Post-workout, I’ll pretty much go anywhere in my running clothes while at my grossest. Grocery shopping, happy hour, Starbucks, you name it. I don’t feel self-conscious, I don’t worry that I’m not wearing makeup. Sometimes I’m fully aware that I smell like hot garbage, but for the most part, I couldn’t care less.
Now, take me out of those running clothes and put me in work-appropriate attire, and it’s a whole new ballgame. I can’t imagine walking into the office without makeup or going to the bar with my hair in shambles, let alone allowing someone to photograph me in that state — you know, like I ASK people to do before, during and after races.
The big question is, why? Why is my attitude and behavior so different in these two contexts?
I’ve been pondering this for a little while, and the best reasons I can come up with are these:
- Because even in my grossest, sweatiest state, I feel the most confident in my running clothes. They fit me well, and they accentuate the parts of me that have become stronger because I run.
- Because after a workout, I’m glowing. Even if it was a crappy run, I feel incredibly good about myself — in a way that is far beyond just how I look.
- Because I’m not trying. When I dress up to go out on the town, I’m automatically self-conscious. Is this dress in style? What about my shoes? Did I put on too much eye makeup, or not enough? After all that effort, I can’t help but worry. But since my workout clothes required virtually none of that effort, what do I have to worry about? Nothing.
Now, all of that said, I’m not going to stop wearing makeup to work or stop doing my hair to go to the bar, BUT I am going to make an effort to stop worrying so much about it.
Until then, see you at happy hour. I’ll be the one with the sweat-drenched race shirt, running cap and bright purple Sauconys. — Mags