Taking One for the Team

written by Jimmy-the-Eye

With the DC Ragnar Relay in less than three weeks, Terri is definitely taking one for the team.

Although it appeared that it was up for a vote, the team that Terri is running with decided to wear hot pink tutus so that they could more easily recognize and pick out fellow teammates.

She sucked it up and bought one. Pink is probably pretty close to the bottom of her color choices, and wearing a tutu is at the bottom of apparel. The past few days have brought back memories of other similar times she took one for the team over the years, and the bad repercussions associated with them.

As a pre-race test today, she ran 6 miles at a very speedy pace wearing a teal tutu that she had found at Goodwill. The course she took is fairly remote, but since she started a little bit later than usual there were fishermen out along the creek giving her the hairy eye as she ran past them. She even had to explain the get-up on the run to a couple of other runners she met up with along the trail. In the end, she ran her best time for that route ever!

This evening, she ran a 4mile steeply hilled route with the tutu decorated with a small set of LED lights. The lights will help her to be seen out on the road, and she found that when running down hill, she was staring into the lights as she was watching her feet and the ground. By pulling the lighted front of the tutu up and tucking it into the waistband, she solved that hazard.

Dance is seen as an extra; the arts are seen as an extra. If a young girl or boy expresses an interest in taking up dance lessons, it is often seen as not a real activity but “fluff.” When school programs are looked at being cut, the arts are at the top of the list and take the hit. Not many take dance seriously as a full-time career, but see it only as a hobby at best. Not many realize how hard the men and women work as professional dancers, and the sacrifices –physical, mental, and social — they embrace and endure to live their dream as artists.

So wearing a pink tutu as a “fun” costume throughout a tough relay race comes across as demeaning to professional women dancers, and makes it pure fluff. Context is everything.

A tutu also tends to not be flattering on someone who is a fit 51 and only 4’10”, but Terri swallowed her pride, and gave it her best today. She may decide not wear the pink one while running her parts of the relay — it is never a good idea to run with any unfamiliar “gear” — but today she ran with confidence in her ability and self-worth as she insisted on testing one on her runs.

Even as she takes a hit for the team, she runs with her head held high.

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One thought on “Taking One for the Team

  1. Thanks Jimbo, for not taking a photo of me, context ~is~ everything. It has been odd explaining the costume choice to the professional dancers who read our blog and making certain they would understand I wasn’t demeaning or mocking them. Ballet dancers are athletes extraordinaire and I have never known one to wear a tutu for fun.

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