I saw it in a store window, and maybe it was the color–a beautiful cornflower blue–that caught my eye. There was just something about it that made me want that shirt. But it wasn’t just that. I wanted to BE the person who would wear it. I wanted to be a person fit enough to do it justice.
Fifteen years ago, things were not going so well. I was confused about the direction of my life and I was not very happy.
I’d started riding my bike, a heavy hybrid perfect for oldsters venturing out only on safe gravel paths. And come to think of it, that was my situation. I was feeling ancient too soon at 43, and not very adventurous. Definitely not fit. And definitely not stretching myself, in any sense of the word.
But that shirt…that shirt kept beckoning to me.
So I stepped into the store and bought it, my first athletic wear ever.
Gradually, I stepped up my bike rides. Gradually, I started to walk in the mornings, then jog. I worked myself out of some difficult relationships and stepped out on my own two feet.
After each laundry day, the shirt was there on top of the pile, ready for some adventure. That shirt waited for me on the shelf, begging me to get out. Morning after morning, the effect of the exercise and the endorphin rush built confidence. Each day, things got better.
And while at first I thought I’d have to grow into being an athlete, a person who sweated enough to “earn” the shirt; in truth, I was legitimately that person from the very beginning. All I had to do was trust myself to keep at it day after day.
So when I visit with people who are considering a new fitness practice, I encourage them to buy clothes that feel good to wear, and clothes that inspire them. It may be a cornflower blue, long sleeved technical T, or it may be something else. But when you see athletic wear that speaks to you, buy it, and wear it and love it. You may be surprised by the athlete inside it.