I bought my first running skirt in 2006. I was training for my biggest race yet, one that I’d been training for for two years: The Pike’s Peak marathon. As someone who’d just started running a few years before that, I knew I wanted something special. This particular race had been on my radar for awhile.
“If I can run Pike’s Peak, I can do anything,” was my thought process. To me it seemed like the biggest, baddest, most insane race anyone could dream up. Why would anyone voluntarily run up a mountain?!? But I was fascinated (and curious) about it and wanted to see if I had what it took to run it.
I didn’t set out to buy a skirt. I didn’t even know they existed, but when I saw this Run Around Skort hanging up in the new Boulder Title Nine store, I was intrigued. I’d been unhappy with shorts and how they fit me. Nothing I found seemed to both look and feel good.
I tried on the skirt.
It had lightweight mesh boy shorts underneath with a convenient zipped pocket in the back.
I fell in love immediately.
I wore it on that first race and was surprised at how many comments and compliments I got from the other racers, and I was delighted with its performance. Over the 7+ hours I was running, I never once felt any chafing, bunching, or other discomforts I’d experienced with regular shorts. But there was something more to it than simple performance – I felt different. Thinking back, it was a lot like when I connected with my Inner Badass last summer in the Grand Canyon: this running skirt showed me that I had more strength, courage and confidence than I ever thought I had.
The idea that femininity and sport were not mutually exclusive of one another, and that, in fact, they became very much intertwined was liberating. I felt more playful and curious about what else I could do physically. I’d spent so much time concentrating on my training and goals that I’d forgotten to have fun.
And the skirt? The skirt was fun. I found myself jumping and hopping from rock to root along the trail—despite my fatigue and pain. And smiling!
Ever since that race, I wear my skirts (of course I have more than one now) as often as I can when I’m playing outside. It’s not that I don’t feel strong or have fun when I’m in shorts, but when I wear a skirt (or a dress)—especially when I’m engaging in physical activity—that enhances the experience. There’s just something about that extra dose of feminine power and sense of play I connect to when I’m in a skirt.
What about you? What’s your skirt story? Love them? Hate them? I’d love to hear about your personal experience.
Amy Christensen is a certified life coach with a passion for adventure and helping women discover and tap into their own adventurous spirits. Based in Boulder, CO, her company, Expand Outdoors, focuses on helping women get outside literally and metaphorically: to step outside their comfort zones, take more risks (the healthy kind) and live a richer, more fulfilling, active, adventurous life. Subscribe to Expand Outdoors and receive a free guide to the 10 essential elements for everyday adventure.