One night, while finishing my workout, I looked down at my feet. I noticed how dirty my shoes were and for once I wasn’t worried about it. In fact, just the opposite. I was PROUD of the dirt. It told me that I’d accomplished something with these shoes. I had used them over and over again and worn them to this state. I hadn’t just gone onto ebay and bought a cheap pair of shoes that someone else had worn and conditioned. For that reason, I’m rather proud of this picture. It’s my Brooks Ariel running shoes. I bought them this summer and it was hard to spend the money on them. I grew up in that middle class place where you didn’t spend 100′s of dollars on shoes (even though that’s rather common place now). You went to Target and Walmart and Payless to get your shoes. Going to Foot Locker to get shoes was a treat. These days I wonder about that. Was this why I never enjoyed gym class? or was it because the “cool” crowd I longed to be part of were the ones walking. I hated running.
Middle school years for many people are an awkward memory that most of us would like to forget. Gym class in middle school even more. Our first adventure getting dressed and undressed in front of our peers… How many of you ran for the first available bathroom stall for the first week? I can honestly say I didn’t. But I got really adept at putting my PE Shirt on and removing the other one while showing as little skin as possible before moving onto other articles of clothing. I hate my PE clothes almost as much as I hated PE itself. Hate. Maybe that’s a rather extreme word to use, but back then that was the sentiment. There was no grey area back then. Do you remember YOUR PE Clothes? mine was this red cotton tshirt paired with blue shorts with a white stripe down the side. We stood in line for calistenics and then ran outside on the track. I was never a good runner and with a sister who was a natural athlete, I was loathe to try many sports. I dreaded those time tests in high school, yet as much as I hated it I could honestly say that I enjoyed Cross Country running more than running on the track.
These days, PE doesn’t always mandate a uniform and less kids are worried about what others think of them as they change for class. For us older folks though, that apprehension sometimes remains. We go out to buy clothes to workout in and without a general guide it’s hard to say what will or will not work for each individual. As a short Pacific Islander, the first thing I look for is “will it fit” and then “is it cute”. Yes, cute is important. It doesn’t matter who will see us in it because WE will see ourselves in it. However, Cute and fit hasn’t always made the cute. I’ve found that the cotton stuff wears out faster and sometimes chaffed. I found that desite the rise in body temperature as you run, running in the winter outdoors is still hella COLD! Gloves made a difference as did long sleeve tops and long pants. Thank GOODNESS for clothing made to wick away moisture so that the clothing itself was more comfortable. But after racing the St Patrick’s Day Dash in Seattle last month, I discovered the ugly truth about workout clothes. No matter what you do, you still won’t like the way you look in them.
I was talking with a friend not long after the event and she commented on how awesome I looked in the one picture I was able to find of me from the event. All I saw, however, was the bulge protruding from my midsection. Eventually I was able to move past that and comment on that RATHER LARGE hat behind me and the rosy look to my cheeks but at the intial moment? All I saw was fat. Self Image is one of those personal battles we all fight and it’s definitely not an easy one. This outfit by the way? My favorite to run in. There’s a pocket for keys at the back of the pants and the top has thumbholes for when it’s cold. That being said, I can’t wait for fotojack.com to post the pictures from my latest run.