I told myself I would never be one of them: one of those moms who constantly wears running clothes, whether or not she has actually gone running that day. I told myself that, after all, I’m no clothes horse. It’s really not that taxing to throw on khaki shorts and a mostly-stain-free t-shirt instead of a pair of Oiselle Rogas and a technical tank.
Yet, yes, maybe inevitably, I’ve done it. Not every day, but there have definitely been occasions when I go running in the morning and the sports bra, top, and shorts stay on for hours. And yes, there’s been a day or two when I don’t go running at all, but don the clothes anyway.
Why? Because they’re comfortable and easy to wear, the general public will answer impatiently. Because they’re stretchy and more forgiving to postpartum bodies, another portion of the population will – not inaccurately – point out. Because taking care of small children is messy, sweaty work, and sometimes I can’t shower right after a workout, and really who has the time or budget for dry cleaning?, many moms will say, while blotting spit-up.
Yes. All of these are true. None of them, however, are why I find myself drawn to wearing my running clothes as much as possible as a first-time mom.
My running clothes are my wings. They aren’t armor – armor is protective, but gets awfully heavy. Who needs that? Besides, I want to feel like I can do things. I don’t want to feel like I need protection from them. I want to feel enabled and empowered.
Hence the running clothes. The wings. The moments in my life when I’ve felt strongest and most capable have centered around running. With my wings, whether or not I’m out on a run, I can climb, dive, or simply ride the wind. Put me in clothes that can withstand effort, mess, and the brutal honesty of everyday life, and I believe. Put me in clothes that can handle a 2-miler, a marathon, or a hellacious diaper change, and I can. I can care for my nest, its inhabitants, and myself with equal amounts of grace. I can and will accomplish the tasks at hand. I can be strong, and share it. I can keep going.
I have the stamina for it. I have the wing span for it. I have the clothes for it. You bet your life I’m going to wear them.