Athletic Wear is Not My Look

"Mommy!" my son greeted me with his usual enthusiasm. "Why are you wearing those clothes?" He eyed the lime green mesh shirt and the white with lime sleeveless hoodie as I joined the other sporty-moms in the school pick-up line.

He asked again when we were at the pool and once more when I was tucking him in. While I got him to admit that he liked my clothes and they looked alright on me, I don’t think he was ever quite convinced that they look right on me.

I’ve been meaning to go back to Curves (since the “baby” is nearly three and I still weigh more than when I got pregnant with him!) and we joined the local racquet club, so when I found some name-brand workout clothes at incredible bargain prices, I couldn’t resist. And I figured I might feel a little less out of place if I dressed the part even if I never touch any of the equipment! The other school moms and the other “club” moms look like that all the time, but my son obviously knows that’s not my usual style.

When I was about 10, I stayed overnight with a friend who admitted that she had only pretended to have a crush on Donny Osmond (does that date me, or what?) because I said I liked him. Someone else on the cover of Tiger Beat made her heart go pitter-pat. I remember even at that young age thinking how pitiful it was that she felt like she had to pretend something that wasn’t true to be liked.

I think we do that with our faith sometimes too. We put it on or off (or at least the evidence of it) depending on who we’re around.

Does any of this sound familiar? At work you crack—or crack up at—off color jokes that you wouldn’t tell in your church circle. On “Girls Night Out” it’s not uncommon for a friend to get more than a little “buzzed,” but at Bible study she acts like she never drinks anything more than communion wine. At the ladies retreat we speak of great spiritual goals or insights even though we’ve missed church six of the last eight Sundays and spent 3 days hunting down a Bible to bring along on the trip.

I’ve always said that I want to be the same person wherever I am. I wouldn’t want my church friends to see me out with work associates and think “I didn’t know she was like that.” (Or perhaps worse, the other way around!)

It is true that different settings bring out different sides of my personality (some people might find it hard to believe, but put me around a bunch of writers and I am actually funny!), but I really try, online and off, at home or at church or at the neighborhood park to just be me. As the saying goes “Nothing to lose, nothing to prove.” I've come a long way from that sleepover, but it's still important to me not to be fake.

As for my activewear wardrobe….well, maybe if I hit the gym a couple times a week my son won’t think I’m an imposter!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I actually saw Donny Osmond in concert once, and I did love him. Also, I try to live life authentic and real before mankind. What's the point in masking? I've never really understood the need. It's too hard, but there is one area that seems to get me everytime. My religious identity. Sometimes, I find myself wishing I was someone else...a better Christian all around. Sometimes my wishing leads to putting on a face that doesn't belong to me.

I'm quick to own it, but so wish I was living in complete freedom from man's opinion.

A work in progress, that's me, former Donny lover and all!


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Very good post! And HOLD THE PHONE RIGHT NOW...

who left you a comment?

Send me a link sister. I have to view it for myself. Did you swallow your tongue and pee in your pants or were you like totally cool about it... like whatever.

The scoop child! The scoop!

Jill said...

Found you via Lysa's blog and was good to read your words. A friend and I were just talking about this very thing, how frustrating it is when someone can influence to be someone other than we really are. Growing up I gave into that way too much, but as my faith grows my confidence in Him does as well. Still there are a few individuals who when I am around them I give in and be who they expect me to be. The part that bothers me the most is the message that sends, not just about me, but the Savior I serve. I posted a poem somewhat along these lines today how if I'm hiding my faith, no one will find it. Blessings and thanks for the refreshing moment.

Melinda said...

Came over from Lysa's blog - had to see the comment from you-know-who for myself, too! I'm not surprised though, it was an awesome post!

Gotta go put on some athletic clothes now and head out to find a Donny Osmond concert - or, at the very least, catch Marie on a Nutrisystem commercial. :o)

BethAnne said...

Okay, I will admit I came over to see what Beth wrote, but this post is really great. We do need to be who we are in Christ and not be influenced by the world.
Ikind of liked Donny Osmond (really I did)but, Sean Cassidy was more my type.......I just knew I was going to marry him someday, but he never called --- go figure!

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