All you need is a good bra and a decent pair of shoes

This is the deathless phrase uttered by a friend at the end of tonight’s adventure.

I tried very hard to nod and make ‘serious noises’ (fortunately I was ensconced in darkness in the back of the car on the way home, and my shocked grins were hidden) but…wow!

I also had to try pretty hard not to blurt out something along the lines ofย  “Well sure, but I’d probably appreciate some knickers, and perhaps some outer-wear, too – I daresay the general public would thank me, and I’d be a lot warmer…”

But it wasn’t that kind of a moment, you see, I was amongst rogers.

For anyone not familiar with the Wakefield Doctrine, pop on over and take a short crash-course in the personality theory of clarks (outsiders, thinkers), scotts (predators, act-ers) and rogers (group members, feel-ers).ย 

Anyone who’s been around the ol’ blog lately will know that I’ve been on a get-fit kick. A pretty serious one, which is having some amazing results. I’m beginning to feel less like The Fat Kid, and more like a reasonably-sized, good-at-sports kinda gal. Which is a first.

So as a ‘next step’ and to begin the serious business of really, properly paying attention to training for that London Marathon I’m so keen to do, I’ve finally gotten my act together and responded to an old invitation to join a local running club.

Apart from the obvious benefits (safety in numbers, other people to plan the route, potential new friends, more experienced runners to learn from), there was one thing which had been vaguely putting me off.

It’s all about the rogers. Because what could be MORE herd-like than a group of women, all in their fancy-schmancy running shoes and high-vis vests, pounding the tarmac together through the city streets.

Nothing, I tell ya!

And because I’m a clark (outsider, over-thinker and kook) it felt for a long time like ‘not my cup of tea’. But I relish a challenge (both physically and, er, character-istically(?)) I went tonight for the first time. Alone (natch).

I jogged there, not to be masochistic, but because I couldn’t work out what I’d do with my bike lights (not wanting them stolen from the bike) if I cycled, and not wanting to presume that there’d be a person there who’d be willing to pop them into their car for the duration of the run (such a clark!). So I arrived all hot and sweaty and out of breath, wearing my usual running attire of natty old vest top and far-too-big-now jogging bottoms (way to make a great first impression…)

I stood in the appointed place, in a building I didn’t know, and I waited.

And in dribs and drabs (and mostly in twos or threes), the rogers runners arrived.

In their posh running shorts and fancy ‘breathable’ running tops, and high-visibility jackets, and ohhhh dear!

They looked SO cool, calm, perfectly-outfitted, collected and they just absolutely fit the part.

I looked like I’d rolled in from the back end of some nasty sweat-shop.

They were really, really lovely though.

The lady in charge introduced me to everyone, and they all smiled and said “Hello” (and yes, I smiled and said it back – and meant it – the introduction to the group is a key moment!) and whilst being introduced, a scott bounced up to me like a mad, dizzy puppy, and welcomed me to the group and told me that she’d forget my name in moments, all in one breath, and I began to relax. This might be the domain of the herd, but they were an inclusive bunch, and there would surely be room for me.

Then they made my night by explaining that The Kit Lady would be here soon, and could furnish me with my very own high-vis vest.

She arrived soon (along with the friend who’d originally invited me, I was pleased (and relieved) to see), shook my hand and went straight back to her car to fetch the vest. Even said I can pay her next week for it.

So I put it on, and began to relax – I looked like one of them now. I belonged.

There were about 30 of us, and we split into a ‘faster’ and a ‘slower’ group. I opted for the slower, because no WAY did I feel confident about trying to fit in with the throwaway remarks about the faster group “Yeah, they’re mostly doing 8-minute miles. Or less”

Not gonna happen!

And off we went! I chatted to my friend at first, then she fell behind. I then struck up conversation with another runner. And we ran and chatted for a while. Then she fell behind. I fixed my eyes on the front runners and used my awesomely well-developed sense of stubbornness to keep pace with them (well, near them) and as runners moved around the herd, I chatted with several new people, nicely, didn’t alienate myself at all, and I even felt accepted by them, as they applauded my ability to keep going. I explained that it had made all the difference to have more capable runners to try to keep up with, and they all nodded knowingly and looked pleased.

I finished second of the group, in our five mile run. In possibly a shade under an hour. With hills.

Then they invited me back next week. And ongoingly.

I’m in with the running rogers, and I love it.

38 thoughts on “All you need is a good bra and a decent pair of shoes

  1. Whoot! I've pulled! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    G'wan then and get thee to the gym. As a person with currently-sore muscles from TooMuch exercise, you'll find me giggling and unsympathetic if you end up in the same boat. But kudos for going – ENJOY IT ๐Ÿ˜€ The gym is fun – it's like a playpark for grown-ups – there are Big Toys to play on ๐Ÿ˜€


  2. OH my gosh I love you! I could make out with the side of your face. Seriously LOVE the drawings. So glad to see you inspiring those to get on a fitness kick too. Guess what I'm doing?! Phsheeyah! Going to the gym tomorrow and it's all because of you! Just sayin'. So thanks and also, I might hate you when I am sore the next day ;P.


  3. Not a roger – rogers are all about the uniform and the fitting in.

    From thence, though, who could tell? That you say you feel you don't fit in would set me in mind of a clark, but I'd need more info ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks for the feedback – I'm pleased to hear it was relatable (it can be a tough set of concepts to get the head around, but they translated to this situation really well). I'm glad to hear that in spite of your lack of 'uniform', you're still enjoying playing tennis.

    There's no WAY I could rock a tennis skirt, so I totally understand your hesitation. I'm concerned because (though you can't tell on the stick figure drawings) those running trousers are TIGHT! Which would mean…well…worse than a tennis skirt, forsure! Eeek!


  4. Good for you! And I love how you incorporated the Rogers (and the Clarks and Scotts) into this as well…it made it all so easy to understand and relate to. I know all about feeling like I may not fit in. I play in a tennis league and some of these women can rock the tennis skirt a lot better than me, but you know what? I love the sport, keep playing, and wear what I want to wear. Does that make me a Clark, Scott, Roger, or just stubborn? ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. YAY! You're here ๐Ÿ˜€ So happy to see you.

    WOW! You've already done a marathon? You know I'm gonna be bugging you for training tips now you've let that slip, right? That is AWESOME ๐Ÿ™‚

    I'm glad to hear you were accepted in your group and had fun in spite of not having the fancy garb. I might get some knock-off fancy garb, because it did get a little irritating having the ankles of the jogging bottoms flapping around all the time.

    I'd be interested to hear which personality type you think you fall into ๐Ÿ˜€ Let me know.



  6. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you.

    I use the incredibly technical Microsoft Paint for my drawings ๐Ÿ˜‰ Pretty much one-up from a pen and paper. But it's all I've ever used. My drawings aren't as 'tech' as some people not too far from here (lookin at you, Kristi)

    The London Marathon happens each year, but the one I hope to get into is in 2015. So I don't know if I'm 'actually' training yet, or just getting myself to a stage where training would be possible.

    Awww thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad I'm found to be inspiring ๐Ÿ˜€


  7. Thanks so much. It was certainly a situation which would ordinarily be a LONG way outside my comfort zone, but with the precepts of the Wakefield Doctrine in mind, I was able to do a quick pre-assessment of the personalities around me, and figure out how best to respond to them, which helped MASSIVELY as a tool for managing it all ๐Ÿ™‚

    (but yeah, I'm really glad it turned out well, too! I was panicking that they'd all be amazing and leave me in the dust and wondering if I'd ever be able to join in)


  8. I'm going to TRY. From what I hear, getting a place is harder than being able to run the distance! But I'm very determined ๐Ÿ™‚

    The new group is lovely, and they made things SO easy ๐Ÿ˜€ I'm really excited about my second run with them.


  9. Next pair – running shop, fo' sho!

    Also, I'm upping my calcium intake and ensuring I get plenty of multivitamins (when I remember) to try to protect my joints.

    I shall try to keep an eye on the shoes.

    Thanks for all the insider info ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. I'm here I'm here! I love this article because I can so relate. when I trained to run a marathon in Alaska it was so intimidating to get involved with a running group but I needed the push and education. I was like you with the garb. I never bought fancy running or workout clothes. BUT I had fun. I don't know what I am. I tried figuring it out but I feel like I fit in at different times to every group. Maybe I'll head back over and see what I am.
    Super proud of your abilities and determination! Go girl!!


  11. When I did run I could totally agree with the bra and shoes comment … I think the reason I couldn't talk most of the time was the backlash from the girls taking my breath away…ouch! so glad you've found this new niche! So cool!


  12. YAY you! This is so awesome! Love the drawings…too cute! What software to you use for those? What a great idea! when is the London marathon? Are you actually training for the next one, or are you hoping to do it someday? Wow. So so proud of you!!!! Over the moon. ๐Ÿ™‚
    you truly inspire me.


  13. Yes, do. Running, while good for you in many ways, is not the best for your joints. Many, many runners have nagging injuries the older they get. Good shoes, with the proper fit for your foot, is important to keep those injuries at bay. And shoes wear out faster than you may think. Keep track of the miles you are putting on them.


  14. It is so cool how you are going to make the London marathon happen. I am seriously impressed by your determination.

    How lovely that the new group was so inclusive! It makes things a lot easier!


  15. *dances* I REALLY enjoyed myself. It was a great challenge, and a lot of fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    I did completely surprise myself with the chatting though. I didn't think I'd be able to sustain it for complete conversations, and to be fair, much of it was a bit 'gaspy' (that said, it was for the people I was talking with, too) but yeah! Wow!

    It would be so nice to be a 'natural' at something like this! I've a feeling it might be more 'hard won', because I still seem to be much more natural at activities like 'sitting down for a long time' and 'being snuggled in blankets'…


  16. *grinning* so it's really true then? LOL!

    I shall try to bear that in mind. For now the ones I have will suffice. When they wear our, I guess I'll have to think about getting some from a Proper Shop, where they do things like assess your running style… (shoes, not bra – I'm hoping the bra won't wear out!)

    And yes, perhaps I can call myself a runner now! Wow. Another first ๐Ÿ˜€


  17. Yaknow, I do tend to get the program throwing red wibbly lines all over the place when I use 'ongoingly' and it's strange, because I've never really thought about it, but ALWAYS used the word. Since youngsterhood…I'm suddenly now wondering if it's a real word, or just one which is part of my culture!


  18. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm beginning to find that I'm actually enjoying exercise. Looking forward to it, even! More 'firsts' for me.

    I'm sure it's not terribly odd. I'll look out for other clarks, but in the meantime, the scott is in the 'fast' group, which suits me fine for now – I want to get established as a member before I start making ructions! ๐Ÿ˜€


  19. Thanks. The illustrations were fun. I think I'm 'developing my style' ๐Ÿ˜€

    I'm excited about going back – they're doing something else next week – a set of various much-faster running exercises at a local running track, so there'll be some sprint training and things like that. I've heard from my friend that it's “fun” but also “evil”…

    Wish me luck!


  20. Keep going and give it time. Have you got a group or friend you go with? Cos it's a MILLION times better than trying to go it alone, I can tell you that.

    (and thanks – it's not something I realised I could do…I surprised myself, too!)


  21. I'm a little bit terrified by that idea, to be perfectly honest! But as you and your 10k are one of the seedling inspirations for me to get off my bum and get running all those months ago, I'm pleased to hear from you about this ๐Ÿ˜€


  22. Hehehe it was so much fun. And yes – very proud of myself and pleased to find that I have more ability than I give myself credit for. It's amazing how motivating it is to try to keep up with someone better.

    Metaphor for life, right there ๐Ÿ˜‰


  23. Yes…that surprised me too! Much of the conversations were in pretty staggered sentences, but a lot weren't.

    When I got to the end and they told me I'd be going in the fast group next time, I protested that I had reached my limit with this run, and the lady-in-charge looked at me, smiled, shook her head and said “No – you're still breathing, aren't you?”



  24. YAYYY YOU! I'm so glad that you did this AND enjoyed yourself AND can chat while running. You're obviously a total natural because even in my fittest runningest days, I could not “chat” and run! XO


  25. *round of applause* So glad you had a good experience with the runners. NOW can you call yourself a runner?
    I was laughing at your opening. I have lots of runner friends, and I have heard that line many times. It's true. Don't spend a bunch of money on anything but the shoes and the bra.


  26. Excellent Lizzi! On all fronts lol. Firstly on the running thing. Exercise is the best thing in the world for energy, clear(er) thinking and making you feel plain old good! Nothing like fast moving endorphins coursing through your veins:) Not so odd to have a clark or 2 among the rogers is it? Just don't go stirring things up (among the rogers) with your new scottian friend too quickly:)


  27. Well LOOK AT YOU!!!!!! I could picture every part of this story… and your visuals helped too! LOL

    You have GOT to be so so proud of yourself Lizzi. That is just hugely AWESOME. ๐Ÿ™‚ XO


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