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Running in Jeans

June 26, 2012

Posted in: Passion, Performance, Place

Swedish Festival, Stromsburg Running in Jeans

How many of us get sucked into the thinking that in order for something to change, that change effort has to be well-orchestrated, everything is ready and set before we go? How many of us buy the shoes, pay for the monthly gym dues, shop at the sporting goods store, or buy the equipment at the front end of the change idea? How many of us tell ourselves that once I get the promotion, or once we get married, or get into a house, or move to another city, the ideas that we long for will begin to take finally start to happen? Are you wanting to get to that new place and thinking that “When ______” will get you there?

“When I get the big raise”

“When we finally land that big client”
“When he finally sees things my way”
“When I get prettier, he’ll notice me”
“When I get more time …”
“When I get the right girlfriend…”
“When I can afford the vacation..”
“When I get to the right weight…”
“When they…”
“When we …”

“When I …”

Earlier this summer at the Swedish Festival (our small town celebration complete with community chicken bar-b-que and kids in Swedish regalia), I watched a road race. Before the race began, scores of runners were all dressed in their running gear. Running shoes, running shorts, running bottles and running bras – everyone looked like they were runners, with only a few exceptions. I noticed one in particular – a young woman, pushing her small child in a stroller, wearing jeans. I thought to myself – what, are you kidding? You’re not a runner, you’re not wearing the right clothes, you don’t have the shoes, you don’t have the shorts or the cute outfit. And then it hit me, it doesn’t matter – she’s running. She is the runner. She’s in the race. Then I watched as the starting gun jolted the group from a standstill. Score of brightly clothed, color coordinated people started running. And not at the very front of the pack – but not at the end of the pack was this young mom.


Wearing jeans and pushing her kid in the stroller, she didn’t wait until she had the clothes, the shoes, the look. She just started. I don’t know if this was her very first time she had ever stepped into the race, or if she had been running for years in jeans – the point is, is that it didn’t matter. She was in the race and she was doing it.

Are you like me, watching from the sideline thinking that in order to perform, you have to have the resume, the “experience”, the right outfit to step into the game? You don’t and I don’t. How often we get caught up in the exterior that somehow suggests that we are qualified to be in the race. “I have the latest shoes, I’m a runner, I can stand beside the person who runs marathons because I have the right look. I like the idea of being a runner, but the reality is different. Are you for real? The likely answer is no. You’re not. Your performance is backwards and it will stay that way until you change your mindset. The reality is that the gear doesn’t make the runner – it’s the act of taking those steps, even if you are wearing jeans.

Getting into shape is not based on the membership, the cool water bottle, the right outfit. It takes less energy to actually just go – get up, off your butt, step outside, start running in jeans. Run a block, and you’re running. You’ve changed places with someone who isn’t running to someone who is running, that’s now you. Don’t let the idea of the place of a runner keep you from the reality of a runner. Don’t let the idea of the someday, when everything is just right – I’ll change.

The Change happens only when you decide to step – wearing jeans.

Make it a runner’s day. Thanks for sharing my posts!


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