I was watching an episode of “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” (yes, I find the show very entertaining and inspiring) during which the director asks the cheerleader hopefuls if the uniform makes them or do they make the uniform. Most answered the uniform makes them but one candidate answered she makes the uniform. The directors seemed appalled by her response but the question got me thinking. I would hate to say a uniform made me. I understand the legacy of the squad and what it stands for but it took a group of talented individuals to create that legacy and it will take talented individuals to continue it and a uniform can’t do that.
I think the same goes for running. There is a lot of running gear out there at all price points. From shoes and watches to shirts and jackets, a person could spend a lot of money getting road ready. When I first started running, I got a great deal on a pair of sneakers at DSW and wore old oversized t-shirts and men’s basketball shorts. It wasn’t about what I was wearing but what I was doing. When I transitioned from running alone to running with a running club, I started to feel a little self conscious about how I dressed. I didn’t think I looked like a runner and I wanted to look the part. I invested in proper running shoes and moisture wicking clothing and received running related gifts to support my cause. A few months later - mission accomplished – I looked like a runner.
But looking like a runner didn’t make me a better runner – the running uniform didn’t make me faster, give me endurance or make me stronger. That took months of training and hard work and it will never end. There will always be new races and new distances and new personal records. I’ve started something I don’t a uniform could ever finish and I like it that way.