It was just another day, really. I had been away for the weekend and had picked up a new pair of (totally awesome) leggings. I mean really. These leggings have skulls made up of little starbursts on them. So cool. Since the weather is getting colder again, what with fall being here and everything, it’s rapidly becoming obvious that the time to switch from skirts to leggings is nearly upon us. And before you suggest wearing the skirt over leggings, I will say no. Just no. I tried that over the weekend and again I say no. Not gonna happen.
Anyways, I happened to be in a bathroom with a full length mirror and was admiring these new leggings. I’m really not as vain as I’m making myself sound right now, I promise. I decided to take a picture of the leggings to post on Instagram, as one does when they love something (by the way, thanks Torrid!). While I was deciding which filter to put on it to really make the skulls pop, I took a look at it.
While I was looking, I noticed something. My leg. Where I had previously just seen big, I now saw quads. Where before I saw thick, I now saw definition. Where before it appeared to me that my calf and ankle were the same (I hate the term cankle so refuse to use it), I now saw the places where it curved in and out. “Is this how other people see my legs?” I wondered.
I don’t know why I was so surprised. Well, I do, but… you know, it’s hard to admit. About 5 or 6 months ago I bought an exercise bike and have been riding nearly daily since. Every day is leg day for me. Given that, I really shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was. Any normal person would be able to put two and two together and realize that all the hard work would start to pay off eventually. But somehow I didn’t. Until that day.
I posted the picture, with these words: “These new skully leggings and my nice strong legs are making me happy. It’s been a while since I could look at my legs in a picture and say that. All the leg work is paying off. They may not be stick thin, but they are pure muscle and the right legs for me, and they look fantastic in these pants, or at least I think so.” In that moment, I really meant what I said. I was proud of those legs, legs that let me dance for hours, that take me on long walks or rides, that let me bounce my newly minted seven year old on my knee.
In that moment I saw. I saw that my legs, thick and muscled and solid, were the legs I have been working towards my whole life. I started competing as a Highland dancer at a young age. I did gymnastics, played basketball and softball and ran track. I rode my bike everywhere. These muscles have been with me for years. As an adult, I did pole and returned to dance. Those legs were never meant to be anything other than what they are, it’s just that it has taken me 38 years and a whole lotta loathing to finally see that.
These legs, my legs, have been strong enough to carry me through some of the darkest moments of my life, and have let me dance and skip through the good ones. They will never be stick thin, and, as much as I desperately wish I could wear tall boots, perhaps it is never to be (but if you know of any brands of boots that were designed to fit muscly legs, please, please let me know?). In that moment, I was able to appreciate what I have worked so hard for, and, without even realizing it, myself too. Ad it all started with a picture.