Anyway, that's not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about my scrotum. I just ran 20 miles, and it's rather abraded. So, I looked up 'jockstrap' on Wikipedia -- which let me in on the interesting fact that 'jock' is a slang work for 'penis' -- and it pointed to an article in Slate discussing why we don't use them anymore. Really, it's entirely possible that every other man in Manhattan wears a jockstrap when he runs, and has just never mentioned it to me. Of course, this problem only seems to kick in over ten miles, so maybe not.
Jocks don't do much. Bike claims the contraption was invented in 1874 as "support for the bicycle jockeys riding the cobblestone streets of Boston." The manly wisdom that has prevailed in locker rooms for more than a century is that wearing an athletic supporter protects you from getting a hernia. The doctors I spoke to told me that's "an old athlete's tale."
"They kind of keep the genitalia from flopping around, is the best I could tell you," says Dr. William O. Roberts, a past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Jocks offer no protection against the relatively common inguinal hernia, in which a portion of the gut descends through the canal that contains the spermatic cord. They also won't protect you from what's known as a "sports hernia," a painful tearing or weakness of the muscles or tendons in the pubis area that's also known as "athletic pubalgia."
Right. Really, all I want to avoid is callusing of my balls. The not flopping around of them seems like a major step in the right direction.
Indeed, jockstraps do a fine job of holding your balls out of harm's way and preventing the scrotal sac from getting all (ouch!) tangled up.Indeed, I'm glad my Father wasn't a writer. I now know the Daniels Akst's sons, unlike the rest of their team, wear athletic cups. Active.com's Cool Running has a more running-oriented article.
Whatever your preference, it's no longer necessary to wear the old-style bulky cotton jockstrap. Most running shorts now have light-weight CoolMax briefs built in that will do the job without the chafing. Or, if you prefer, separate sports briefs or jock straps are also available in Lycra or CoolMax fabrics. The advantage of these fabrics over old-fashioned fabrics is not only that they wick moisture away from the skin, but also that they tend to retain their shape and stretch better.Google sends me to InternationalJock.com. Maybe rubber or leather I could see, but denim? I can't imagine that's going to help. Anyway, I now have two of these babies winging their way to me.
Oh, and have a reflective Good Friday.