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Observation: High performance sportswear is really all about dressing up like a superhero.

By Andrew Pollack on 01/08/2006 at 10:16 AM EST

I've spent some money on a product called "Under Armor" for my daughter so she can wear these warm materials under her soccer uniform in the same way you might wear long johns or silk underwear skiing. The two big differences are that this is "High Performance" stuff which is supposed to deal with sweat better, and its meant to be "ok" to show on arms and legs sticking out of shorts and t-shirt. Everyone knows its bad if your underwear sticks out your shorts and t-shirt as long sleeves and long pants, but somehow this is different. Technically, its not underwear, you see. Its more like skin-tight sweatpants or sweatshirt.

It wasn't until I put on some of this of my own to go skiing yesterday (thankfully under a full set of snowpants and real shirt) that I realized it has nothing to do with high performance anything. Its about dressing up in superhero tights. Put this stuff on, and you too can enter the Hall of Justice as "Beer Gut Man" or something. The stuff shows every muscle in striking detail -- where you have muscle. Its also proof that most of us are not, in fact, super hero material and are therefore not entitled to wear superhero materials.

On the other hand, it also brings into stark question the probably very un-superhero like performance most of these so-called superheros must have in....other aspects... of their lives. The outlining effect of these things leaves virtually nothing (including the religious preference of one's parents) to the imagination. Since this was never an issue for any of the hall of justice types, perhaps we should assume that having super hero powers precludes the individual from ever procreating. This is Darwinism at its most compelling. If these super powers were all they were cracked up to be, they'd be passed on most successfully from generation to generation until we were a race of super beings. The best evidence that the traits have a side effect rendering the individual unable to procreate then, is the rarity of the superheros. From this fact, combined with the obvious lack of defined detail shown in the costumes, I conclude then that along with super powers, comes a side effect of extremely small genitals. Frankly, I'd rather stick with being "Couch Potato Man" then, than "Superman".

All this has caused me to update my list of rules learned from skiing.

1. If you are not super hero material, you may not wear super hero materials.
2. Spandex is a privilege to be earned, not a right conveyed on anyone with a credit card.
3. Its not the equipment, its skier. Great skis do not make great skiers.
4. Sometimes its the equipment. Great skiers cannot ski well on crap.
5. There really are 100 different names of types of snow.
6. Never try a trail called "Kansas" -- there's a reason for a name like this.
7. A bad day skiing is not better than a good day working. A good day working rarely involves multiple fractures.
8. Anyone who has good hair after skiing, didn't ski much.
9. Your children ski better than you. If they don't yet, they soon will.
10. If your feet hurt, tell the guys at the pro shop. THEY CAN FIX IT.

* This last rule, number 10, is a recent lesson. I have really good boots. They're quite expensive. Until yesterday, they hurt like hell. I've avoided the pro shop assuming it to be expensive and run by teenagers looking to live at the mountain. In frustration, I went in yesterday realizing I'd have to either rent boots or have these fixed. In 10 minutes they helped me figure out what was wrong, and it took about an hour for them to use some kind of machine to heat the plastic and expand it in one area by nearly a quarter inch. Like magic, the boots feel great now. Total cost? $20.

There are  - loading -  comments....

My own thoughts on this are...By Danny Lawrence on 01/08/2006 at 03:56 PM EST
Andrew, it might be worth looking at the Larry Niven short story "Man of Steel,
Woman of Kleenex"
for another view on Superman procreative issues.

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