Saturday, July 9, 2011

Odoriferous Reflections

Fact: Athletes stink.

It's a simple fact. We stink when we exercise and our sweaty clothes can really make the closet hamper overpowering. That's pretty obvious to all involved, but something that takes some adjustment for those becoming more athletic.

There are quite a few olfactory stimuli that change when changing your lifestyle, many unexpected.

The most surprising is that when you lose a lot of weight and change your diet permanently, your body odor changes.

I'm not talking about how, when I first joined the gym, I'd be there when the opened at 5 am, slathered in icy hot. I'd workout for an hour and then rush home so I could be ready for work. Being as heavy as I was I'd be drenched in sweat. I'd wear warm clothes to sweat more in fact. I didn't have time to change or shower at the gym. I'd just let my icy hot-spiked sweat soak into my wife's car. (Her car is way cheaper to drive than my truck.) She'd get in the car shortly after I returned home and said it smelled like "old people" when she worked at a nursing home.

I'm talking about the inherent smell we develop over the course of a day due to our body chemistry. Mine, I've been informed by my wife, is now worse. And I have to agree with her because she's my wife and a wrong husband is a happy one...but also because I do smell worse. Mine is, well, I would say less pleasant, but that would imply that my funk used to be nice!

Now, smell is a big thing, especially to women, though many may not know it. Women are attracted more attracted to men who are significantly genetically different than those who are genetically similar. Also, mothers apparently can identify their newborns by smell alone (though I can't find the article at the moment). Also, mother rank their baby's #2, #1. I used to think my wife was nuts...she liked to sleep one of my dirty shirts if I was out of town. Apparently we our genetic differences are vast!

What do we men get out of smell? Well, I can sniff out a good restaurant or someone else's gym sock (not my own) from a mile away. That's about it.

What made me think of all of this happened this morning. I went on a ride with my wife. She's new to bicycling and doesn't have a lot of equipment yet. So, this morning she was wearing a pair of my riding gloves (they save the palms of your hands). Actually, she was wearing the pair I wear most of the time. I knew they stunk. They remind me to wash them each time I put them on. They're salt crusted to the point where they look grey on the back of the hands. She probably thought they were that color naturally.

We had been riding for about 20 minutes when I said, "Hey, I'll give you a dollar if you smell that glove."

She took a wiff and jerked back so hard that the other hand that was on the bike pulled back causing the front tire to jerk and shake. She almost went off the bike the other direction trying to correct the imbalance.

All from a stinky man glove. Best dollar I ever spent!

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