Friday, March 28, 2014

Wearing Tutus = Not Running

I didn't start running until I was 31.

One of my girlfriends had been trying to get in shape. We were discussing workouts and staying fit and she brought up that she wanted to try this obstacle course out, a 5K called The Warrior Dash.  I had never enjoyed running.  I wasn't amped to even consider it.  I wasn't even sure I could run 3 miles in one swoop.

My girlfriend sent me a link to the Warrior Dash website.  I see these photos of people running, smiling, covered in mud....and in costume.


There is a sporting event where you can dress up like a Viking?!

I was hooked.  I signed up.  And we had a whole crew go.  And I found out that I could indeed run 3 miles.  Hell, a few races later I upped it to running 10k's....6.2 miles.

Over the course of the first 3-4 years of running, I participated in over 20 races.  Most involved either mud, obstacle courses, a sparkly medal and, ever so often, a costume.  It was the inclusion of those things that kept me going back.

Who knew running could be FUN?!?

I can't even imagine the amount of new runners that have started to run because a race brought in an element of fun. Workouts weren't the static, depleting and dreadful experience I had come to expect anymore.

The idea of running is intimidating for someone who is not a competitive athlete.  It's a huge task to commit to moving oneself at a fast pace for an extended period of time....especially when sitting sounds so much better.  Safer.  If you were to look at my sitting skills, they would be A-plus.  I sit for work every day.  I multi-task from this chair like a BOSS. 

Now running, I'm not super fast.  I'm not graceful.  At times I plod through.  If I get a cramp, the whole world will know and my face will have that pained look of dying while in motion.  I don't multi-task whilst running....I'm lucky to be breathing steady and going in a semi-straight line.  If you were to look at my skills, you would not be impressed. 

I don't want to be judged for my running.  Ever.  So if I'm in costume or in a wig, if I've painted myself are laughing with me, not at me.  

I'm not running, I'm funning.

This whole stream of thought sparks from the notorious SELF Magazine article, which threw shade at runners in tutus.  It made fun of the so-called "tutu epidemic."  What they also did was ignorantly post a photo of a cancer survivor who was in a tutu, doing her first run while on chemo.  She also makes tutus for runners.  The profits from the sales of the tutus goes to a local charity which helps young girls stay motivated to be healthy and exercise.

BIG mistake for SELF Magazine.  HUGE.  This has cause such an uproar in the running community, which has lovingly welcomed thousands of tutu wearing, fun-loving people who handle themselves with a better sense of sportsmanship than SELF has demonstrated.  The magazine issued an apology and retracted their superior stance on the subject.  ......meh.  Unimpressed over here.

What I would really like SELF to do is pull their next glorified celeb off of the cover and give us this tutu wearing, cancer surviving, charitable, female athlete who does more for promoting the cause of staying healthy and having a good body image than another article telling us how Kate Hudson lost her post-baby weight.