You know you’ve been asked the age-old question, “What do you think about when you run?” When people have asked me, I usually always say my family, my work, books I’ve read, or that I think about the song lyrics I’m listening to.
But I’m lying.
I think about clothes.
Yes, clothes. But until recently, I’ve been embarrassed to admit that I think about my closet when I run. And since having my daughter, her closet too.
I feel like people expect for you to say something meaningful and profound when they ask this question. Like you’re supposed to be solving the world’s problems when you run.
But really I’m thinking about what different outfits I can come up with.
I don’t know what it is about clothes that I love so much. Okay, I do know. I love how creative you can be with clothes, how much it says or can say about you. I love the variety of fabrics that are out there, the colors, the gazillion ways you can wear different pieces. I love the stories behind a particular outfit—where you were, who you were with. I love how a great dress and high heels can make you feel powerful, how dainty flats and a cardigan over a sundress can make you feel delicate.
When I’m running, I think about these things. I also think about what I can wear with a specific pair of jeans I own. What tops will go with them, what shoes I can wear them with. Do I need to buy something new to spice them up?
That burnt orange dress I haven’t worn in a while—what’s coming up that I can wear it? Is it too dressy for Thanksgiving with family?
I recently just ordered a new pair of boots so yesterday’s run was spent thinking of what I could pair them with.
Along with the boots, I ordered these Cole Haan sandals.
I am obsessed with this style of Cole Haans. They have the Nike Air soles which make them SO comfortable. Seriously, I could run a 5k in them. I have probably 7 pairs of this type of style and two flats with the Nike Air sole. I also invested in black Cole Haan riding boots two years ago that have that sole.
Four miles last night were dedicated to these two new additions. As I ran, my mind went through my entire closet thinking of what I could wear with them and when. Before I knew it, my run was over and I felt I could’ve kept on going—running and thinking about clothes.
I’m finally owning up to it. I don’t know when the turnaround happened but one day I was asked the big question and I answered honestly and without hesitation. I got the look I expected—crinkled eyebrows and what looked like the beginning of an eyeroll but I didn’t flinch. I don’t know if they were expecting an, “I’m just kidding,” but I didn’t give it to them. What I got in return was, “Oh, that’s different.”
Clearly, this person didn’t know me personally because if they did, while it’s not a typical answer, they wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve worked in retail for many, many years and have since probably birth read countless fashion magazines. I can’t help that fashion inspires me. And that it helps me run.
Since having my daughter, I’ve become obsessed with clothes for her. The high light of my SAHM day is getting her dressed. And then taking a billion pictures of her.
One day, when we were playing in her closet, I noticed her running her fingers through the clothes that were hanging. She’d stop at a particular dress and stroke it and then move on. Stop at a next piece, study it, and then keep going.
All mommy did was smile. And take a picture.