Sunday: Run Day! February 19 2017

I'm not much a blogger, but I've been wanting to change that. And what better time than the present, right?! Here goes . . . 

I enjoy running. To me, running is a challenge -- especially long distances. I find a great reward in being able to accomplish running challenges/obstacles/goals that I set for myself. In the last year or so, I've cranked up my mileage to include the half marathon distance. It's a big deal to me. It takes planning and commitment. Each run builds on the next. It's been a delightful way to challenge myself. In 2016, I completed 3 half marathons. Woohoo! Today, I want to talk about a different sort of challenge that I accomplished. Today I did something. I dared to overcome this obstacle; and I did it!

Back story: Last summer, I set out to accomplish a different sort of running . . . goal? I was inspired by another runner/writer/blogger gal to run in a sports bra. To be a part of what she calls the #SportsBraSquad. Now, I never ended up doing this. Why? I just couldn't get over the fact that there would be people looking at me, judging me, watching my body jiggle as I run, etc, etc. Sure, I'm athletic. Sure, my body can do some amazing things. I've also learned that insecurity happens to people of ALL sizes and I've experienced and continue to work on my own insecurities (body image and otherwise). Over the years, I've learned to appreciate my body. To love what it's capable of. To be proud of it. However, I still manage(d) to draw lines that kept me from doing some things because I feared how other people would view me. 

Today . . . I took a step forward. This wasn't easy. Nope. I put on my running clothes around 11 a.m. or so. I geared up! I'm ready to go! I decided to wear a crop top and running tights. Mind you, the crop top IS active wear. It's meant to be worn while engaging in sweaty, fun activities. I put it on, grabbed my phone and running belt. Suited up. Laces are tied. But wait . . . *looks in the mirror* . . . I do still kinda care what people think. I went back and forth with this notion that my belly shouldn't be seen while I'm exercising. No one wants to see my jiggly, rollin' belly while I'm out on a run. But then I thought: JUST DO IT. Just go for your run and who cares what people think. This inner bickering went on for about an hour. I delayed my run by doing some warm up moves and stretches and returning to my mirror to fully take in what others will see while I get my training run in. But I finally settled on just going. Just run. Be free. Who cares!?

I did it! I put in four miles of asphalt kicking. And you know what? No. one. cared. It's an unusually gorgeous day for the middle of February. The sun is shining and I decided to dress for the weather. I could feel the breeze hitting my arms, legs, face, and stomach. It felt great. And sure, I did feel a bit uneasy and tugged on my shirt here and there. But I also felt empowered. I've been struggling with my half training lately. Today I had a solid groove/pace and everything felt good. 

I think the take-home isn't necessarily wearing a crop top for every run that I embark, but rather what that crop top represents to me. Many of my clients, especially when we initially start to work together, tell me that they feel uncomfortable working out in front of others and I'm grateful that I took an opportunity to experience some empathy. I did something today. And I want to keep doing things to build up that self-confidence and be proud of what my body can do, what it looks like, and not give two poops about any one else's opinion. Here's to warmer weather and working towards that #SportsBraSquad status. Just like running, some things take one step at a time.