By Christopher Cudworth
Many years back there was a Thorlo sock campaign in which people ran marathons in their Thorlo socks as a means to prove the quality of the Thorlo brand.
Thorlos really are a superior sock. The thickest socks in their brand simply don’t wear out until the elastic up top gives out or else the dog chews a hole in the ball of the foot.
Beyond that, Thorlos almost cannot be killed or destroyed by normal wear and tear.
I myself have Thorlos that are more than 10 years old. They’re a bit thinner as you’d expect, and show some sport sock string hanging off the ankles, but they can still be worn.
Sure, they seem expensive when you buy them. But when you amortize the $14.00 you pay for Thorlos over a lifetime of 600 runs, it comes to $0.07 per run. That’s a pretty good deal.
But it’s not comfort that keeps most socks from performing their best in the life of a runner or rider. It is organization that counts.
Organizing your sock drawer is vital if you hope to be a successful runner or rider. When you arise at 5:00 a.m. and have to search through your sock drawer to find a pair that matches, precious time is wasted. You may get out the door 10 minutes later than you would if you have folded two socks together and been ready to run come morning. If you’re running 5 days a week that 10 minutes per day can add up 50:00 per week. The typically time-crushed athlete who works a job cannot afford to give up that training time. Not if he or she wants to succeed in the long run.
Organization doesn’t stink
That means an organized sock drawer can be one of the foundations for better performance. Laugh if you want. Make jokes about the fact your training stinks as much as your socks. If you’re going to change what you’re doing now and improve your odds for better performance, start with your sock drawer
One touch of organization tends to set off another. You might organize your running shorts drawer next.
God forbid a cyclist should have his or her gear organized. There is so much equipment to count up on cycling you had better not be disorganized or it can take an hour to get out the door.
Of course organization is a tarsnake of sorts. In order to be organized you have to take the time to organize, of course. That seems counterintuitive to some. The world is filled with busy workingpeople who claim their messy desk is actually a valid indicator of their true productivity.
That’s a hard argument to make, and be true. I cite the example of a TV critic that wrote for the newspaper where I once worked. His desk was a mountain of tapes, DVDs and press releases heaped higher than your head. Rumor has it there was a few Beta tapes of films from the mid-80s lurking deep in the pile.
It is hard to argue that is the most efficient way to fly. That’s rather like conducting security checks in the parking lots.
Organization as an aphrodisiac
But I do recall a time in my early 20s when I was trying to impress a woman visiting my apartment that I had my shit together. I made a point to fold my running socks and place them neatly in the top drawer where she could see them. Sure enough, she noticed the drawer left open carefully and commented, “You fold your socks?”
It is a very attractive trait, folding your socks. Habits like that cut through evolutionary and human history and are an intense aphrodisiac to women, especially those who hate dirty socks in the hallway, or hate hearing you complain about not being able to find a matching pair when you’re digging around at 5:30 in the morning, cussing like an evil circus clown and keeping them awake when they could be sleeping an extra half hour.
That type of scene is proof that organizing your sock drawer not only increases your productivity and athletic efficiency, it could damn well save your life. Do not, and I repeat, do not deprive any woman (or any partner) of an extra half hour of sleep when you can avoid it.
In fact, that is Partner Lesson 101 for you dopes out there who think your morning workout and the socks you wear are more important than the health and beauty rest of your significant other. If you believe that, you are naïve and sadly mistaken.
The Inquisition socks it to a poor soul
But if you organize your sock drawer, you will be forgiven. Sometimes that can be a lifesaver.
There is a legend that tells of a man condemned to death for heresy of one sort or another during the Inquisition. Rumor has it the blasphemy was a smelly, disorganized sock drawer. A sign of sloth and disrespect for God.
Yet when the Catholic Storm Troopers showed up to cart him off for torture by stuffing small bits of fabric down his mouth until he choked to death, the leader of the group sent to capture the man went to grab a stocking out of the drawer to begin the torture and noticed that the stockings were all neatly folded and lined up by sheen and color.
“This man cannot be condemned,” the Grand Inquisitor opined. “His sock drawer is immaculate! That is a sign of pure character. In fact, we’re lucky he wasn’t already up and running this morning!”
Then the Grand Inquisitor turned to the accused and asked, “By the way, why aren’t you already up and running this morning? Your socks are perfectly organized. Share with us your excuse!”
To which the accused gave the dumbest answer in the history of mankind. “It’s a rest day from running,” he said. “I was sort of thinking of lying in bed to masturbate instead.”
“Take him away!” the Grand Inquisitor said. Then they took his neatly folded stockings and stuffed them down his throat until his chest bulged with the mass of Tyson Gay, Lance Armstrong and the rest of those VO2 max sinners who do performance drugs and don’t even keep their sock drawers straight.