Physical Fitness and Femininity

Call me crazy but I love running.  Well… to be perfectly honest it’s one of those love-hate relationships that started off mostly on the hate side of things and slowly inched its way over.  I was first acquainted with running in 8th grade, real running not running away from some poor kid who got tagged “it” running.  I had played volleyball earlier in the year, and my Dad convinced me to at least try basketball (which I ended up truly enjoying) and so I thought, why not give track a shot too?

My first instinct was to go for the shortest distance possible, get it over with quickly, and be done.  The realization came quickly that I would not make it in short distance track.  I’m not that fast.  So, I decided to attempt long distance, I was in pretty good shape and I could make it an entire mile without collapsing so, why not?  Besides, it was the least popular event, so my chances were highest there, and in hurdles… but hurdles didn’t last long.  My dear mother was much to nervous about them.

So there it was, long distance track; it kinda stuck.  I wasn’t very good at it, but I did it anyway.  I didn’t particularly care for it, but it was a good way to stay in shape for volleyball and basketball.  And besides, if I wasn’t doing sports, really, what else was there in a town of 500 people?  And then I transferred schools, which also meant transferring coaches.  Guess who was my new track coach? Dad… hardened marine, marathon running, long distance loving Dad… uh oh… Let’s just say I hated hated track season.  It was horrible!  He, unlike my other coach, actually made me do real work, hard work, excruciating long distance running work! Argh!! Plus… I wasn’t getting any faster.

And then it happened… Dad gave everyone else their track assignments for the day and took me out for a run on the road.  I had done this plenty of times, but never with just me and Dad during practice.  We talked and ran and had a jolly good time.  About half way through I realized I wasn’t laboring to breathe or hurting… I was just enjoying the run!  This running stuff was actually sort of fun.  Running on that old dirt road, looking out across the sea of wheat, sprinkled with farms and cows, I felt freedom unlike any other.

I thought that the end of track season signaled the end of competitive running… not so!  That year my Dad registered us in the Bolder Boulder, a 10k race in (you guessed it) Boulder Colorado.  We ran it together (mostly because he was nice enough not to leave me in the dust).  And it was incredible!  The fresh morning air, thousands of people surrounding you about to embark on the exact same journey, bands playing along the course, the beautiful Rockies draping the landscape, the sense of accomplishment upon crossing the finish line… it was a wonderfully rewarding experience that I will never forget, and one that I hope to repeat.

We ran that race twice together and my goal this year is to run that same race again with my Dad and my Hubby.  Thusly, in order to prepare for such a feat, which previously in my prime fitness days of high school sports was easily accomplished with no extra concern, I must train for it.  And so… Jake and I began training yesterday.  I have known for months now that I’ve wanted to do this, but I had a dilemma earlier in the year of what on earth do I wear?  Now it may sound like a silly girl question but seriously!

All of my workout clothes from high school and college… really after having a baby do you think I can still wear those?  And the ones I can wear should I be wearing them?  Hmm… no probably not.  If you’ve had a baby you’ll understand, mommy clothes are simply different than pre-mommy clothes.  Also, my personality is much different than that of my highschool years.  It is not that I think shorts and pants are inherently evil, but I do believe that as a Christian woman it is important for me to dress in a way that reflects who I am, namely a Christian woman.

Modesty is important, but so is another component that we seem reluctant to mention, femininity.  As Christian women we should celebrate our feminine nature in our words, actions, vocations and even in the way we dress.  With a culture that is becoming increasingly confused as to the difference between the masculine and feminine we must first and foremost protect God’s natural order in our own hearts and homes.  Second, if we talk, look and act like the secular culture, who will know that there is anything different to live by or for?  What a disservice we are doing to the Gospel by not proclaiming it with how we dress!

That being said (and also with the understanding that I too fail constantly in this area, which is why I am so thankful Jesus died for that sin!) when I knew I wanted to begin running again, I was looking for something a little more modest and feminine than what I had collecting dust in my closet.  So I began my search for distinctly feminine running clothes, and what I found got me very excited!  Running skirts.  Yes.  Skirts that you run in.  How cool is that?!?  Plus, they were having a sale :)  And oh do I love sales!  So I bought a couple, even though I am a little uncomfortable ordering clothes online, I feel that more and more I am having to do just that, as what I’m looking for simply isn’t in the stores!

Honestly, I could not possibly be happier with my running skirts.  They look feminine and cute.  They are terribly comfortable, and just altogether wonderful.  Not to mention, if and when the Good Lord happens to bless us with #2 they also have maternity running skirts!  How neat is that?  Alright, so I’ll stop the commercial now, but seriously they rock!  I love running, but I love running even more when I get to do it in a skirt. :)



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