I mentioned slightly cryptically in my last post that I didn't have a lot of hair. You'd never know it from most of the pics I post of myself either on my Flickr page or on Facebook. Most of them look something like this:
You see, I have PCOS - polycystic ovary syndrome. Essentially, my lady egg sacs are covered in cycts. At times, it can be excruciatingly painful but for the past couple of years, thanks to medication, I rarely get much pain. However, since the age of 16 or 17, I have been losing my hair. I'm not completely bald but its thinned out so much on the top and sides that now I shave what's left and where a wig. Wearing a wig ain't easy, let me tell you. Oh sure, you pretty much slap it on, brush it and off you go. However, what a lot of people don't realize is that they are hot. We're talking sweaty hot. "I feel like I just ran sprints" hot. And even when you explain to people why you don't want to go walking on your lunch break or climb stairs or go to whatever festival is currently happening under the blazing hot sun in Churchill Square this week, they don't get it. Sometimes, its so frustrating and I don't want to have explain it yet again, it makes me want to cry. I've always gotten warm before everyone else, I'm just hotblooded I guess. Throw a wig into the mix and you've raised the thermostat. People just don't understand. There's also wind to avoid but that's another story.
Until moments like that come up, I generally forget I'm wearing a wig when I'm out. However, I'm extremely self conscious if I leave the confines of my apartment without it on. Going for walks (or now runs) outside or taking a quick trip to the corner store is stressful because I feel so self conscious without my hair. Let's be honest, from the side, my naked head looks like a less-yellow imitation of Homer Simpson. Along with the cost, its one of the reasons I don't belong to a gym or use the mini workout room in my building.
Now that I've started running and am following a number of running related blogs, I realized this week that I have yet to come across a single blog about a bald-headed runner like myself. Oh sure, there are a few blogs written by men who are on the hairless side but its not really the same. I have never come across a blog by a bald headed female runner. There's gotta be others out there like me, right? Statistically, its more likely than not. I get that not everyone might feel comfortable sharing that information about themselves but you'd think there'd be some clues. Nope, haven't seen any. Perhaps I just haven't come across one yet. Or maybe I'm deluding myself. Maybe bald women don't run.
This morning, in an act of either unbridled courage or supreme stupidity (I'm still deciding), I ran outside. Yes, you read that correctly - outside. For the first time since the first class of that long-ago Running Room clinic with the bad instructors. It was 630 AM, delightfully cool and cloudy, and barely a soul on the route I choose. And you know what? I was more worried about how my Buddha belly looked in skintight spandex than I was about how I looked without a wig.
And so, I've decided to change the name of my blog. 13.1 Miles and Counting was appropriate at the beginning of this journey (exactly one long month ago) but in those thirty days a lot has changed. I've begun to have more confidence and I've switched to running. I give you... Bald Girl Running.