I watched in awe as Michael showered, shaved, moisturized, blow dried his hair (yes, you read that right) and applied pomade before heading to his workout at 4pm on Saturday. Yep, he was primping for a TRX workout.
He and I polar opposites on many areas of life – it definitely keeps things interesting. Grooming happens to be one of these areas. I tend to skip showers when life gets busy. Michael tends to skip other things (in actuality, he’s just be a little late for them).
In areas where we really differ, this one included, I have to admit, I don’t always try so hard to understand why he does what he does. I’m guilty of saying (or just thinking, on good days), “how ridiculous” and moving on. I think this one is about pride in one’s appearance. I guess I have pride in showing up… just as I am.
Anyway, Michael’s hygiene habits got me thinking. I’ve been feeling sort of ugly lately. And please, don’t rush into saving me by saying, “oh, Kate… you’re not ugly. Blah, blah, blah.” I’m not fishing for that response. In 30 couple of years I’ve come to find that I go through waves of being quite satisfied with my appearance – yes, I have “damn, girl” moments when I feel beautiful and powerful, as well as waves of “blah” when I look in the mirror and feel disappointed. I’m not saying it’s super healthy, but I guess the healthy part is that when I’m going through a “blah” period, I know there will be “damn girl” moments down the line and vice versa. In a way, there’s a balance. Extremely balanced.
Anyway, short hair, endurance sport training, and being a mom of twins (translation: having no time) has resulted in the adoption of a very minimal beauty routine. And I began to feel a little masculine.
Let me be very clear, historically I NEVER dress up for the gym. If possible, I workout only once a day… for the obvious reason, avoiding having to shower twice in one day. That workout comes before I’ve done anything to get ready for the day or at the very end of the day so that I don’t have to repeat any steps in my process. I am hyper efficient and I despise wasting time.
But, inspired by Michael’s dedication to his grooming habits, I decided to try it. I was going to wear make-up to the gym. For me, make up is usually tinted moisturizer, brow gel, and waterproof mascara. I’ll add eyeliner and lip balm for fancy occasions. For the gym, I skipped the liner and lip stuff. I just wanted to test how I’d feel as I sat in the mirrored spin studio pushing pedals round and round. Not sure about you, but I tend to look at myself a lot when I’m stationary on a bike in a mirrored room.
And it worked! As I stole glances at my “done up” self in the mirror, I felt great. I saw a powerful, strong, feminine, warrior athlete in the mirror. And I kicked that workout’s butt.
The lesson: No need to primp for the gym, but do take the time to notice how you’re feeling before, during and after training. And do what you think will work for you on any given day. It might require some experimenting. If you’re feeling a little stuck, change it up.
Even small changes, like wearing make-up at the gym, may help you feel more confident, which might change how your carry yourself. That might change the hormonal mix in your body, ultimately changing your workout and your day!