One of the latest running trends for women is the running skirt. I have tried a couple, but I always feel like a fish out of water when I wear one. My Saturday running partner is usually in a skirt. She looks great in them too with her beautiful tan toned legs. I on the other hand feel like people are saying, as I pass by in a skirt, "She would look better in shorts! " I think part of my skirt insecurity is because I was never a girlie girl growing up. I was more of a Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird than a Cinderella or Snow White. I wore shorts under my skirts so I could climb the monkey bars and hang upside down without my panties showing. I dug in the dirt, made mud pies with my brother, and played with hot wheels. My unruly curly hair was cut short in a pixie-probably more for my mother's ease of brushing than my style choice. My peddle pushers were the perfect wardrobe for the tomboy I was at heart.
I never truly understood the girls who giggled at everything and whose outfits coordinated from hair bows to handbags. It all seemed so frivolous to me. I just needed my Converse tennis shoes, a t-shirt and my 501 Levis. Playing softball, powder puff football, hiking, and climbing trees fit my personality better than dance or cheer leading. As the years have passed, I have begun to discover the inner "girl" in me. I wear pink more often and have even indulged in pedicures. I am still not overly comfortable in dresses. I feel awkward in formal social situations. I don't ever feel quite put together enough-my shoes aren't right, my purse is too bulky, my dress isn't right for the occasion, and let's not even start on the make-up. But I know somewhere in there is a princess waiting to come out.
Insecurities lie so deep in us all. My childhood aversion to all things "girlie" has often made womanhood awkward for me. The blessing of it all? My tomboy heart made raising two boys easier. I feel at home at the baseball field watching games, talking stats with my youngest, and watching ESPN 24/7. In a male dominated household, I can hold my own pretty well. I do have to remind myself to let the men in my life treat me like a "lady", so that they in turn can learn to respect and care for the women who will come into their lives. I remind them that tulips are my favorite flowers and it is okay to eat somewhere other than Buffalo Wild Wings.
And along the way running has helped me to balance the inner tomboy and the woman I am becoming. The miles I have run are covered in sweat, tears, and determination. Whether I wear shorts or a skirt, running allows me to be fully and freely me. There is no room for pretensions, masks, or hidden agendas when you are slogging through 9 gruelling miles in the Florida summer heat and humidity.
I don't know what you see when you look at me, but know that on the inside there is a 6-year old Scout struggling to become the woman God intended her to be.
You might even see me in a running skirt sometime!