Life is sometimes presented as an either/or proposition. But I find more often than not, especially as a mom, life is more of an AND/AND proposition. I am a woman AND a mom. I am feminine AND strong.
I used to putz around the gym playing on the elliptical. It looked like fun and I could watch TV while I worked out. I could make this my moment of time where I could have a few minutes (ok more like a whole hour) away from my demanding young kids and away from my desire to be all about my ANDs. (Ignore the fact that I said I was working out AND watching tv). After several weeks with a friend – she said that I was going fast enough that I was basically running. What? I’m not a runner. I’m a fitness enthusiast but runner I am not. I quickly realized that I could be BOTH. Yes, another AND.
I was lucky enough to get to meet Skirt Sports 261 Inspiration, Marathoner Kathrine Switzer in person. She is a delightfully down to early normal and approachable person despite her GIANT role for women in running. She tells amazing stories that will resonate for a lifetime (you can also purchase her book at the Skirt Sports Website). Katherine literally changed the sport of running as she became the first woman to officially run and finish the Boston Marathon. She stood strong as race officials tried to push her off the marathon course and strip her of her #261 race bib (no women allowed!). Finishing the race with more determination than ever, Kathrine went on to create the groundbreaking Avon International women’s race series which introduced the sport of running to women around the globe. She was also instrumental in bringing the Woman’s Marathon to the Olympics.
Beyond all the accomplishments in the world of racing – it stands as a much bigger monument when she speaks about empowering women to do what they want. She reminds each and every one of us that a run can mean an entire lifetime of experience. You may start that race as a girl but the strength, courage, confidence, sisterhood and fearlessness that you gain through it help you become a woman by the time you are done. Sometimes that empowerment starts with the clothes you wear. Her intention at the Boston Marathon was simply to run AND she became an inspiration for girls and women in the process.
Skirt Sports clearly defines AND with their teaming of Marathoner Kathrine Swizer AND Skirt Sports Founder, Nicole DeBoom. You can join them as a 261 Woman at their annual Half Marathon and 5K on June 1. You can get your 261 apparel now!