Saturday, September 27, 2014

Finding Confidence: An Emotional Story About Pants

Last night I had an awesome ah-ha moment. It went something like this.

In just over a week, I'm running my second half marathon. I'm one of those people who runs but has trouble thinking of myself as a "runner" - I mean, me? It's crazy. I didn't start running until my mid-20s and I always thought it was something done only by special people with special powers. I know a lot of people feel this way, and we need to get over it.

Anyway, back to the half marathon. I was going through my workout clothes and gear, thinking about what I would wear. I pulled out a pair of black running tights and a bluish/greenish sweat wicking top.

As I was holding the pants I couldn't help but think about what they meant. When I ran my first half marathon four years ago, I wore yoga capris. In fact, I wore loose, yoga-style pants to pretty much every 5K, obstacle course, walkathon, and other activity I had done up until this year. Once in a while someone would ask, "Aren't you hot?" or "Are you comfortable in those?" ...and I always said yes. I wasn't lying, I just didn't know anything different. I almost NEVER wear shorts and I didn't have anything spandex in my drawers. I just felt like my body type couldn't wear traditional workout clothes.

When I started teaching Zumba, I would wear my trusty yoga pants. And they were fine... except for when they weren't. I would soon start to worry that students couldn't see how I was moving my legs in certain routines, and a few times a class they would slip down and I would have to stop cuing to pull them up. It was time for a change.

I bought my first pair of spandex workout pants and it was freeing. It was also scary. I know my body wiggles and shakes in some unflattering ways, and my new pants weren't as forgiving as my old ones.

But, teaching Zumba classes has created a new kind of confidence in myself, one powerful enough to shake off negative thoughts. We're not there to judge each other, we support each other. We're not worried about what everyone else looks like, we're trying to get a great workout for ourselves. And I'm so grateful for this indirect outcome of teaching Zumba... I mean, people are staring at my backside for the better part of an hour and I'm totally mostly cool with it!

I know the half marathon isn't going to be easy, but I'm going into it confident - and comfortable. :)

1 comment:

  1. I ran my first half marathon before there was such a thing as spandex and all there was were men's running shorts. It was in the early 80s . They were short. Never once did I think about what in hell I looked like to other people as I ran my many marathons, half-marys, 10ks, 5ks. I mean who cares? Why are women in 2014 even talking about these things? Title Nine passed years ago and it's something I fought for. Just do what you like-no biggie.