Blogging from A - Z about clothes...

“Oh by the way, Mum, I forgot to tell you…” My daughter Imogen looks up from her book. “I entered your name in a competition last week. The prize is a free session at that new women’s gym that’s just opened in town.”

“Why did you do that?” I am alarmed.  I’m not a gym person. I have nothing suitable to wear to a gym.

“The woman who approached me was very insistent. I couldn’t enter my name because I’m under 18 and so she suggested you…” Imogen looks at my face and then hurriedly says, “Don’t worry, Mum. I’m sure there are hundreds or maybe even thousands of names entered. What’s the chance of you winning?”

Before I can say anything more, the phone rings. It's Samantha from the Cuddly Women's Gym. She's delighted to tell me I've won a free gym session.

“Oh I’m not sure…” I say to Samantha, but she cuts me off: “Now you’re not going to refuse, are you? Come on! Be a sport. You’ll enjoy yourself.”

“But I haven’t anything to wear.”

“Oh you don’t need to dress up. I’ll see you at 10 am tomorrow.”

I think about not turning up, but then I remember the gym has my telephone number. They probably won't leave me alone until I sample their gym. So instead I think about what I’ll wear. What does one wear to the gym? Last time I went anywhere near one, all the women wore leotards and tights. (That was a long time ago.) I remember how important it was to look good. I decide I need to buy some new sports clothes. My old T shirt and shorts just won't do.

The next day at 10 am, I roll up to the gym wearing some brand new navy blue exercise pants with a crisp white T shirt.  I’m feeling fit. I‘m in good shape. I look great in my new cothes. I reckon Samantha is going to be impressed. All of a sudden I‘m looking forward to my free gym session.

Samantha greets me with a huge smile. And then she says, “We offered three free gym sessions and all three winners are older women.” She beams widely. “Isn't that wonderful? It’s nice to see older women at the gym.”

Older women? What does she mean? Is she calling me an older woman? Suddenly I don’t think I like Samanatha. I don’t like her gym.

“So are you going back, Mum?” Imogen asks when I return home.

I think about my new exercise clothes. It would be a pity not to use them again.

“No,” I say. “I’m just not a gym person.” I don't think I like exercising in public.

I decide to take up running instead. I run along the bush tracks close to home. It doesn’t matter what I wear: No one can see me, except the kookaburras and they don't care about things like that. Then one morning…

I’m running along under the gum trees when I meet another woman, a younger more beautiful one. She is power walking, striding along with her elbows high in the air. She smiles as I race by. I notice she is dressed in black leggings and a new ultra-white brand-name sports shirt. Her shoes are ultra-white. So are her socks. I wonder if she noticed my faded old T shirt, soaked in sweat. I glance down at my once new pants. They are now a little stretched and not so very navy. My shoes are dusty. I feel a mess.

Then I grin. What does it matter what I'm wearing? Who cares what I look like? I am running. I am running through the beautiful Australian bush on a glorious sunny morning. I am fit. I am healthy. That’s all that matters. Don’t you agree?

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  1. I do indeed agree!

    I remember the first time someone referred to me as an "older woman." That was ages ago now. I felt literally deflated, like I'd never get over it. But I did. Or maybe I didn't.... after all, I just mentioned it to you!

    1. Nancy,

      It is so funny feeling like a young woman, and thinking I look like one, only to discover other people are seeing me in a different way! I guess I'll get used to being called 'an older woman' too one day. I wonder when 'older' turns into 'old'...

  2. I do agree to wear whatever is comfortable when one is exercising! Good for you for taking up running too! That's a great way to get exercise. I think I would have been miffed by that comment too at the gym about being an "older woman". I remember the first time someone called me "ma'am" I turned around and looked to see who they were talking to and then realized it was me :)


    1. Betty,

      I like running. No one watches me. I can wear what I like. It's beautiful running through the bush. No one labels me as 'an older woman'... Very different from going to the gym!

      I like your 'ma'am' story!

  3. Verily, I agree. I wear an old pair of comfy jeans and tee-shirt or sweatshirt when I go out on my bicycle. The "serious" cyclists in town wear the expensive get up. Some give me a thumbs up because I'm an old lady pedaling a cruiser down the same hill that they're pedaling up. But, I would like to get me a yellow reflective windbreaker so that the drivers can see me. Turns out, the Husband says, my ratty-tat orange jacket is not bright enough. :-)
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

    1. Susie,

      I bet you have far more fun on your bike than those serious cyclists. I am not very good at cycling. Every time I have got onto a bike, I have fallen off. I try to stay safely on the ground on my own two feet! A yellow reflective windbreaker sounds like an excellent idea!

  4. Yes, I agree. Its all about enjoying the natuer and your movements througn it. I don't run, but I bike, and do so in everyday wear as well. Rigth npow all the leaves are turninge green,and when I meet a runner in brigth new dress, they normally do not look a sif they're enjoying anythen, least of all the runa nd the glorious green woods around them. Older woman indeed. We'r eyoung, at least youngish - and fit - and having fun.

    1. Uglemor,

      Another cyclist like Susie!

      I think many runners in bright new clothes haven't actually been running very long. They're probably not enjoying themselves because they haven't got fit yet. Running can be hard work at first, even for younger women. Yes, we are youngish rather than older. I like that. And we know how to have fun!

  5. I never really paid attention to what other people were wearing at the gym. I think people are a lot more worried about themselves than looking at other people...I love yoga pants. They're good for everything! I think that was what I used to wear almost every day. In the summer, I had a pair of shorts I'd wear every day. Now I just walk on my treadmill at home. No need to even worry about getting dressed for it. Usually I walk in a sports bra and oversized T-shirt.

    1. Stephanie,

      Yes, when we work out at home it doesn't matter what we wear at all. I run on a treadmill in winter and usually wear a pair of track pants and an old T shirt. Yoga pants sound very comfortable!

  6. OK, I laughed to tears on this one Sue. I remember when a younger woman asked me if I was my twin's grandmother. Ugh! I decided she was too young to be a mom anyway!

    I will second the gym thing. I am not able to relax at all and also prefer the outdoors. I will admit that my older sister gave me some of her hand me downs and a few were of the exercise type. I feel so much more motivated and the material keeps my cold, achy bones warmer. After nursing for so many years and wearing worn out stuff, along with my sagging jaw line and wrinkles, I guess I needed a bit of a pick me up too.

    Well, I'll take the wisdom over the youthful appearance any day anyway.

    God bless and so sad to see your A~Z coming to an end. I have so enjoyed your posts. Thanks.

    1. Michelle,

      Oh yes, new clothes do give us a pick-me-up. I remember, years ago, when my sister passed on her designer maternity clothes to me. There were so many items I wouldn't have been able to afford to buy. I really did enjoy dressing up and the clothes made me feel better when I began to feel very tired and heavy. The same sister once gave me some wonderful track pants and matching top for my birthday. I must admit I enjoy wearing them when exercising, mainly because they fit so well and feel good.

      Thank you for your kind words about my A - Z posts. Just two more to go. I've enjoyed writing them. Some stories are better than others, but I've learnt something from writing all of them.

      God bless!


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