I don’t feel like a runner. Most of the time, I still feel like the pudgy girl who plagued me in the mirror during junior high or the puffy version who inhabited my skin for ten years post-childbirth. It’s easy for me to forget that I’ve transformed myself into a personage more active. I know in my head that I run, that I can do it, but that part seems completely separate from my “real” self. In my mind–and even in my skin–I feel like the old me. Nothing has changed.

Until I put on my running clothes.

When I look outside, I can’t imagine pounding the pavement for 5, 6, 7 miles. It just doesn’t fit with the me I know. But as soon as I put on my shorts and tie my shoes, I feel like a completely different person. Somehow, that small act of swathing myself in sport-appropriate attire completely changes my mindset. I’m an athlete. I look the part. 

This personal phenomenon extends beyond the workout regimen. I’ve often said that if I worked at home, I couldn’t do it in my pajamas. I’d have to dress for work to get my professional mojo on. I don’t remember when I discovered this about myself, but my adornment has a huge effect on my mental participation in any activity.

You can pick your cliché–dress for success, the clothes make the (wo)man, whatever–but I think there’s something there. Maybe it’s not the same for everyone, but I’m pretty sure each person has his own trigger. Even if it’s not the way he is dressed, there is something that flips his switch to engage him in that thing. If you don’t know your trigger, I recommend that you figure it out. Discover it, know it, use it.

When it’s time to get the job done and you’re just not into it, dress for success.

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