So since my move to Minnesota in the fall of 2005, I quickly gained small notoriety as the kid who wore shorts year round, or my nickname around the University of Minnesota campus, shorts guy. By the time I graduated it was really what I was known as, its kind of interesting at a campus of 50,000 students to stand out, and even see a few editorials mentioning me in the schools newspaper, but as with all things there is an origin story, and my story is no different for this is my Origin Story.
So when I moved to Minnesota in the fall of 2005 it was warm and I was wearing shorts but then slowly in late october the temperature got a little uncomfortable for most people when the thought of wearing shorts came to mind. But for some reason I kept wearing them and then at some point I challenged myself to see if I could keep wearing shorts until December 1st. So I did and then I kept going and mostly it was because I was just more comfortable in shorts and didn't care what others thought of me and I was willing to endure the couple minutes outside to do so. It was about December 8th where I had to venture downtown and run some errands and wore jeans, and that stopped the whole shorts all the time thing, but after coming back after Christmas break, it was considerably warm in Minnesota for January, it was in the 40s or 50s and I decided to where shorts again and then kept it up until the present time. My only exceptions were if I knew I was going to be outside for a while, usually for sledding or skiing, and pants were allowed for formal events as well. Now through the years of wearing shorts in winter has certainly produced some interesting stories one of which I mentioned in a previous blog about Kevin Smith which can be read here. Also there was always the strange looks and comments from professors and fellow students who could not believe that someone would not only do this once but keep doing it no matter how harsh the winter had gotten. It was fun and got to poke fun at myself often like when someone would ask me if it was cold outside, I would just smile and say your asking me? Well... One time I even got an award for best dressed of the year at a Campus Crusade meeting beating out people who actually had fashion sense, but who needs fashion sense when people are trying to figure out how can one humanly possible consistently wear shorts in Minnesota winter.
The other part of my origin story is that in my later years of college I could always be spotted in a huge green winter parka, and here is the origin of how I came to own said parka. I was helping a former mentor of mine named Taylor move out of his house and he was going through old things and actually had this big old green winter jacket and asked if I wanted it, and I said yes because my winter jacket I was growing sick of because it was just too small for me to keep wearing. So it was kind of like the passing of the Green Lanterns ring, in few months that reference will become more understandable after the Green Lantern movie comes out, but it is very unique passing of a torch sort of moment except Taylor was never the shorts in winter type. But I still own that jacket to this day and when it gets cold enough where my 3 hoodies can't hold up to the cold, I will again bust it out and continue the winter tradition.
Now with that in mind, I have been thinking of actually stopping my wearing shorts in the winter as I am now biking to and from work these days, and actually everywhere else for that matter. This is something I've never had to do in the winter as I lived on campus or used public transportation to get to where I need to. And tonight I biked from work and it was below freezing and the ride is a good 20-30 minutes and yes I was in shorts as to be expected. But three quarters into this ride, I had kept thinking if I should keep the shorts thing going. The weird looks downtown are fun but riding home at night is getting just hard to do in shorts, its cold and my legs can bike in the cold only for so long and if I am having these thoughts now, when it gets around zero degrees, how bad will that ride be then pending the roads are not nasty, if they are the plan is take the bus for that given day. I am thinking December 1st, since it is a date that sort is significant in my origin story and have that be my last day in shorts in the winter, and then followed by pants of some kind, not jeans, I hate jeans. Probably wear long underwear and some basketball warm-up type pants and just change into slacks at work. We'll see if I can start to build endurance to handle the cold but all good things must come to an end and my continuous wearing of shorts in the winter might be coming to end and only happen when I dont have to bike too far to where I am going.
Until next time...stay safe