The powerful forearms and calves.
But I stepped back and said to myself.
Who are you trying to impress? (Answer: Literally, no one.)
Do you really need a BRAND to inspire you to exercise? (Answer: Nope, I can inspire myself.)
Plus, they were also $45 (plus shipping).
What do shorts actually symbolize?
As I went through this calculus, something hit me.
I’m no longer trying to buy an identity.
I was not trying to use a label to demonstrate who I was. Or what group I belong to.
Gym shorts were relegated back to the place they should always be for a married man (who’s not a professional athlete): an afterthought.
Which led me to the local Target. And a $22 pair of black All In Motion mesh shorts.
This picture didn’t tell me anything about who I was. Nor about who I could be.
And I was totally OK with that.
Which takes me back to Shang Wang’s bit on Costco Pants:
“Sometimes you do things you’d never do. Like I recently bought pants from Costco. That’s a big deal. A new chapter in your life. Because that’s when you know you don’t care. Because when you buy jeans from Costco, you just don’t care anymore. That’s when we let go of our egos and begin our spiritual journey.”
And that transcendence that takes place with Costco pants (or Target shorts) means two things:
Number 1, they do what it takes to live.
Number 2, they’re not afraid to die anymore.