Running To Sixty, A Body Image Challenge

I dSpringwater trailid something rash this week, although that’s not unusual. I have a tendency to commit publicly to things and subsequently need to live up to them. So, what was so drastic? I agreed to run a half-marathon with my sister on November 1st. There are two reasons why I agreed. One-she asked me. And two-on a whim last week I took off on an errand of about 5 miles and thought I’d run there. I told myself that I could take the bus home, or I could walk, I didn’t have to run.

When I arrived, and rested for a bit, I took off to run back home. And you know what? It was easier than the first 5 miles. Now, mind you, I run. But I’ve never been one of those dedicated, hard-core people you see out in the pouring rain; the people with 3% body fat who live to run. Mostly, I run on the the treadmill at the gym and I’m way too easy on myself. I like running, but mostly after I’m done. What I most enjoy are the bragging rights-being able to say, at age 59, that I run (however much of an undisciplined poseur I might be.)

On the day I ran the 9-mile loop, I’d never run more than about five miles max, usually more like three. Five was hard and I never thought I ‘d be able to go farther. Surprise! Sunny running day

My (younger) sister told me last month she was planning on running the half-marathon, which I applauded, but didn’t consider joining her. Then, I didn’t die on my longer run. “Hmmm.” I thought, “Maybe I could do it.” But there was still the issue of my major affliction – “Big-Sister-itis.” Any of you who are younger sisters of a big sister are now nodding your heads knowingly. Big sisters tend to be bossy-pants. We come charging in with the answers, hip-checking the younger sibs aside, taking over whatever project or activity is underway. Not wanting to barge in and steal her thunder (again!), I hesitated to ask in case this was to to be her achievement, with us there to high-five her at the finish.

Turns out, she wanted someone to run with her. The last barrier fell, and I signed on. For me this is also about an upcoming milestone, my sixtieth birthday next January. The half-marathon will be my kick-off event as I prepare to cross that line of demarcation and assert to myself that I am not over the hill.

And what does all this have to do with resale fashion, designer consignment or anything for that matter? For about the last decade of my life, I’ve been a missionary for women’s body image issues. One day I had an “AHA” moment after hearing, for the zillionth time “Oh, my gawd, I look so fat/old/unattractive.” Encouraging women to feel good about how they look is a passion of mine. Advising women to channel that energy into something positive and to tell their brains good things is my mission. Changing our inner dialogue is my crusade. And that crusade needs to start with person zero – myself.

Challenging myself to do something I never thought I could achieve has totally changed my perspective, given me a purpose and altered my self-image. If my process can encourage or amuse or inspire you, I hope you’ll attempt something you never considered.  It doesn’t have to be fitness-related! Stay tuned for updates, I’ll be writing from time to time about my progress (or not). Next time: “Boomer To The Core.”

Author: Chris Gauger

Chris is a self-confessed resale fashionista. A fashion recycler from an early age, she learned the consignment business from her mother, Jan Gauger, at omt divine resale in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chris moved to Portland, Oregon in 1990 and immediately felt at home, among her people. She started Here We Go Again Deluxe Resale Boutique in 1992 and has never looked back. The second location of her store opened in 1997. Chris loves pretty much everything about clothes and fashion, but she has a serious boot and shoe addiction that is fed by the two stores. It's doubtful she will ever be recovered. In addition to clothes, Chris loves mentoring young women and teaching them about what it takes to run and manage a small business. She has employed some pretty remarkable women over the years and is grateful for all they've done to help grow Here We Go Again. She is a Hoosier by birth, but was raised in Nebraska. She has two sisters who continue to run the consignment store there, and one brother who has sense enough to stay out of the way. Her husband of twenty-seven years, is a land use planner and the fix-anything-guru that Chris relies upon more often than she'd like.

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