Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Running Topless

There is a first for everything.  A first time falling in love, buying a car, traveling abroad,  trying escargot.  I like to think I am pretty adventurous, however, just a few days ago I tried something that I should have done a heck of a lot sooner.


At my Friday night yoga class our super hippie, free-spirited yoga instructor talked about things that liberate us and things that bind us.  As she spread lavender oils on our palms and temples she explained that our attitude is what decides whether or not we will feel liberated or bound.  It is up to us.  


I let that thought settle in overnight.  The next day, when it was time for Angela and I to run on the hilly, shadeless trails, I considered ditching my racer-back tank top to stay cool under the unforgiving sun.  This would mean running solely in a sports bra.  For some, this is an everyday occurrence, but for me it was a moment filled with hesitation.  I have always wished for the abs great enough to flaunt and the confidence to do so.  I have a fear of something jiggling here or sticking out there and I never have the guts to bare my stomach. 


At that moment I decided, to hell with it!   I chose liberation over feeling bound and I whipped off my shirt.  We hit the trails and immediately I felt exhilarated!  This may not seem ground-breaking, but it was so much more than just the removal of clothing.  


This was my moment of emancipation.  Freedom from all negative thoughts and ideas about my body.  I was feeling gratitude for the strength in my legs and my lungs and the stability that came from my core.  I was in amazement at what my body can do for me.  From long runs to fast runs to crazy yoga poses, it does whatever I ask it to.  How can I ever talk badly about something that does so much for me every single day?  I felt sudden regret for all of the mean things I have ever said about my precious, beautiful body.  For all of the times I have looked in the mirror and pinched myself here and there, I felt disrespectful.


This run provided the chance for me to internally apologize to my body that has done me good even when I treated it horribly.  This was my moment of complete and total satisfaction with myself and love for my body.  


Why is it that we know it is mean and disrespectful to talk poorly about others, but we find no harm in talking that way about ourselves and our bodies?  


Do you notice the amount of jokes or comments made about weight, fat and cellulite when you are in a group of women?  It is always women speaking of themselves!  Why is it so easy for us to tirelessly tear ourselves apart?


I know my moment of self-love will not last forever and I will once again be flooded with thoughts of imperfection and changes that need to be made.  These are the moments we all face, when we need to remind ourselves what our bodies do for us.  How good they are to us.  How lucky we are to run races, cycle for miles and manipulate our limbs into Crow Pose.  Your body is yours.  Your one and only.  Treasure it and treat it with as much love and respect as you can muster up.  


Maybe your moment of self-love and mental release will happen differently than mine, in fact I am sure it will.   Either way, remember not to let negative ideas about your beautiful body bind you in any way.   Choose liberation over constraint.   I did, and it felt damn good!


Glowing after our liberating run! 
Ang took her top off as well and felt the joy!




23 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you had a great, liberating run. I haven't whipped off my shirt yet for the same reasons you mentioned, but you are absolutely right...we should really be grateful for what all our bodies have allowed us to do!

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  2. Wonderful entry, it made me cry and at the same time more proud of you. And how is that possible, you make me proud every day of your life. Suddenly you realize now what i've been telling you your whole life. And the picture without makeup is just icing on the cake. Mmmm, i want cake.
    You're right, we should treasure our bodies for what they do for us. I love You!
    RunKateRun!

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  3. Abbi- I definitely encourage you to do it! Take it off. Look how far you have come? It will be a great reminder. At one point we we were brand new to running and could hardly manage a few miles; now look at us!

    Kate #2- :) You are so sweet. I am happy to be in this new, content place in my life.

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  4. Love this post! I had the same feeling when I went to a nude beach a few years ago. LOL!

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  5. Why didn't you tell me about your blog sooner, Kate?! The last time I ran in just a jogbra was 1996...when you were in primary school. I like that picture of you and Angela.

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  6. What a great blog Kate! You dare devil you ... You make running topless sound so wonderful. Gosh, I wish I was 24 again and had the guts to do it. Keep running and keep blogging. I love every entry!!

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  7. I am so sad when every blog comes to an end. keep them coming kate. you write so beautifully :) very proud of you!

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  8. I just came over from Anne's blog which I read regularly and now I'm going to read your's too!
    1. I sometimes feel like I want to run in just a jog bra, because it would feel so cool and freeing BUT, I am 45 and had two kids a long time ago and it just wouldn't make me 100% comfortable. I do think I'm 99% happy with my own body BUT...I do have my limits!
    2. I read about your luck with the stranger and the key, etc. and all I have to say is...there are still GOOD people out there. Thanks for reminding me of that!

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  9. I just read Anns post in reference to you- and as I said in my comment...we can't all live in fear every day. There are good people and bad people. I just glad you found a good one.

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  10. Meg & Jill- Thanks for the comments!
    I know I would help someone if they needed anything out on a trail. I also think that although everyone gave me a hard time about not having my cell phone, it wouldn't save me from a pyschopath. It would have helped in my car situation, but it wouldn't help me if I was suddenly attacked by a 6'2" man. Honestly. Also, I do believe in a woman's instinct. I felt safe taking a ride from this particular young guy & there are many times when I would not feel that same sense of security. If I had any odd feeling I would not have gotten in the car with this person. No way Jose!

    :-)Either way, I am glad to be a reminder of the good people left.

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  11. That's so awesome! I remember having that inner dialogue about running with no shirt over my running bra back when I was training for a 1.2 marathon! It's liberating not to care!

    I just found your blog from the link you left on the Networked Blogs discussion board. I'd love for you to check out my blog, too!

    www.focalimpulse.com/blog

    We're a photography studio that specializes in boudoir and glamour photography for everyday women, making them feel like models for a day! We also specialize in photoshop retouching- we can make the shots as natural or a 'Maxim Magazine' as the clients want. :) Lots of cool pics, and some behind the scenes stuff!

    Check us out and let me know what you think! We're out of Boston but looking to book Quickie Slam or workshops all over the country!

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  12. That's so good, bali shapewear bra is on the thin side for a sports bra, virtually no padding/support. The sizing also runs a little big.

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