When called upon by Salty to write a Friday 5 for this week, I knew I had to return to our roots (i.e., I had no idea what to write about). And so I turned to Jezebel, which runs a weekly post called “This Week in Tabloids,” looking for a Friday 5 inspiration that would be as tragic/sublime as classic Friday 5 subjects LiLo, Snooki, and of course, That Bitchy Sorority Girl Letter.
But then…what did I find! Lo and behold, the tabloids had a gem within! A gem in the form of Queen Elizabeth! US Weekly published a list of The Queen of England’s pet peeves. Upon reading them I instantly thought, “I wonder what she’d think of Salty Running?”
Well I think Her Majesty would dig us runner-ladies! And here’s why:
1. We stick to our guns. Queen Elizabeth declared her lifetime commitment to the monarchy of an empire at age 21, and throughout her life, she has re-declared her commitment over and over, including at her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 at the age of 86! She has worked tirelessly year after year at her duties as Head of State.
You and I declare commitments to one another in the form of our running goals. We dedicate ourselves to running so we can be better women, or to training for a big race. We dedicate ourselves to getting stronger and faster. I think the Queen would respect us for seeing through our commitments, season after season.
2. When the going gets tough, we put our heads down and get to work. Elizabeth lost her father when she was just twenty-six and even though her grandmother passed away just a few months before her coronation she didn’t hesitate to accede the throne and start taking care of business.
Just so, we know that running will bring us bad times along with the good; it’s all part of life. Sometimes you’re just going to have a bad race. Sometimes you might feel like you failed. Sometimes you might even have to bail. But it’s sinking low that allows us to rise up and stare down the opposition inside ourselves, and to challenge ourselves anew for the tough road ahead.
3. We’ll say “pregnant” often enough that she never has to. Queen Elizabeth may dislike the word, preferring other euphemisms, but she took over her dad’s job, so to speak, as a young mother in the early 50’s. It was a man’s world, and she had to find her way in it. I bet a lot of the time she wished she had a mentor!
Salty Running came about because Salty, a young mother, found herself wishing she had a mentor too. You don’t have to be alone – there are plenty of other women in the world of running to help you find your way as a runner! Whether you’re “in the family way,” like Ginkgo, or “having women’s troubles,” like all of us or “euphemism for not getting enough sex” like me (Heyooo), we’ve got your back, girl. We’ll gladly take on all the unpleasant topics so you never have to bring them up in front of your male running buddies…unless you want to.
4. We’re snappy dressers. Okay okay. So the US Weekly pet peeves article mentioned that Her Majesty does not approve of shorts….you know…shorts? The staple of a runner’s wardrobe?
As we all know from our ongoing and irregular Running Fashion Police series, there are plenty of options outside of shorts. Like briefs, for instance! I realize the Queen might not approve of those either, but then she probably also wouldn’t agree with us rocking our midriffs and running in just our bras. Or with our going commando under our tights. Or with my declaration of love for my thighs. Sigh. But we try! At least we can match our bras to the neon green trim on our shoes, right? Oh I know, we never wear fake bow ties!
5. We’re funny! Victoria may not have been amused, but Her Majesty Elizabeth regularly cracks wise both in public and in private, and it seems hereditary–my favorite is when Charles calls her “Mummy” in public speeches. Slays ’em every time. What would you expect for a woman who became responsible for an empire at the age of 26, if not a razor sharp sense of irony and wit?
Well hey, we’re funny too! We run a Friday 5 every week! We have a snail for a mascot! We’re about to launch a campaign of #runnerselfies on Twitter! Okay, so it might not put a president in stitches, but I hope we at least make you, our readers, giggle from time to time!
Now I don’t know about you, but I find England’s reigning monarch to be endlessly fascinating. She’s a symbol of old world glamor, a symbol of propriety, and a symbol of feminism all rolled into one, and even if you aren’t into gushing over royals, you have to admit she’s a pretty interesting lady…even if she doesn’t like soup.