We both are active runners. We love running enough to prioritize our daily lives around it. Together, and along with 11 other women, we also run a running group by the name of Shed It Run which was started circa August 2018. 13 of us ran in our sports bras on a street encircling the famous Nehru Park, in the heat and humidity of Delhi. Together we also campaigned for the ‘No Bra No Sport’ campaign by Nike this year where we were one of the 3 women runners in India who talked about the importance of wearing the right sports bra irrespective of your sport.
Some of us women have gotten into the sport in our late 20’s or mid 30’s, without having an athletic background as a child. It is not easy to train the body at this age. But we see the numerous benefits sports brings to our life. When you physically challenge yourself, take care of yourself and be disciplined, the goodness of the sport inevitably seeps in your daily life. The need to prioritize health is now more than ever, with lifestyle diseases on a surge, good health is a right for each one of us and continual work in that direction is definitely needed.
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A lot of women start exercising to either lose weight or keep fit, in the order of priority and those are reasons enough. A fit body has a fit and strong mind, which brings along good endurance to face the big and small that life has to offer. With the sport comes to the attire, everyone starts where they are comfortable and everyone finds their right gear along this journey. You basically stick to the most comfortable to perform your sport well.
So let’s talk about ‘Shed It Run’
On similar lines, we got together in the horrid humid month of July/ August in Delhi, where we felt like taking off the tee and running in just a sports bra, for various reasons- the primary being- to run more comfortably in the humidity and in that process accept our bodies the way we are. You can read about our first run here, a blog beautifully compiled by Christine Pemberton who is a Shed It Runs believer and one of us 13. Since we were aware this might not be a very safe idea, we thought of doing this with a group of like-minded thinking girls in the heart of New Delhi. For our first shed it run, we asked 15 girls in Delhi if they would be interested-8 said an absolute no, 2 said they were too shy, 5 said this was a fantastic idea. The first run and the series thereafter culminated for us and those 5 who believed in the why’s of such a run.
It’s okay to run bare midriff for a million reasons:
1. When the weather calls for it, you don’t want that sweat-drenched tee shirt hugging you tight after km 11
2. To accept the fact that actual strength doesn’t come in the looks, its the way you feel and the way you work hard on your training goals
3. To accept the tummy jiggle and continue to work hard on your athletic goals as you have been doing already
4. To face our worst inner critics and support each other in our continual athletic pursuits Running is empowering, as a runner, we know that a lot is possible if we are willing to work towards it.
We also realize that health and strength are infinitely more rewarding than hitting a certain number on the scale or getting those chiseled abs.
What all Shed It Runs are about:
1. To bid our insecurities goodbye
2. To collectively realize photo-shopped bodies are not the real thing. And celebrate the hard work we have been putting in our body every single day- summer, winter or rain!
3. To celebrate our strong bodies- to know that through the mind and our physical strength we can keep it going and achieve those lofty goals
4. The run is to feel great, regardless of your pace, age or running background
What shed it runs are not about:
This is not a women’s liberation kind of run, we are not proving anything or demanding anything from anyone. It is only about running comfortably- physically and mentally. These are NOT Public events: By running our runs we are not forcing the other women at large to join in, that is the reason why these runs are not public events. It’s for only those who understand the why’s of such a run. And we realize gradually every person has their reason to run it and enjoy it. Sports has brought many of us together, and we have respected and learned a lot from each other. Attire should not cause disrespect especially when it is by choice. Even the thinnest ANYTHING has two sides to it, let us seek to examine both sides to everything before we opine and judge, it shall only be fair then.
Happy Running, Happy Learning and wish us all respect.
You may also like to read about Road Safety Tips by Women Runners in India