I’ve been thinking about my thighs a lot lately.
Most of these thoughts have sprung from my pants, which sounds far naughtier than it is. See – I need new pants, ones that I can wear to my quasi-professional office without looking like a farmer fresh in from her field. Currently, I have one pair that works. One. And one isn’t enough when one is prone to spilling.
The pants problem will evaporate once it’s safe to expose flesh to the outside air again and I can go back to my old reliable skirts and dresses, whose very nature makes the girth of my thighs irrelevant. That’s assuming spring comes. I’m having some doubts.
Right now, though, there are no tights thick enough to protect my merely human gams from -30 windchills. Jeans are required. Also helpful is interval training because those little bursts of speed from back door to car door make a big difference when it comes to reducing discomfort.
But barring some kind of miraculous thaw in the next week, I need new pants to get me through the next four thousand weeks of winter. The problem is: I can’t find new jeans that will slip over my big ol’ thighs. While I know it’s a not uncommon problem among those of who are more genetically inclined to have solid body types no matter how many miles we run – I credit my peasant foremothers who must have pulled their plows personally – my lack of off-the-rack pants is starting to tick me off.
It turns out, I’m not alone. Jen A. Miller in Zelle wrote a whole column about her relationship with jeans. The short version of her essay is that it’s the pants’ problem, not her body’s, and that every runner needs a tailor. Which is a great take-away, this whole not blaming your body thing. I’m all over that. Your body is great. My body is great. All of our bodies are great.
None of this positivity helps me find jeans, though. I live in a wee town where the closest Nordstrom is a good 90 minutes away. I don’t have the time or energy to drive there, then spend a hour dealing with trying stuff on, then drive back to pick it all up. The tailor in my town is so backed up that she might be able to get to my pants by, maybe, fall. Of 2016.
I could, of course, learn how to tailor my own durn pants (and a pretty good primer on pants patterns is here) but, seriously? When, exactly, would I do that? If you could draw up a schedule where I have the time for that and still manage to fit in training and eating and sleeping (not to mention all of the kid/husband/dog stuff), I will kiss you right on the mouth.
Look. I know we’re all busy – which is why something as straightforward as pants shouldn’t be such a hassle. And because it is such a hassle, I’m feel like my whole pant situation is proof that there is something wrong with me and my thighs.
Which is too bad, because my thighs are pretty cool. Yeah, there’s some cellulite and a few thread-y veins. Cosmetically, they look more like a “before” rather than an “after.” But these are the thighs that have carried me through a metric ton of running. They are strong and hard. They are thighs of consequence.
Unless you have to try jeans on — and then they are burdens as well as proof that I am not living up to the standard that has been set for women. And this says nothing about how awful my post-baby flap of loose belly skin makes me feel in a changing room. I’ve though about putting a zipper on it and using it as a purse.
Running makes me feel like my body is bangin’. Clothing it makes me feel the exact opposite. I don’t know what to do with these feelings, really, and suspect I’m not alone. So I’m talking about them. And in the comments, I hope that you will, too.
As for the running, well, I’ve had a lot of time during my long, slow miles to think about body image. I’ve also discovered that all of the long, slow miles are leading to some slightly faster times with a lower heart rate. Upside.
The downside is that I can run outside once per week, give or take, when the weather is feeling co-operative. Last Sunday’s run was in 35 degrees! It felt like I was living the easy life in the tropics. All I needed was a fruity drink and a grass skirt, which I know would fit over my thighs.
How is your relationship between your running and pants? And any jean recommendations for Ms. Martini?