I realize that the only thing that's gained popularity over the past couple years more quickly than the running skirt is Lady Gaga - the one thing that probably annoys me more and makes even less sense to me than the running skirt. But still, call me crazy, I'm not a fan. Why?
Well, it could be that I'm never really a band-wagon jumper when it comes to fashion. Never have been. I've always wanted my things a little bit different.
Or it could be because I'm a tom boy. Always have been, always will be. That's not to say that I dress like a dude - believe me, I love fashion as much as the next gal. But at the end of the day, I'm most comfortable in jeans, a t-shirt, and my Simple tennis shoes (vegan shoes, of course). And when I'm working out, I'm there to sweat and kick some ass, which I guess for me means that a skirt won't do....
Or maybe it's just because I couldn't care less about what I look like when I'm working out. (FYI - because we're on the topic of pet peeves, the phrase really is "I could not care less." It's not "I could care less." That would mean that you actually don't care as little as you could, which defeats the point of saying that you couldn't care any less than you do...but I digress)...
Don't get me wrong, I try not to look like too much of a toolbag so as not to frighten small children; but I'm working out for me - not for anyone else. And in fact, I often try to look a little silly because it helps me not to take myself too seriously. Case in point, my Ironman "outfit":
|Not an IM fashion statement: Hot pink tri shirt, black & white swirly arm warmers, black compression shorts, and orange compression socks.|
Now some of friends tell me that they wear the running skirt - and, even worse, the running dress - because it's comfortable. Okay, I'll give that one to you. But if it's the underlying shorts brief or panty thing in the running skirt that you like, there are running shorts that accomplish the same thing...it may take some looking and I've had more than my fair share of running shorts that creep up, but I have found some that fit like a glove.
Some women say they like the running skirt better than spandex shorts because they just don't like their ass in spandex shorts - it jiggles around too much and isn't attractive. Well, I have two things to say to that:
- Who cares if your ass jiggles - you're out there working out for you. You're a real woman with real flaws, and unless you're anorexic or had the cellulite sucked out of your ass, your butt is gonna jiggle. Stop wishing for a firm, tight, perky ass that looks good in spandex - it doesn't exist on any real woman. Stop judging and criticizing your poor ass. It gets you through a lot - it carries you to work every day, then you sit on it all day long, you make it sit on the toilet without a seat protector, you criticize it for being to flat and flabby, and then you expect it to look good in spandex? Give your ass a break!
- Why do you care what other people think of you when you're working out? Again, you're out there for you - no one else. If it's men you're trying to look good for, all I have to say is - seriously? Do you really want to pick up a dude on the running trail? And if you want to look good because you're concerned about what other women think, all I have to say is - really? We're supposed to love and support other women. If you think you're being judged by other women, then chances are you're doing some judging too. Stop worrying about what other people think. Who cares if someone random stranger, or even a friend for that matter, thinks you look cute in a skirt or jiggly in spandex?
So while we're on the topic of pet peeves, here's my top five list of athletic pet peeves:
- Running Skirts: We've established that.
- Women Who Wear Make-Up at the Gym: Why do women do this? Seriously, I want to know. Is that they think they're going to meet a man at the gym and they're afraid that the man won't look at them if they don't have make-up on? Or is that the woman thinks she only looks good in make-up? Whatever it is, please stop!! The gym, the running trail, the bike bath - they're all the one time when you don't have to spruce up. Plus, has it ever occurred to the women who wear make-up when they workout how bad that is for your skin - to sweat with all that goop on your face? You are not in a magazine ad. You don't have to look airbrushed to go work up a sweat.
- People Who Don't Announce Themselves On the Bike Trail: I don't care how good of a cyclist you think you are or how long you've been riding, common courtesy and fundamental safety dictate that you announce yourself every single time you're passing someone when you're on your bike. Some cyclists I know say that they don't announce themselves because they're either going too fast or it doesn't look like the person is going to get in the way. Well, (a) if you're going to fast, all the more reason to announce yourself because your reaction time is so much shorter; and (b) you have no idea how many times I've seen someone - especially children or people who aren't familiar with how a trail works - jerk to their left just as you're about to pass them. Just play it safe and announce yourself when you're passing someone, please. And if you hear someone cussing you out for not announcing yourself as you pass them, that's me....
- People Who Are Obsessed With Your Times: The only person to whom my times in a race should matter is me. And even then, usually my time shouldn't even really matter that much because any day that I finish a race in one piece and healthy, is a good race, regardless of the time. But for some people, the first thing they ask when they hear that you've completed an event is "What was your time?" And some people - at least some of the triathletes I know - actually want to compare your time to theirs, or say "wow, what happened" when you tell them that your time was something less than what they think is stellar. Unless you're trying to qualify for something as a goal of your own - like the Boston Marathon or Kona - then screw the time. Use it as a measure of your improvement, not of your success.
- People Who Don't Respect The Distance: I'm totally stealing this one from my faithful reader, Jen, who writes the blog A Lover of Words. She wrote the other day about a woman who hadn't really trained very well for her first 1/2 marathon and was basically laughing it off. On one hand, there's something to be said for not stressing too much about training and races. But on the other hand, I feel that it's disrespectful and foolish to not appropriately train for a race and then just laugh it off. I know a couple of people who didn't appropriately train for Ironman events. One person, barely made the cut-off time by a couple of minutes, and only because a friend helped by running/walking half the marathon with that person (which isn't allowed). The other person, intentionally didn't train for the Ironman just to see if you could finish an event like that without training. In both cases, I felt that their approach was disrespectful - both to the distance and to the other people who put genuine effort into their training. Now some may say that if someone can finish an endurance event like Ironman with very little training, then more power to them. I disagree. The hardest part of an endurance event like that isn't the event itself - it's the months and months of training, sweat, and sacrifice that you endure just to get to the start line. So honestly, I'm not impressed with someone who half-heartedly signs up for and completes an endurance event without the proper training. Sure, things go wrong during training and a race that may prevent you from executing your plan as you'd like; however, that's different than intentionally sloughing off all the hard work that goes into an endurance event and then patting yourself on the back when you finish.
So there you have it. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone out there. I promise that I won't mock you if I see you in a running skirt...well, I'll try not to anyway. Afterall, to each his own...and besides, you shouldn't care what I think anyway, right? If you love your running skirt, then by all means flaunt it...I'll be flaunting my jiggly ass in spandex...
Do you love or hate running skirts and why? And for the guys out there - what's your take? What are your athletic pet peeves?