This year, when I decided to run at work twice a week, I decided to invest in their Sub-zero Running Tights. It was easy to justify the expense; I needed a new pair of tights anyway and these are trendy enough that I can wear them to work. Would I wear regular tights to work? No way! The older students would be horrified to see a teacher wearing butt-huggers; the kids would tear me apart. The Sub-zero tights are socially acceptable as the skirt’s coverage blinds their imaginations – and that’s a real perk for me.
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, in my Sub-zero tights, I stand in the hallway of grade 7 and 8 students, greeting them and then herding them into class. Not one blinks. To them, I’m dressed for work; I’m just not wearing “traditional” teaching clothes.
My co-workers caught on quickly, though. One morning, my new vice-principal looked at me one day and commented, “You look like you’re dressed to run.”
“I am,” I replied. She was speechless. I quickly explained my regime and, fortunately, she liked it.
Being dressed to run means that, at break, I can dash out the door in less than 5 minutes, squeeze in a 5 mile run and get back to work before the bell for class rings. Of course, I change out of my running gear for the rest of the day and it’s amazing how quickly you can freshen up with baby wipes (if NASA uses them in space, so can I!). Having these tools – Running Skirts and wipes – is one of the main reasons that I’ve been able to keep up with my running at lunch (okay, a supportive administration helps too).
In the Staff Room, my new style has become a topic and, apparently, it’s confusing the kids at school. When heading out last week, I took a minute to speak with a colleague who couldn’t help but notice the confused look on a 12 year old’s face. Apparently, he glanced at us, started to walk away, stopped, looked again and blinked a look of puzzlement. “Okay, Mrs. O’H is in a skirt, but why is she wearing her running shoes and jacket? Is she actually going to run like that?” was written all over his face.
Yup, I confused a teenager. Go me!