I’ve been in a funk for a week.

I was fooling myself thinking that I was OK being “just Dave.”

Shortly after writing that post, I slipped into a general feeling of sad/mad/confused/bored.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t snap out of it.  I couldn’t convince myself to just be happy.
I tried.

I started my marathon recovery program.

I started a new diet to lose the 15lbs that I was planned to lose last summer.

I ran mile intervals on the treadmill.

I set up the weight bench in the basement (and actually used it).

I started 10 different posts for this blog thinking that writing would help to clear my head.  I trashed each one because I couldn’t get past the “I’m depressed” tone.

I was starting to get a little desperate. I didn’t know how I was going to snap out of it.

Finally, on my Sunday run with Keith and Rick, I was able to relax and enjoy myself again.

It wasn’t the run.

It wasn’t the fact that I’ve missed running with Keith and Rick.

It wasn’t the downpour that hammered us for 5 minutes when we were less than halfway through our 60-minute run.

Hell, it wasn’t even the fact that my legs felt great the entire time.
It was all because of a shirt.  It’s as simple as that – the site of a shirt made me happy again.

Here’s how it happened:
We left Rick’s house in the dark around 5:45am.

The air was heavy.  Rain was definitely threatening.  No one wanted to push too hard, but we were hoping to get in a good 60 minutes of running.

The plan was to run from Oak Street down to Four Seas in Centerville and back – a generally flat, straight course.

The rain hit hard before we reached the corner of Old Stage Rd and Route 28.  We were soaked.  I had worn a t-shirt over my singlet and the combined weight of those felt like a good 10 pounds on my back.

We considered turning around, but that seemed pointless.  We were already wet – why not push on and stick with the plan.

I was lost in my thoughts for a few minutes, just jogging along when I happened to look over @ Rick.  He was doing his thing, running on the yellow line, talking about his future career as an ultra-marathoner, but I wasn’t listening to him.  Instead, I found myself staring at his shirt.   I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t noticed it earlier.
Before I could filter it, I heard myself say, “Uh, Rick – does Tina know that you’re wearing her shirt?  Is that orange? Red? Choral?  Cantaloupe? What do you call that color?”

From the other side of Rick, Keith said, “I think it’s salmon.”

That was it – that was the color.  Rick was wearing a salmon-colored running shirt.

Now, it’s possible that the shirt may have been red at one time and simply faded from too many washings, but in my head that wasn’t nearly as funny as the site of Rick digging through Tina’s closet looking for  a clean shirt.  I pictured him pushing aside the floral prints (too bold), the winter white turtleneck (too dressy) and the cotton blouses (ouch – chafing) before settling on this lovely salmon number (“I think this will really bring out the gray in my chest hair!”).

And that was it – something as stupid as a faded red shirt got me out of my mini-depression.

I smiled the whole way home.

Even now – 36 hours later, I’m still chuckling to myself about it.