Skirt Sports Blog

Running Start Non-Profit Offers Women a New Lease on Life Through Running

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 02/01/2016 12:34:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration, Run, Testimonials

Running Start Non-Profit Offers Women a New Lease on Life Through Running

Boulder-based program pairs Beginners and Mentors in a transformative running experience

Boulder, Colo. (February 1, 2016) – After founding women’s athletic apparel brand Skirt Sports, former professional triathlete Nicole DeBoom was constantly besieged by women asking for a different form of help. They wanted to become runners, but didn’t know how to get started. Nicole decided to use her company’s resources to create a unique program for women that would allow them to break down their personal barriers and create new identities for themselves through running.

"There were hundreds of excellent running programs, but they were all missing one important aspect - accountability," said Nicole. After reading an article about the power of checking in with a guide during fitness programs, Nicole realized that the key to success would depend on the concept of one-on-one mentors. "We call them Personal Motivators. These are women who have found strength, courage, confidence and happiness through running, and who want to share that passion with other women who needs it," says Nicole.

In 2010, Skirt Sports launched a cause-driven marketing program called Kick Start in which fifteen beginner runners were paired with mentors as they prepared for their first 5k event in Denver. The results were incredibly powerful with 100% of the beginners citing the one-on-one relationship with their Personal Motivators the primary key to success. As 2010 Kick Start graduate and Running Start Board member Jennifer Olivas says, "Kick Start changed my life. I was stuck. I needed a change. I always wanted to become a runner, but I wasn’t sure how to start. The program gave me a new lease on life. Running has provided a new foundation for me both physically and emotionally. I now call myself a runner."

After five successful years, the Skirt Sports Kick Start program is branching out on its own as an official 501(c)(3) organization with a new name under the non-profit umbrella and tutelage of the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America). As a non-profit, Running Start will now be able to accept donations and grow at its own rate, and will not be constrained by Skirt Sports time and resources. "We just received our first grant. We will use it to provide a broader range of resources for women to improve their lives, including running shoes, gear and health screenings," says Nicole.

The inaugural Running Start program is now accepting applications for up to 20 of each Beginners and Personal Motivators. Training will begin in April and culminate in a 5k run at the Skirt Sports 13er & 5k event in Louisville, Colorado on June 12, 2016.

For additional details on how to donate to Running Start or to apply for this year’s program, please visit the Running Start Facebook Page.

ABOUT RUNNING START
Our mission is to provide women with barriers to fitness the confidence, courage and community support they need to change their lives through running.

Media Contact:
Nicole DeBoom, Running Start Board President
Nicole.deboom@skirtsports.com
(970) 749-0692

#REALwomenmove: Change is in the air!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/05/2016 01:21:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Run

Sometimes you're just cooking along in life, then, when you least expect it things start going haywire. That's what happened to me this past year. I had been on a roll of a joyous race filled year with no serious injuries and had been taking TRX classes while training for several half marathons when, wouldn’t you know it, I felt some lower back pain. It was just a tiny annoyance at first but then I started developing more issues and after a month or more of aches, pains, and very little running I finally went to a PT and found out exactly what the problem was. She gave me specific daily exercises to help alleviate future pelvis/hip issues which I am faithfully doing morning and night so that I can get back to what I truly love doing…running.


One of the lessons learned for me was, first of all, to not put off going for a diagnosis. We sometimes neglect taking care of ourselves by not getting to the root of our problems (for whatever the reasons). Another lesson has been learning to appreciate the time it takes an older body to heal from injury which has been a bit on the frustrating side. Patience, not being one of my long suits, has been the big lesson learned here.
Having had the time to re-group has been marvelous, though, once I came to the realization that I had the power to turn a negative into a positive. Coming back to running is exciting as I start a new year with a fresh attitude and willingness to make the time it will take to be the best I can be. This will include more cross training and fun, conscious running and less push, push, push! I’ve already started by taking my first Hot Yoga class which, much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed! My Rec Center catalog of classes and descriptions is a fun read for me now as I pick new classes to check out. Sometimes a change is all we need whether it be a change of scene, a change of mind, or simply a change in the way we look at things. This is definitely the year to shake things up, so come on and make some "ch-ch-changes" with me!!

#REALwomenmove: From the Couch to the Peaks

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/05/2016 11:58:00 AM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Run

Looking at my race resume of over 60 races including multiple marathons and ultra-marathons, you probably wouldn't believe I wasn't always a runner. Not only that, but just a few short years ago I wasn't even active. I hated sports. I hated any kind of fitness. I wasn't a healthy eater (actually I STILL struggle with this one!). I know it sounds cliché, but I was "that" person - the one who was always picked last in gym class. I tried a few different sports growing up - gymnastics, swimming, dance, volleyball. But I just never stuck with anything long enough to excel at it. As a result I was always embarrassed of my athletic abilities and eventually this resulted in me labeling myself as "not athletic."

That terrible term "not athletic" was my excuse for everything and anything and eventually it caught up to me in college. My metabolism slowed and that combined with my lack of movement resulted in 30 lbs gained during my sophomore year. Throughout college I tried a few times to lose some of the weight but just wasn't motivated.

It wasn't until post-college, when I was in countdown to my wedding that I finally decided to take control and get serious about my health. I joined a gym and although I didn't love going, I kept it up and, that, combined with consistently eating healthier resulted in losing those 30 lbs I gained. While I was thrilled that I lost the initial weight, I knew that in order to keep it off, I needed to find a sport that I enjoyed. That was the only way to turn it into a lifestyle. So during the summer of 2011, my husband and I started hiking some of Colorado's amazing mountains, and much to my surprise, I actually did love it. There was an initial transition stage where I wasn't sure it was worth it (the pain, the sweat, the cold, getting up early), but in the end, every hike I did that summer changed me. I began to see the world through a different light. There was something so rewarding about exploring these beautiful places on my own two feet - places that so many people will probably never set foot. I was hooked.

Unfortunately, hiking is generally a "seasonal" sport in Colorado and that next winter I started to get back into my old ways of being a couch potato. In an effort to not let that happen I reluctantly started going to the gym again. But this time I tried something new: running on the treadmill. It wasn't much at first - just short intervals of running and walking since I had never run consistently before. After a month or so those intervals turned into full miles which then progressed into multiple miles. Before I knew it, I had run 3 miles in a row on the treadmill!

So what did I do next? Something that would change my life more than I could have ever predicted: I signed up for a real life, outside, with other people, 5K. My husband had done a few in the past, so he joined me for it and helped me finish my first 5K in 34:42. It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty, but I did it. My very first race! There was just something so rewarding about crossing the finish line that I was officially hooked. Not only that, but I realized how much fun running outdoors could be; and from there on out, I started running outside more and more frequently. Then one morning I decided to explore a new route and without even realizing it, I ran 5 miles! Me? 5 miles! That day I actually started looking into half marathon's (yep - skipped the 10K) and in March 2013 I ran my first half marathon, Canyonlands Half Marathon, in beautiful Moab, Utah.

Since that half marathon less than 3 years ago, I have now run multiple full, half, and even a few ultra marathon's including a 50 miler. I've also been able to combine my initial love for hiking by getting into trail & mountain running. In the summer of 2014 I ran the Pikes Peak Marathon - a 26.2 mile trek with over 7800 feet of elevation gain. Me - someone who used to be a complete couch potato - ran the PIKES PEAK MARATHON. I honestly love running because it has taught me that you really are capable of anything you set your mind to. I used to think there were "athletic" people and "non-athletic" people. "Athletic" people were the ones who could run marathons and mountain races. But now I know that anyone can do it - and that is why I LOVE the #REALWomenMove movement, because running has taught me that ordinary people can do extraordinary things! Yes it can be hard and challenging, and you might have to sweat a little, but that is also what makes it so incredibly worth it!

#REALwomenmove: Happily Ever After

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/05/2016 11:26:00 AM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration, Run

Life is obviously full of before and afters (B&A).

Before marriage (aka, when you were in lust and your love would conquer all). And after marriage (aka, when a hot date is spending a Saturday afternoon at Home Depot).

Before kids (aka, when you blissfully went through life and complained about how busy you were). And after kids (aka, when you blissfully take 15 minutes to read a magazine and feel like you went on vacation).

Running's got its fair share of B&As, too, of course.

Before you ran your first 5K, 10K, half marathon or full. And after, when you wouldn't shut up about it. (I'm with you on that one, chicos and chicas.)

But I want to take a moment to acknowledge - and appreciate - the seemingly smaller running B&As that help make us lace up our shoes week after week. Here are some of my favorites:

How about the first time I ran 10 miles? We’re talking double digits. Double. Digits. I thought I had invented running. But I also knew from then on that I could run just about any distance if I put in the time.

Or the time I ran in temperatures so low, my iPhone gave me a death message and shut down? Before, I couldn't picture myself remotely enjoying winter. After, I still didn't remotely enjoy winter, but at least I felt like this puertorican chica might just be able to survive another year in Michigan.

I just had one of those B&A experiences while camping in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula, where we visit every year. The past couple of years, I ran while on vacation, but I really wasn't putting in the longer miles like I was when I was getting ready for my first marathon.

There's this small, inland fishing lake we really like and I've often thought about running the 4.5 miles there and back. So, I grabbed some fuel and water, laced up and headed that way one morning on a whim.

Before my run to Perch Lake, I would have had to plan any route longer than about four miles to the minute. I would have obsessed about the distance and wondered if I could really make it there and back. Going alone? Forget about it.

After my run, I got to appreciate the freedom that comes from experience. That I can trust myself to go longer distances.

I’ve been relishing that feeling and looking forward to my next after, whenever it may come.

2016 Here We Come!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 12/30/2015 03:07:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Relax, Run, Testimonials

Happy New Year! Before I look forward to 2016, it’s important to spend a few minutes looking back. A year is a long time. 365 varied days ranging from joyous to outright miserable. While it’s important to remember and learn from the negative things that happen, it doesn’t help to focus on them if you want to grow forward. So I will focus on the good, strong, positive, inspiring, exciting things that shaped my life last year to help pave my path for 2016.

What was I most grateful for in 2015?

My body.

Even with its increasing aches and pains, my body is still there for me. It allows me to enjoy the beauty of nature in a way that makes my heart pound and my soul sing. Thank you body.

What did your body do for you in 2015?

My mind.

At the beginning of 2015, I wrote down a list of mind-bending things that I wanted to accomplish this year. New business challenges including a Kickstarter campaign for an easy-pee skirt. A year-long personal eating quest to discover what makes me tick at 43. Home improvement projects. A robust speaking tour to new audiences. I did them all. I learned new skills and my brain was sharpened with each new endeavor. Thank you mind.

What did you learn in 2015? How were you challenged mentally and emotionally?

My family.

Five years ago, my husband Tim and I decided to finally have a kid. That baby girl is now four year old. Tim and I have become a team in a way we didn’t understand before. I now realize that you must be a strong team to handle the challenges that a smart little whippersnapper like our Wilder can bring! I am beyond grateful to have such a special husband, daughter, parents, sister and more. Thank you family.

How did your family surprise you in 2015? Have you told them how grateful you are?

YOU.

In 2015 we created a platform for our community to share stories of health and fitness. We called it #REALwomenmove. We had no idea what would happen. Maybe no one would chime in. Maybe it would flop. Gratefully, quite the opposite happened. We were blown away by what we found. Not only do women want to share, they crave the connection to other women and want to help them however they can. We discovered that the simple act of sharing a personal story – be it love ("A Valentine's Day Love Letter to Me"), loss ("Moving Through Breast Cancer" - 33 and fighting cancer) , transformation ("You ARE My People" - from prison to marathons), hardship ("Who Am I?" - from 410 pounds to 10 half marathons) or victory ("You're Never Too Old" - started running at 58)– could change the lives of other people who are going through those same things in their own ways.

In 2016, my goal is to bring women together in an even more powerful way. When we are supported, we are more confident, strong, and powerful. We can accomplish more. We can get through the tough spots more seamlessly. We are not alone! I invite you to become more active in our community. Send us your stories. Put yourself out there. We promise to connect and share your power with the world.

A New Year is a literal snapshot in time that gives you permission to pause, reflect, set new goals and then hit “Go!” Let’s do this together in 2016!

2016 Eating Experimentation Year in Review

Posted by Nicole DeBoom on 12/24/2015 07:12:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Relax, Run, Testimonials

In 2015 I played with food. I made a commitment at the start of the year to step out of my food box and try new things.

 

I didn’t want to lose weight. I wasn’t interested in a fad diet. I wasn’t looking for a magic pill. In fact, I didn’t want to “diet” at all. I just wanted to find out if I could feel better by making a change to my diet. At 43-years-old, I was still eating like my 23-year-old self. Differences between me at 23 and 43 include:

 

Then:

I worked out 20-30 hours a week.

I didn’t have a kid.

I didn’t have a conventional job.

 

Now:

I work out 5-10 hours a week.

I have an almost-4-year-old.

I have a real job (and more!).

 

Here’s how it went down. I enlisted my husband, Tim, to join me so I would have a partner-in-crime for dinners (the big meal). We decided that we could realistically try something new every other month. We couldn’t get our crap together in January, so we started in February. We also decided that we would not do any calorie-restrictive diets because the goal wasn’t to lose weight (or go insane). The goal was to monitor and measure how our bodies felt and performed throughout the year.

 

Gluten-Free February

Loved this month. It was easy to implement, especially living in Boulder which has 100% Gluten-Free restaurants and many GF options in all grocery stores. Plus, one of my great friends owns a GF Bakery and makes the most amazing cakes you’ve ever tasted, Kim & Jake’s. Main takeaway: I don't have a gluten-intolerance, but I may have a little gluten-sensitivity. By eliminating gluten, I could tell that my body simply felt better, including this important positive effect... I “went to the bathroom” every single day. It makes sense that without gluten, my GI system could more easily process food. Nice!

 

No Dessert April

This month was a disaster. The premise was to break the habit of major dessert binging after dinner. The problem is that we started purposely eating later so we wouldn’t get hungry. The bigger problem was that I started eating dessert during the day! April confirmed that my dessert habit was strong. Main takeaway: I would rather eat a smaller dessert than overeat a late dinner or eat chocolate all day.

 

Vegetarian June with a Vegan Challenge Week

This was a great month. I love vegetarian eating. I also love bacon, cheese, burgers, butter and other animal products, but since I also love vegetables and I’m not afraid to cook with spices, being a vegetarian was easy. I started as a lacto-ovo-vegetarian which means that I ate dairy and eggs. As the month went on, I attempted a vegan week (which was not easy when half of it was during a work trip in Pittsburgh). Main takeaway: Vegetarianism in some form could be in my future…

 

Food-tracking September (I skipped Aug due to a lack of imagination and a busy life)

I did not love this month. Food tracking is logistically difficult and mentally tough. I used MapMyFitness food tracking app and did my best to input every bite and sip of the day. I am widely known to be a snacker (especially at work). I wanted a reality check. How many calories did all those bites add up to? Was I eating a balanced diet of carbs, protein and fat? To be honest, there were days when I forgot to track my food and other days when it was just too difficult to figure out what ingredients were included in certain foods. Main takeaway: Tracking food sucked for me. Whatever future approach I decide to take, it can’t include tracking or restricting of calories since that sends me (and most people) to crazy-town.

 

Engine 2 Challenge October

This was it. A true challenge. The Engine 2 Diet is a plant-powered way of life. The E2 Challenge takes you through elimination weeks until you are down to the beautiful basics of plant-based eating. The coolest part about this challenge is that I got my blood work done before and after the four week program and I showed a strong improvement in the areas that presume chronic diseases including heart disease and more, namely cholesterol and glucose levels.

 

In 2015, I learned that I am a plant-powered girl by nature. I gravitate to this way of eating. Before the E2 Challenge, I thought I would never give up my cheese. Don’t make me give up my bacon. And I might die if I can’t have cream in my coffee! After E2, I feel better than I have in years. My clothes fit great even though I didn’t lose any weight. My body is leaner and my blood is “cleaner.”

 

Main takeaway: I feel so good after the E2 Challenge that I’m moving forward indefinitely with a plant-powered philosophy. I’m not a purist. I’m not perfect. I will eat birthday cake and have cream in my coffee from time to time. I won’t turn away food that touched a griddle with meat on it. I’ll probably have an egg from time to time. But I am very aware of how my body reacts to a plant-powered diet. It’s happy and healthy. The only reason I would go back to my old ways is if I didn’t like the taste of a plant-powered diet. And so far, I love it.

 

So there it is. I’m newly enlightened at age 43, after a year of eating experimentation. I’m healthier, leaner, and fitter than I’ve been in years. My advice is to follow your gut (literally!) and if you think you could benefit from trying a new routine, do it. You have nothing to lose. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to your old ways or simply stop what you’re doing.

 

As we get older, our bodies change. I believe that we should constantly explore the world around us and adapt new philosophies that jive with our ever-changing bodies and minds. At 43, I’m now a typical Boulderite; a natural-food-junkie, former pro athlete, vegan nerd. And I’m not afraid to say it! If you have any questions or want to bounce ideas around, feel free to contact me anytime. Happy eating!

 

2016 Skirt Sports Ambassador

Posted by Nicole DeBoom on 12/09/2015 01:31:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration, Run

Real Women.  Real Bodies.  Real Inspiration.

Our Ambassadors are more than just athletes. They are real-life superheroes who believe that living an active, healthy lifestyle brings confidence, courage, balance and happiness to their busy lives. They are an extension of Skirt Sports in that they walk the healthy-livin’ talk, and through their efforts, create important ripple effects of inspiration and motivation to other runners, from beginners to seasoned veterans. They believe firmly in the transformative power of fitness and they are willing to go out of their way to share this love and passion with other women. They are Skirt Sports wear-testers, models, motivators, moms, sisters, wives, daughters, and friends, providing real-life feedback on their real-life bodies doing real-life activities in Skirt Sports products.

Primary Responsibilities & Expectations

  • Understands and can articulately discuss Skirt Sports’ mission, new & current products and Skirt Sports events. Skirt Sports will provide training if necessary.
  • Wears Skirt Sports!
  • Attends Skirt Sports events when possible (Skirt Sports 13er & 5K on June 12, 2016)
  • Participates in and promotes Skirt Sports Virtual Events
  • Attends running events in her community (or travels to events). Attends other athletic events in community.
  • If geographically possible, helps with event expos that Skirt Sports attends (expo booth, race, on-course if needed).
  • Active with a running group, club, store, event, or other group in which women meet, gather and run or exercise
  • Social media expectations – Skirt Sports channels: Skirt Sports currently operates Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Vimeo, Periscope and a company blog with story contributions. Ambassadors should like/follow Skirt Sports and frequently interact with and support Skirt Sports and their followers on the company channels. In addition, ambassadors are encouraged to like/follow and interact with Skirt Sports Founder, Nicole DeBoom.
  • Promote Skirt Sports through Ambassador’s media channels. 
  • When promoting Skirt Sports via social media, running events, blog entries and or other websites, the Ambassador will wear Skirt Sports products. 
  • Sports logos and/or stamp added to blog website (if Ambassador has a website/blog) and other marketing channels.
  • Communicates with Skirt Sports Community Outreach Manager when necessary

General Skills

  • She is outgoing, personable, positive, honest, empowered, passionate, nonjudgmental, and REAL!
  • Running, walking, and overall fitness and health is a fundamental part of her life. It is something that she fits into her busy life because it is critically important to her greater well-being.
  • Age, fitness level, and body type don’t matter. What matters is her positive outlook on life.
  • She is a Skirt Sports brand and product fan. Her core values are aligned with Skirt Sports’ core values (Relationships, Innovation, Hard Work, Fun, Fitness, Passion).
  • She loves Skirt Sports products and wants to wear them as much as possible!

Compensation and Perks

  • Personal shopping allowance
  • Personal Discounts
  • Friends & Family/Share Discount
  • Pre-sale notices
  • Ambassador stamp
  • Discounted races
  • Partner discounts

Apply to become a 2016 Skirt Sports Ambassador here:

Ambassador Application

Email your Skirt Sports pics here:

Ambassador Picture Email  

Engine 2 Challenge – Results are in

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 12/08/2015 12:00:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration

I took on the Engine 2 Challenge during the toughest month of the year. The Halloween  Month. It was ambitious due to my propensity for candy corn, but I wanted more than the usual challenge. I wanted to make some changes during a time when I usually go backward.

To refresh your memory, here's how the Engine 2 Challenge works.

Week 1: Eliminate dairy and processed foods
Week 2: Eliminate the above plus meat products
Week 3: Eliminate the above plus refined oils
Week 4: Hang in there

Here’s how I did “on paper.”

Test            Before    After    Normal range
Weight           140    139       N/A
Cholesterol     185    151      140-200
Triglycerides    79     72         35-135
HDL                73     60         40-95
LDL                 97     77         70-100
Fasting glucose 95    91         70-100

I didn’t lose weight, but all of my numbers went down, including my LDL which decreased almost 25%. My blood was – for lack of a better word – cleaner.

Here’s how I did "not on paper."

It wasn't easy to adapt. I had to do a crash course. I quickly retrained some bad habits and paid serious attention to labels. I stopped eating piles of chips when I got home from work. My only desserts were super dark chocolate or cereal with oat milk.

I prepped meals weekly. I literally listed our dinners for each day of the week and created a strategic shopping list. I cooked new recipes. My faves include Raise the Roof Lasagne, Engine 2 Black Beans (nothing fancy, but SO good), Handstand Burgers, DIY Energy Bars, and more.

I did weekend batch cooking. On Sundays, I cooked up batches of rice, grains, beans, roasted veggies and more. I was able to take home-cooked food to Skirt Sports almost every day.

Sounds time-intensive and possibly annoying, right? To be honest, I really needed a kick in the butt to get myself more organized and become more aware of what I put in my body (and as an extension, in my husband's and kid's bodies too), so I embraced the process. I'll be honest. Even with the extra effort involved, I truly enjoyed the E2 challenge. For me, the most important components (that I plan to continue for the long-term) are giving up processed foods, virtually eliminating dairy, and vastly decreasing meat. I'm not as worried about the added healthy oils, but may be due to my high level of physical activity.

It was enlightening. I felt physically better than I have for a very long time. I didn't measure this, but I think my fitness improved. I didn't lose any substantial weight, but my clothes all fit better than they have in years. The spare tire ring-around-the-middle decreased. Everything improved.

Since I felt great, why wouldn't I keep going? And so I did. Instead of gorging on November 1st, I continued eating Engine 2 style. I added some treats here and there including Kim & Jake's cake for Tim's birthday. I put cream in my coffee again. I ate some turkey on Thanksgiving. But the real truth is that I didn’t like it as much as I remembered. The pecan pie and ice cream was a different story though! So here I am - a modified Engine 2 Girl. Plant-powered with a few exceptions here and there. Feeling great. Enjoying the change.

Stay tuned for the Eating Experimentation Year in Review. Thanks for playing with me!

The Gotta Go is a Go!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/19/2015 04:34:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Relax, Run, Testimonials

The first-ever skirt designed to cater to women’s secret bladder needs will arrive in April 2016.

Here’s how it happened.

You asked. You weren’t afraid. You put yourself out there. You literally said, “I leak. I pee a lot. I have a heavy period. I want something that will make my life better. It sucks to talk about, but this is something that would really help me.”

We listened to you. These are real issues. No one else is doing anything about them. Why not us?

We listened to our gut. I’ll be honest - the concept of making a “pee skirt” for women was a little overwhelming. It’s a technically complex product concept that touches on sensitive issues that are not easy to talk about.

We decided that making women happier in their own bodies was more important than any stigma a controversial product may bring. We decided to put it out there and let you lead the way.

One month later we have over 800 Gotta Go Skirts reserved. We blew away our initial $35,000 goal and proved that sensitive women’s issues don’t have to be so sensitive when we ended at $60,000! The truth is that every woman runner could benefit from this skirt. We all pee. This skirt not only provides a peepee shortcut (thanks Trap Door), but it also helps the leakers and the menstruators stay drier and happier. The best thing that came from this is the knowledge that we are not alone!

It’s a win-win-win-win-win!

We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you Gotta Go Backers for your confidence that Skirt Sports will deliver an insanely amazing end-product. We will. That is our promise to you. Thank you Skirt Sports Ambassadors for sharing this message to your communities who now know even more about you than they may want! Thank you Emily, Dawn and Patti for sharing your stories on a video that has been viewed by over 25,000 people (You’re officially famous!). Thank you Skirt Sports team for going with the flow (the jokes don’t have to end!) and giving 100% to this crazy campaign. Thank you to our Kickstarter leader, Cheryl, who let us use both her mind and her body – we may have abused the privilege when she became the “action pee girl” on our marquee video! Thank you to those media folks who weren’t afraid to get this message out there.

Thank you to our bodies for continuing to work hard, even though we go through crazy changes throughout our lives. Let’s continue to love and embrace the magic of our bodies. With every big issue that arises, we can always create new products and technologies to make it better.

So what will the next big idea be? What can we do to help make your running lives better? The Gotta Go was just the tip of the iceberg for Skirt Sports. Don’t be afraid. Just ask. We promise to listen.

The Leak that just Won't Quit

Posted by Nicole DeBoom on 11/04/2015 01:17:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration, Run

I sneezed and peed. I coughed and peed. I laughed and peed. I did a double-under and peed. I ran and peed.

One in three women suffer from exercise-induced incontinence.  Aging and childbirth can increase the likelihood of this lovely phenomenon (also called stress incontinence) but it can still occur even if you’re 22 and carelessly child-free.

Peeing your pants is not fun. It’s also not comfortable and doesn’t help your self-esteem. I experienced it for the first time when I was pregnant at age 39. After gaining the first twenty of my eventual forty pounds, my bladder was feeling the strain. The first time I sneezed and peed, it was a rush, not a dribble. Shortly after that, I noticed that if I went for a run with even the tiniest trace of urine in my bladder, I leaked. I finally understood what many of my friends often joked and complained about during runs.

I also finally took seriously the many women who have asked me to make a product to address these needs. I clearly remember being approached by a woman runner in a Fleet Feet store about seven years ago. She told me she was frustrated with her leaking and hated that people could see it. She begged me to make a product that would help hide this issue. Since then, countless women have asked me for the same thing. I finally decided to do something about it.

In October, Skirt Sports introduced on Kickstarter the Gotta Go Running Skirt featuring a pad-compatible, quick-pee Trap Door compartment. It allows women to drop trow quickly and cleanly without mooning the world. It also allows women to use an easy-to-change-out pad. Not the coolest of concepts to talk about, but definitely a necessary product based on the fact that the $35,000 goal was met in just over two weeks with cries for more Gotta Go styles in varying silhouettes.

We’re not the only company to address this issue. In 2009, GoGirl introduced a silicone pee funnel for women. It allows for a quick, clean, well-aimed pee while standing if desired. Of course you can pee standing up anytime you want, but the urine flies all over the place. Their device is clean, hygienic, easy-to-use and allows you to control the flow.

Ultrarunners especially love the concept of peeing without squatting. As Amy S, an ultrarunner from Cary, NC says, “The idea of ‘not squatting’ is very common among ultrarunners and even marathoners. Obviously it eats up more time [to squat], but the leg fatigue is really the key factor. I ran as a pacer this past weekend at the Uwharrie 100 and the girl I paced did exactly what I described… she stepped off the trail, pulled the panty to the side and peed standing up. Hygiene and modesty go down in proportion to the number of hours you are ‘out there’ and getting up out of a squat position is miserable after 30+ hours on your legs.”

Runners aren’t alone. I recently came across this hilarious, humbling and just-plain-real video from the 2013 CrossFit Games. Several top-tier CrossFit rockstars openly admitted to peeing – especially when doing Double Unders. For those of you unfamiliar with CrossFit jargon, Double Unders are a jump rope move when you jump higher than normal, swinging the rope twice under your feet. As Karianne Dickson famously announced when asked about Double Unders, “I get wet during workouts.”

The good news is that you can do exercises that will help with stress incontinence.
•    Kegel: The all-encompassing kegel. I feel like anytime a woman mentions an issue with her lady parts, the first suggestion is “Kegels!” like doing kegels will fix all the world’s problems. The great thing about kegels is that they can be done anytime anywhere. In fact, I can guarantee that most of you just did a kegel, simply by reading the word.
•    The “Ha’s:” JustGoGirl suggests a deep ab set with a pelvic squeeze. You can also do these most anywhere although you’ll just be slightly more conspicuous when you utter “Ha” 10-20 times in a row.
•    Squats: Another theory suggests that kegels can actually aggravate a tight pelvic floor and according to this article, squats are the way to go. Even if your doctor still recommends kegels, I suggest adding squats to the mix.

Even if you do all the best practices for strengthening your pelvic floor, exercise-induced leakage can persist. If you can’t control your pee, it doesn’t mean you suck at exercising your pelvic floor. You didn’t do anything wrong. This is just one of those things that happens to women. Patti F, lifelong runner and mom of four puts it this way, “If you’ve had one or four or however many kids, your bladder changes. Running, laughing, sneezing coughing – it all puts pressure on your bladder.”

Women’s athletic leakage has become an industry. Businesses are getting involved and making the point that this is an issue we need to take seriously, even if it’s uncomfortable to talk about. Look at JustGoGirl athletically-inspired pads for women that are made to cooperate with athletic apparel and move unnoticeably without folding or chafing during workouts. This pad has become one of the staple topics of conversation on many a long run with the ladies.

It’s clear that leaking while exercising is a pretty normal thing. It’s also an uncomfortable issue to talk about. But when the flood gates open, women feel a rush of relief that they are not alone out there. It’s great to know that we can improve stress incontinence, but it may never completely go away, so there are products that can help make it more comfortable and tolerable.  

And don’t get me started on pooping. I recently spoke at an event and a woman approached me afterward to thank me for the invention of the Gotta Go Skirt. She had one question, “Is the relief hatch far enough back? You see, my issue isn’t peeing. My Instagram handle is @Ivegotthetrots.”

This is about more than leakage. It’s about giving women the confidence and support they need to keep running, even when the tide rushes in. 

 

[1] Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1300