If you haven’t really experienced it, you don’t know. You just don’t.
You don’t know what it’s like to put on a skirt and purple tights, and stare for long minutes in the mirror, fretting the skirt is too short, that you’re showing too much of your definitely-not-skinny legs. To wonder if you have the right to wear purple tights without first consulting Barney’s merchandising folks.
You don’t know what it feels like to muster up the courage to say screw it, you’re doing it…and to fret that rather than get whistled at, you’ll be silently judged, by that sly but always visible raking up-and-down of your body with contemptuous eyes. Eyes that are usually attached to legs far skinnier than yours, male and female alike.
You don’t know how it hurts to feel your hard-fought confidence shrivel up and die like a purple blossom in winter…in that one glance. How bizarre it is to want to wear a skirt and tights because it feels good to do it, and yet inspires such fear.
Today, I said screw it. I wore the skirt, and the purple tights, and yeah, maybe I walked around with my hands in the skirt pockets to be sure I was tugging it down as much as possible. Baby steps, people.
But today I also had a moment.
I caught of glance of my legs in a passing reflective surface.
In that brief second, I saw the 5Ks those legs has run, the miles of walking they’d done, the mountains they’d scaled, the stairs they’d climbed. I thought of how they chased Sadie through a snow-covered field in 18 degree temperatures two days ago, and played 2.5 hours of volleyball last night. I thought of how I can’t wait for spring so I can hike a 7-mile ridge, and summer so I can hike an 11-mile one, and how I have absolutely no doubt my legs can do both.
And I had this thought:
Well, they may not be skinny, but they are strong.