You may recall that a few weeks ago, I was posting about my struggles figuring out what to wear while running. A few kind readers suggested (both in the comments section, and privately) that I try something like a split skirt, or culottes, or gauchos, the idea being that they are garments which are still modest and distinctly feminine, but a bit more practical for running than a skirt. However, along with those suggestions came a bit of hesitation, and I gathered that not all would agree with the idea.
Well I didn't want to start running in gauchos (I liked this pair) only to find that I was offending somebody, especially if I were to post a picture on my blog, you know, like when I run that half-marathon someday. So I decided to investigate a little farther, and asked a person whom I thought might have a more authoritative answer: If I wear culottes for running, am I breaking any rules? Am I going to cause offense?
Well he didn't know, but he was so kind as to talk the matter over with a few other people. The long and the short of it is, I have been advised that while there are no hard-and-fast rules about the subject, in order for me to play it safe and not cause offense, I should not wear anything other than a skirt for exercise.
To clarify, the FP stance (that's the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland) is that women should wear women's clothing and men should wear men's clothing. And FPs believe that skirts are women's clothing and pants/trousers are men's clothing. I guess culottes or gauchos or what have you are seen as sort of a gray area that is best avoided, at least in our local congregation.
Now before those of you who are not FPs start thinking "Aaack! Legalism! Run away!" I must express some sympathy with the principles being defended here. Those principles are distinction in dress, modesty, and the avoiding of worldliness. I appreciate that my church takes those principles seriously, and it's definitely a blessing to attend church services where the women are all modestly and soberly dressed.
That said, I'm a little bummed that the "rule" trumps practicality and even modesty in some situations. I mean, generally speaking I am happy to wear skirts as I do think it's easier to be modest in a skirt. But there are times when a skirt is not as modest (I'm thankful that no one I know has seen me running lately).
So I'm feeling kinda blue about running. I've given up on it for the moment, actually, as it's frustrating and exhausting to be fighting with my clothes the whole way. I wish I could just relax and run without having to think about my clothes at all. Maybe soon I'll gather the courage to give it another try.