Anyone who knows me knows I love me some Anna Frost and that I follow her on every social media outlet (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder . . .). So, basically, I’m instantly aware of any move Frosty makes. This held true when Flora posted their new campaign featuring her, Stephanie Howe, and Krissy Moehl.
And I was instantly pissed. Here were three incredibly talented, strong, bad ass women who were being vamped up (yes, I said vamp) to sell a product. Where were their dirty faces, running clothes, hydration packs, trucker hats, and other signs of their trail running awesomeness? Why would they try to eschew indications of their ferocity and strength for femininity and sexuality just to sell a product? And as I put my dress and makeup on for work the next day, I looked into the mirror and thought, “you bloody hypocrite.”
I have always loved being “one of the guys,” and this has definitely proven true with my venture into trail and ultra running. My best running partners are guys and that’s who I feel more comfortable running with. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy runs with some girlfriends, but honestly, I’d rather run with the boys. So much so that at East Nasty the other night, I ran faster than intended just so I didn’t have to run in a big group of ladies. I don’t mind conversations about clothes, nails, and boys, but I’d prefer them to be about running clothes, black toe nails, and Krar/Sage/Tony/Max. I want to geek out about all things trail running, get muddy/dirty, have completely inappropriate, NSFW convos, laugh about shits in the woods, ass water bottles, and dick chafing, and run hard. As I’m writing this, I realize how stereotypical and sexist I sound; if I want to, I can have all of these same conversations and experiences on runs with my female friends (looking at you, Donica and Jewly). And as much as I love my trucker hat, braids, and running shorts, I enjoy getting all dolled up for work or outings.
Because, while trail running defines who I am on the inside, it doesn’t always have to define who I am on the outside. I can wear a skirt and still be taken seriously as an athlete. And being a woman/girl doesn’t mean that I can only talk about kittens, rainbows, and unicorns. I can tell That’s What She Said jokes and drop the F word in every sentence if I want to. As women, we can be bad ass and beautiful, foul-mouthed and feminine, strong and sexy. So, I am sorry group of East Nasty gals, Stephanie, Krissy, and Frosty, and to my gender in general. I am proud to be able to hang with (most of ) the guys, and I will always enjoy being one of them (or at least trying to be). But I also love and embrace being a woman* (all sternum jokes aside). And as a steward of trail running, I should love, embrace, and accept anyone who is awesome enough to get out on the trails.
*Side note — calling myself a woman kind of nauseates me as I still view myself as young enough to be considered a girl, but numbers don’t lie . . .