>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I saw my first running skirt at a Women's Distance Festival 5K I ran back in the summer of 2006. There was a whole clan of women wearing them -- all different lengths and colors, fabrics and fits. And I must admit that, at first, I thought they looked silly. Not only that, those skirts couldn't be comfortable or efficient. Chafing for the sake of fashion definitely isn't for me. Those women, I mused, must care more about how they look than how they perform.
And when each and every one of those women kicked my butt that day, I started to think differently.
A year or so later, I found myself flipping through racks of shorts and other bottoms at our local running shop. And as I do with all new trends, I decided to indulge my curiosity. To run fashionably. To run and let everyone know that I'm, well, a girl.
I wore the skirt for the first time one sticky August evening on my quick 4-miler around the neighborhood. I hated every minute of it. The back was riding up my glutes, fully exposing my jiggly butt (or so I thought). The front flap was flapping in the breeze, fully exposing my thick thighs. The little short-shorts underneath felt weird.
Then some jerk in a truck beeped at me and called me honey, or something like that, and I headed home nearly in tears.
I threw that skirt in my running clothes drawer and never wore it again. That is, until this past weekend. As I've grown a bit older, I've become much more comfortable with my body. As a lanky teenager and even skinnier college coed, I never realized how tiny I actually was. I've indeed gained (healthy) weight in the years since. It's been difficult for me, but through my successes as a self-made athlete, I've overcome the hurdles of image distortion. Well, not totally . . . wouldn't it be nice if it was that easy? Truth is: I'll probably always struggle from time to time. However, I can feel a marked difference in my self perception now versus then.
What I discovered this weekend is that the running skirt isn't for fashion as much as it's for celebrating the female form -- however curvy or straight or etc. that form may be -- while on the run. (That is, self-celebration. It isn't for those crude truck drivers of the world who belch out crass comments and are oh-so gross.) And, for that, I have fallen in love with the style.
I had Stephen run behind me to let me know if my little black number was riding up too high. If you could see my butt. If I looked inappropriate in any way. He claims he was completely honest and that, no -- I looked fine. "Great," even. My favorite workout bottoms are still my Lululemon Empower Crops, but taking the skirt out for a run every now and again is fun. It's something I plan to do even if only for the sake of feeling good about myself.
Do you run in a skirt and/or dress? If you'd like to try, here are just a few great places to pick one up. My skirt is from Nike, and it's relatively first-generation. I see a lot of great styles out there now -- enough to make me want to take another out for a test run.
And if you haven't already -- go check out this month's Blog Love Fest. It's a special edition because we're not only sharing the links in a list this month. We're creating a categorized blogLOVEroll. For all the gooey details, just visit the BLF post.
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