A New Year and a New Lesson in Self-Image

Self-image is a tricky thing for women, and while many think that athletes are exempt from doubts about their bodies, my reading of elite runners’ blogs is that they, too, struggle with focusing on all that their bodies can do instead of the things they’d like to change.

My first 2015 lesson in self-image came very quickly: within the first half-mile of my first run on New Year’s Day.  I left the house reminding myself to be patient, run slowly, and pay attention to how I feel. I also left feeling a bit silly in my crazy mis-matched outfit and unwashed, unkempt hair:

Clearly, I put little thought into matching

Clearly, I put little thought into matching

As I started on my run, I passed two men. One called out to me “Great Legs!” I thanked him as I ran past, and he called back “you’re very welcome”. Not long after as I started a loop around the track at the park I passed a little girl who I heard say “she’s really fast.”

No one commented on my pink calf-compression sleeves, purple skirt, blue shirt, aqua arm-warmers or hastily pinned-back hair. Just my strong legs and my pace. It was a great reminder that I’m harder on myself than others are, that I need to give myself a break and be grateful that I’m able to celebrate the New Year with a great run.

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