My First Skirt: Ali K

Written by Alison Kearney

Iwasn’t always a runner. I was that girl who walked during the mile run in gym class and thought of running as a punishment for when things went wrong on the volleyball court.

In 2009, that changed. Looking for an emotional outlet and a physical challenge, I took up running. Who would have believed that five years later, I’d be lining up at the start of my first marathon?

I’m lucky in that I have very supportive family. My mom and husband met me along the course multiple times, waving signs and cheering. While my husband had seen me run a variety of races, this was was only the second time my mom had seen me race, and it was the first time she’d seen me conquer something so huge.

At the finish line, as I dissolved into tears, her joy and pride were obvious. That pride meant more to me than my medal.

As we puttered around the finishers area, Mom pointed out a few women in skirts. “I saw skirts throughout the race and they’re so cute. Why don’t you have one?”

“I noticed them too!” I told her. It was the first time I’d ever seen a running skirt, and I distinctly remember watching a woman pull a gel out of a strategically placed pocket around mile 18. I had looked down at my running belt, which was starting to give me a stomachache, and thought, Oh my gosh, I need that.

Not two weeks later, my first skirt arrived in the mail. Mom had found a Cougar (now the Lioness) online and gotten it for me as a congratulatory gift. It immediately became my favorite thing to run in! It was flattering and comfortable and the pockets were the best thing ever.

Now, only two years later, nearly half my wardrobe is made up of Skirt Sports. I used to only wear black bottoms, but Skirt Sports broke me of that habit. How could I ever say no to vivid blue zebra stripes or psychedelic swirls?

Running in a skirt has also made me feel like a stronger, braver runner. I don’t care if people think I look girly when I run, because I know what my body can do, and I know that while my running skirts are frilly and fashionable on the outside, they are built for endurance, efficiency, and convenience, too. In other words, these skirts are for athletes!

My first skirt will always be special to me because even though it’s pretty much as plain as can be (except for those adorable pleats), it was a gift from a strong, independent woman I admire celebrating the completion a feat I never, ever thought I’d even consider attempting.

I haven’t doubted myself since.

> Follow Ali at her blog, Hit the Ground Running, and on Instagram.