When I was a kid, I would run out of my house in whatever clothes my Mom had washed, ironed and neatly put away… often just the day before. (Yes, I did say iron. This was the 50’s and early 60’s!)
Everything was cotton. I remember little tops and shorts and pants and especially the little sun-suits with the little ties on the shoulders. But even way back then, I wanted to be comfortable. My Mom sewed lots of my clothing and I was very picky about things like seams and elastic. I wanted to run, jump, play, climb, hop and skip with my brothers and my friends without tugging at seams or feel encumbered by elastic.
If my Mom bought anything for me, I wanted the tags cut out. I guess I was sensitive to the feel and fit of clothing… and that carried over into my teen-aged years. I learned to sew just like my Mom, and I made just about everything I wore. This way, it fit perfectly. I tried tennis and hit the driving range occasionally with my Mom, but I hated the clothing. And I honestly preferred playing basketball in my driveway, croquet in my front yard, or wiffle-ball in my back yard IN MY BATHING SUIT rather than in hot t-shirts and shorts.
Athletic gear just did not exist back then. Seriously.
Fast forward 40+ years. I was a Mom and a Grandma by then. I wanted to begin running in order to get into some form of exercise. At first, I borrowed a pair my daughter Jane’s discarded running shoes, pulled on a sweatshirt over a cotton t-shirt over a sports bra (again, Jane’s discarded one), pulled up a pair of cotton/polyester sweatpants and headed out the door.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed running… but not at all surprised at how UNCOMFORTABLE I was. I felt hot and heavy and wet from sweat (gross!) each time I ran. I got better and better at running as the weeks progressed, but the gear made me question how I could keep on doing this thing.
That’s when I decided to get some real running gear. After all, it wasn’t the 60’s anymore. It was the 2009’s! I headed to a sporting goods store with my poor husband in tow… and it was the most awful experience. I tried on dozens of pants, dozens of tops, dozens of sports bras. Too short, too tight, too loose, too high, too low, too much seam in the crotch (yep), too youthful, too matronly, too restricting, too long, too expensive, too ugly.
This wasn’t me being picky. This was me being me.
My husband kept coming back to the dressing room with just one more, honey… until I felt like giving up running. I did leave the store that day with one pair of running pants, one sports bra, one tank top and one jacket. Not stuff that made me happy. Just the least of all evils. That was 2009. I still wear that same gear.
Enter 4allbyjofit. I was so honored to be chosen for Team4all with my daughter Jane. I thought it would be wonderful to meet a group of diverse ladies and share experiences, ideas and joys of training/competition.
BUT THEN THE 4all GEAR ARRIVED! Jane and I were together as we opened the box of stuff. One by one, we took out the capris, jackets, tank top. One by one we tried them on. I looked at Jane and she looked at me. We were saying, “OH, I LOVE THAT ON YOU. LET ME TRY IT!”
Each piece fit like a glove. Like it was MADE FOR ME. The elasticity was perfection. I could bend, move, stretch… and the pants, jackets and tank top moved with me. I loved the longer lengths of the jackets and tank top… and actually ran in them that same day. I LOVED the JO-DRY absorption technology. I had never felt that dry, that comfortable, that FAST before. I felt light and airy and DRY.
It might sound odd to say that I haven’t (practically!) taken off my 4all gear since. I’ve worn the black jacket out to dinner, where I had 3 friends drooling over it. I’ve worn the capris out and about. And the tank top… not just a running staple in my wardrobe! The gear is feminine, sexy, fun and fully athletic. I need that fully athletic piece because I’m… well, ME about comfort.
I think I’ve come fill circle in my search for awesome athletic gear… full circle in that I’m actually taking up tennis again this spring, and to my husband’s delight, golf too!