This week, I was on a mission to clear out my running gear. I have collected lots over the years, way more than any human could ever need. A friend at Crossfit said to me the other day “you must have a truly impressive acctivewear collection”. I do. And thank you for noticing. I’m not much of a collector generally. I’ll hold on to a few things for sentimental reasons, but mostly I’m totally okay with being completely brutal about getting rid of stuff. The only thing I can’t seem to throw away are books, wool and running clothes. which tells you all you need to know, really.

We are planning on getting some built ins put in after we’ve done a few other things around the house, so for now all of my clothes are in two chests. I have a running clothes chest and a normal clothes chest and the running clothes chest, is by necessity the much larger one.

I could spin myself a story about how I’m attached to my running clothes because of all the runs I’ve done in them, all the firsts, all the PBs, all the training hours. And that is true. I do tend to wear things down until I literally wear a hole through them or a seam comes undone. The few times I’ve fallen over, I’ve been far more upset about the tights I tore than the wound on my knee. But really I hold on to them as a security blanket for when I put on weight again. That’s what they are, insurance for down the track. Just in case.

It’s been nearly a year now. It might be time to say goodbye to my just in case safety net. I still don’t really know what size I am. I consistently buy things that are too big for me. I had to get my husband to check the bra size on the bra I was wearing on the weekend because I was about to buy a couple of bras that were a size too big for me. It takes the brain a long while to catch up is all.

I decided the only way I was going to be able to part with all of those running clothes would be to give them a new life. So I posted them all for free in the community group if people were willing to pay postage. And it makes me happy that all bits and pieces of my collection will be out tackling new runs and new PBs and new adventures. They are all in little piles around my office now, ready to be sent out. It puts me in the spirit of the season, and I might just start researching food to make tonight.

When I think about the last year, I think about how it was scary. But I was more scared to stay the same than I was to try. And although physically all the changes are there, emotionally I’m still carrying around a lot of baggage and it still weighs me down and tries to tell me what I should believe about myself. And maybe I can let just a little bit of that go, without a safety net.

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: Zoey Dowling

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