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A few weeks ago, we were having a great #RunChat on Twitter when a very interesting question surfaced, something like: do your running clothes smell or stink? Boy, did that trigger some interesting discussion. If one’s running clothes do stink, can you say it’s the clothes’ responsibility instead of the runner? Or is the runner solely responsible for converting the smelly running clothes? However, giving it more thought, I realized that although the exertion of running did cause one to sweat and thus, sometimes, the stinky running clothes my wife and daughter accuse me of wearing, the odor is a perceptible reflection of the effort exerted: the odoriferous effort. The odor of effort. And isn’t exerting effort better than not exerting effort?

Forgot all about this discussion. Then our washing machine broke this past Monday and this became a deeper reality. (You never notice how much you need your washing machine until it breaks. In our colder weather, I’ve been washing some clothes daily.) It’s been interesting trying to juggle/shuffle all my running clothes so as to not need to wash any until Monday when our new washer is delivered. So I’m becoming more painfully aware of the odor of effort this week. My wife hinted at the laundromat today but I think we can make it two more days. I’ll offer it up as a minor Lenten sacrifice.

While running, try to notice what you can smell (not you!) without using your other senses like the trees, flowers, pets, food (who’s grilling?), rain or mist from precipitation, etc. Use your nose and run one day just noticing what you can smell by sniffing with your nose. (It’s okay if you don’t smell anything, allergies/congestion can do that to you.) And don’t forgot to bring kleenex because pollen counts are rising. ACHOO! Follow your nose!

Here’s the best inspirational song intersecting with the sense of smell I can think of: Smell the Color 9 by Chris Rice. Enjoy!