toenail necklace

This is just the kind of thing that represents one wild end of my interest in dress! Jan Ryerse made this necklace out of lost toenails from marathon running. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch wrote about him (click the image to link to the article and see a pic of him wearing his necklace) and other runners who do ultramarathons (more than a marathon! often 30- 50- or 100-mile events).

"People tend to be less competitive in ultramarathons; they go at it at a relaxed pace," Jan says. He also contends that women and older runners have the advantage in ultrarunning because they are more patient. I wonder if there is also an emotional component in running this kind of race that would be an advantage to women and older folk, as opposed to a passionate one that would perhaps be found more in the young and male. The article says that "most ultrarunners will tell you that the shared experience of mentally and physically battling the incomprehensible is by far the biggest draw." Creating a talisman to wear of battle scars from these ultramarathons is the ultimate emotional attachment!

Full disclosure: I have many of my childhood teeth, 2 toenails that fell off, and a collection of hair (mine and others). Apparently it's genetic: my mom has a keepsake box with a piece of skin that my grandfather was born with over his face, and my aunt has a necklace that my great-grandmother wove out of her own hair (really full disclosure: I wore it on my wedding day (and it matches my own natural hair color).