Skorts in Spring to Summer
Early spring introduces spandex in a new way after winter’s lengthy dependence on the fabric. Mid- to late spring, in cahoots with sun, begs further shedding of layers - of Drifit, CoolMax, Techni-Running-Fabrics. And this is when my senses are assaulted by skorts parading and/or plodding around as I run and/or bike. Those things – whether slim-fitting and fashionably black or baggily-hanging and hot pink hibiscus printed – strike me as ridiculous.
You couldn’t pay me to race in a skort. Well, maybe you could, but I would not be very agreeable. Skorts are entirely un-needed on the track and on the cross country course, and are less essential than gimmicks like FuelBelts on the road circuit. At least those goofily-fun-looking high socks and separated sleeves serve a purpose or two. Give me a good reason why a competitive runner ought to don some drippy extraneous cloth over her bum and I’ll consider it, but probably disagree.
Obviously, I have felt an intense urge to compose a diatribe on skorts. In that process, I realized I would actually have to articulate the reasons I despise them. First, skorts contain too much material for me to even consider on a warm day like today. Second, if spandex shorts float your boat by reducing chaffing, not riding up and/or keeping jiggles put, why can you not rock them alone? Third, um … spring’s pending merger with summer distracts me, as does the Meet of Champions and other weekend results.
But I still feel that a skort mocks our sport and our sex. Isn’t this product representative of another inside joke with corporate developers thriving in a market which creates a “need” for a solution to a problem based on the same market’s desecration of women’s body image? In the marketplace, many females – including a niche of runners – are made to think they ought to cover up. If only our bodies were nearly as alright to bare as those who've accquired air-brushed perfection! We may be made to think we ought not bare because our bodies are not good enough.
When I worked at Portland Running Company, where I tried a skort on to model and get-get-to-know the product, most clientele seeking the product were nice ladies born of an era when it wasn’t nearly common or acceptable to exert one’s female self running, say, much more than a 5k. And yet, bodily modesty – whether a highly regarded virtue – seems rarely practiced by male runners of any era.
I dare the recreational jogging women with their knee-length synthetic skorts and trophy wives with their short pink Hawaiian versions, to simplify: bare it. All those beer-bellied, hairy-backed men heaving along bike paths and waterfronts across America get to strut their stuff, so what’s the problem with a little cellulite or estrogen-plumped skin, especially while all their jiggling is making stronger, healthier women in a weaker, sicker society?
Understanding the insecurities that female runners and women in general
might have with their selves and/or bodies, I have learned that
exposure is a great way to let such demons dissolve. Let them sizzle
to salt in hot sweat as we uncover – slowly but surely – bare-boned
truths of ourselves. Running, we are stronger and more beautiful. So, I took off my shirt today and bared my shoulders. And let me tell you, the breeze felt marvelous against my skin.