“Liza, do you think people can tell from my gait that I’m not a runner?”
I looked over at Eliot, who’d been kind enough to run with me before dawn in some town in New Mexico where I was teaching. Eliot is a climber — a very good climber. He usually has to build some sort of pulley system to get me to the top of anything he wants to climb with me. (“Hey, check it out. I used a 9:1 this time; You didn’t weigh anything.” Awesome.) He could also be a really good runner, but he doesn’t love running, so he doesn’t do it all that much. And when I looked over at him to check out his gait, I noticed he was wearing a pair of swim trunks that came down to his knees, Smart Wool hiking socks pulled up like my grandfather might wear them, and a pair of running shoes he’d found in the desert during a climbing trip.
“Honey, it’s not the gait that’s giving you away.”
To be clear, I don’t know anything about what a runner’s gait should look like. I have noticed, however, that the more a person identifies themselves as a “runner,” the less clothing they are likely to wear on a run.
All that said, I felt wildly self-conscious yesterday running in just a sports bra and shorts. I don’t know that my belly had seen the light of day since sometime in the last century. I ran a lot faster than I should have in order to justify the lack of clothing. I hoped everyone I passed knew the Scantily Clad Runner heuristic. I wanted to stop and tell them about it. I felt like they were all thinking I should go ahead and cover up before my pasty belly blinded someone. I wanted to tell them about the resolution.
I hate putting myself in a position to be judged. And who likes to have their body evaluated anyway? I figure the sports bra running will be good for me in the long run. Kind of like spending the day the reptile house when you’ve got herpetophobia. Sports bra behavior therapy to overcome vanity.
I’ll sign off with a picture of my niece, my sister, and me at the water park yesterday. What’s particularly great about this picture is that I’m wearing the clothes I ran in that morning as a bathing suit. Don’t judge! ;)