How I Learned To Love My Legs

To me, they’ve never been anything special. For most of my life the feeling I felt toward my legs was an apathetic “meh.” During gym class in middle school I’d analyze them in my uniform shorts and decide whether they were having a good or bad day. The bad typically outweighed the good.

Being 5’4’’ with a long torso, my short legs were never something I liked to show off. I’m not a fan of how they look in shorts and in my lifetime I’ve found only two pairs of boots with enough room to accommodate them. I’ve never spent a lot of time agonizing over them, but I never celebrated them either.

Two years ago, that started to change. For one reason or another it was then that many of my friends started running. I watched from afar as the athletic ones ran 5Ks and competed in marathons. I’d tease them about being crazy all the while thinking I could never do something like that. It wasn’t until I saw a friend who had never been a runner complete in his first marathon that I started wondering if I could do the same.

I started at the very beginning and at first I still wasn’t that impressed with my legs. My legs grew up as dancers so although they could tap and box-step, I wasn’t sure if they could run. Imagine my disappointment when at the beginning my legs could barely run for two minutes straight.

We kept at it, though, accomplishing every goal set by my 5K training app until one day I ran a mile. One mile without slowing down to walk. My legs had never done that before. I had never done that before. Soon one mile turned into two, and two became three. My legs were doing the impossible.

Now I’m just as crazy as those other runners. Trust me, I’m slower than molasses and am in no shape to compete by any means, but now when I analyze my legs I don’t view them with disappointment or apathy. I see them for what they’re capable of: running 20 miles in a week or a 70-minute 10K. I no longer really care how they look in shorts or whether or not they’ll fit into a pair of boots. As long as they carry me to the next mile, I love them.

Audrey is a graphic designer living and working in southeastern Indiana. When she’s not behind a desk working and listening to podcasts, she enjoys reading through the pile of magazines on her coffee table, catching up on her favorite TV shows and having fun with friends at her BFFs famous theme parties. During most televised award ceremonies you can follow her commentary on Twitter @AuddieP.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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