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What your gear says about you

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Flickr photo by Lindsey Gira

Every now and then, I order a beer in a restaurant and get a bottle with no glass. My wife can sense my annoyance when I flag down the server and ask for a pint glass.

“Do they think I’m a savage?” I ask my wife, shaking my head. If I wanted to taste the bottle instead of a beer, I’d just order a lite beer.

One of my favorite professors in college used to say that we cannot not communicate. In other words, everything we do sends a message, down to insisting on drinking beer out of a glass instead of a bottle.

This made me think how there are telltale signs that beer drinkers and runners are serious about their craft, without having to say a word. The scientific term for this is “signaling theory.” Others may call it “showing off.”

Consider running gear. Having a pair of lightweight running shorts versus running in mesh knee-length basketball shorts separates the serious runner from the casual cross-trainer.

For beer drinkers, you know you’re really into beer if you have to have a specialty glass for every style.

But you can also go overboard. The person who is covered head to toe in Nike logos will probably be seen as a poseur. The beer drinker who refuses to drink a Coors at a wedding on principle alone will probably be considered an insufferable beer snob.

These non-verbal cues can change over time. If you saw someone drinking out of a can a few years ago, chances are you’d think they were a college student. Today, you’d think they’re a serious craft beer connoisseur.

Similarly, if you saw someone running barefoot a few years ago, you’d think they are out of their mind. Today you’d view them as a hardcore runner.

What about you? What cues do you think says you’re serious about your beer and running?

 

Author
Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at] draftmag.com.

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6 Comments

  • Jeff says:

    I drink beer seriously (and seriously drink beer), yet I run for fun. Mismatched shorts and shirts–whatever I can get a deal on. I run minimally–$10 Champion running shirts and $19 shorts from Target. I spend a little more on shoes, but I hate to spend more than $100. Right now I am running in a 2 year old pair of New Balance Minimus Trail and 6 month old pair of Sketchers Go Run 2. On the other hand, I spend a lot of money on beer. Quality and quantity. I also have a large collection of specialty glassware.

  • Jeff says:

    I drink beer seriously (and seriously drink beer), yet I run for fun. Mismatched shorts and shirts–the $10 Champion shirt and $19 shorts from Target are good enough for me. I really by whatever works and what I can find a deal on. I run minimally. No brand specificity or loyalty. I spend a little more on shoes, but hardly ever more than $100. Right now I run in a two year old pair of New Balance Minimus and a 6 month old pair of sketchers go run 2. On the other hand, I spend a lot of money on beer. Quality and Quantity. I also have a large collection of specialty glassware.

  • Quinnsi says:

    Glassware is important, but what REALLY sets me off is when the glass arrives dirty!

    I also think glassware can be overdone. I think four types can accommodate any beer well.

  • Kyle says:

    I’ve completed two marathons, and an Ironman triathlon not to mention a huge monthly mileage log, all in mismatched basketball shorts. In fact I even (Gasp!) still wear cotton on occasion. My asics are finally broken in after about 600 miles on them and I hope to put another 600 on them over the next few years before switching (although the stench may make me switch sooner). Gear is just code for “Nike needs to sell you crap you don’t need”.
    As for beer though, I fall squarely with the beer runner. Look, beer tastes better out of a glass, even American lagers taste better when tipped from the frosty pint glass. Call it snobbery all you want but don’t come near me with a bottle and no glass. As for cans, I’m still not sold on them. I like them for outdoors but that’s about it, I feel canning craft beer is more of a gimmick. They still have a metallic taste that I don’t prefer.
    Sincerely
    Kyle C, runner, beer drinker, curmudgeon extradoinairre

  • Jimmie says:

    I won’t drink from a bottle if I can help it, but I generally use just pint glasses at home. I do have some fancier glasses for those really special beers.
    As for running or working out, my shoes are the only thing I am picky about – right now, Teva Zilch and Skecher GoRuns.

  • Darren says:

    I like beer. Micros better than macros but free better than none. My first micro was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and it is still in my top five beers of all time and I drink beer seriously.
    Good advice sold me on spending about a $100 on running shoes so I try to stay around that price range. I have found that when my body hurts more especially my back, my shoes are “done.” I am on my 3rd pair EVER after five half marathons in just under two years. Good shorts helps with chaffing as do good socks with blisters. Shirts are whatever works with whatever weather I am running in. Heck, I even have some from Goodwill.

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