One of the greatest perks of working in the running shoe business is access to cheap and or free gear. Over the years of working expos, a lot of runs and beers are had with reps from damn near every brand you could ever want. Samples and product becomes a currency and the hookup continues far after my stint there. It was with one of these hookups that my beloved Oakley 1984 Reissue Orange Fire Eyeshades were obtained.
A little known industry fact is that reps have to buy their samples. This means 1-3 times a year they get an influx of all the newest products to show their accounts. When they get done showing their line they sometimes sell them. One of my rep friends was an Oakley rep who would sell me his samples at a steep discount when he was through with them. My friends and I would then shop through them and I’d sell the rest. I never made any real money. I just covered the costs and got a few free pairs of shades.
In the spring 2015 I bought a pile of glasses and found 3 pair of 1984 30th anniversary Eyeshades. In 1984 they looked like some sort of space goggles. 30 years later. Same. I sold a couple pair but kept the orange ones for shits and grins.
In May 2015 the FRESHJUNKIE Racing crew headed down to New Orleans to put on the Huey P Long Bridge Run, a rather large 5k that runs over The Mississippi River. This was to be followed by tear down and a sprint to Baton Rouge to put on the Happy’s 5k. On the way out the door Friday night, I grabbed the Oakleys and headed down. We arrived after dark and for some reason I kept the glasses on throughout dinner. A decision was made to wear them through the Happy’s Race the next night. I slept sitting up in them. I wore them the next morning at 4 am and wore them the whole next day. See yesterday’s post for an explanation.
Over the past 4 years I have had 5 pairs of the same glasses. I’ve raced multiple Ironmans in them and they have become a part of me. Ridiculous? Possibly. But my eyes deserve protection and what better way than to shroud them in plastic flirty every day.
My wife hates them and for that I’m sorry. Just not sorry enough to not wear them.