Last night I was in the laundry room, and as I pulled the umpteenth piece of clothing out of the dryer today and shook it out, one of my running socks fell out of the toddler-sized sweatshirt and landed on the laundry room floor.
As I looked down at my running sock, I smiled without even thinking about it.
And that reaction got me to thinking...
My running clothes make me smile and make me happy, and part of that is because when I pull on my shorts and those socks that I only wear when I am running, it is sort of like putting on my "super suit" and my running me is sort of like a secret identity or alter ego,
When I am out there on the road or the track or even on the treadmill, running 8, 10, 14, 20 or more miles... paying attention to miles, splits, and paces...pushing myself physically and mentally... I am a different Erin than I usually am. I am still me of course, but I am a me that most people wouldn't suspect exists when they see me in my jeans and hoodies, or hear that I am a mom of 12, or just bump into me in the grocery store.
Most people see the "me" that I am most of the time...the me that is happily rocking my Noah, helping kids with homework, joking with teenagers, snuggling Josh, reading scriptures, cleaning dirty floors, doing loads of laundry, working on the computer, cooking meals, paying bills... nurturing, cleaning, organizing, planning.
But in my running clothes, I am another me. I am a dedicated athlete. I am in great physical shape. I am committed. I sweat. I push. I train. I demand much from myself. I work towards goals. I am focused. I am disciplined yet free all at the same time. I am driven. I am strong. I am a runner.
Through running I have found strength that I did not know I had. I have found abilities I did not know I had and have achieved things I never could have imagined were possible. Running has added another dimension to my life and another piece to who I am.
I am still a daughter of God, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an adoption coordinator, an eternal optimist, an early riser, a Disney-lover, a homebody, a bookworm, a believer, an advocate, a writer, a chicken, a tender heart, a perfectionist, an animal lover, a cheap date, a hard-worker, a sensitive soul, and lots of other things.
But when I slip on my running clothes... my "super suit"... I am a runner. I am an athlete. And that makes me smile.