Runners In Motion

I don’t have to be a runner. Don’t get me wrong – I think that if you can run, that’s amazing, and I’m happy for you. It’s wonderful exercise and I hear it can be quite relaxing and refreshing. However, it’s not something I can do. I’ve bounced back and forth on the idea of running for years, but it just isn’t going to happen for me. I wasn’t able to run at my lowest weight – even running the mile in school was something that I found miserable and unpleasant. Unless I’m running to something or for something (like catching a bus, or catching a ball) I just can’t get into it. Add to that the fact that I have a bad knee (from an old dancing injury), and it starts becoming more and more apparent that running just isn’t something that I’m going to ever find an enjoyable hobby.

The problem is, though, that I’ve been trying to lose weight for nearly ten years, and looking through suggestions and inspiration and things online, it’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t go on and on about how “all you need to do is lace up your sneakers and just go”. As if the minute your hair is in a ponytail and your feet hit the pavement, you’ll be twenty pounds lighter and twice as gorgeous. I think if I’d spent the time finding other sources of cardio activity (and if it wasn’t the very first suggestion you can find anywhere you’re looking for a training program), I might have had an easier time coming to terms with moving my body instead of hating it for what it can’t and doesn’t want to do.

Life doesn’t stop until you reach your goal weight. I’ve been guilty of something stupid for the last decade – I stopped having fun in public for the most part. Sure, I get out from time to time. Mark and I go places, and spend time together, and I’m happy about everything we do. The problem is that I’m so ashamed of my shape that I try to stay inside as much as possible, and as soon as I go out in public, I worry that everyone will stare and laugh and insult me.

Unfortunately, this is something that has happened, so it’s not a completely unfounded fear. When I first started putting on weight, I was on a beach in a swimsuit, a halter top, and a pair of shorts (I believe they were a size six), walking down the boardwalk after swimming for a while. A guy leaned out of his car and yelled something about how “people like me shouldn’t be allowed to wear shorts”, and I immediately burst into tears. I think that’s the moment I started hating my body – until then I had not even realized that it was possible to hate your own body. I had gone two days prior to get a belly button piercing – something I would not have done if I had thought I was enormous or unfit to show myself off in a bikini, walking around on the beach. To this day, I have not worn another bikini, and I have not worn a pair of shorts around anyone, except for in the privacy of my own home. Not even in front of friends.

Logically, I know the extent to which that guy’s random comments should affect me to this day – that is to say, not at all. But there’s something about those words that has sat with me for nearly ten years. I wonder if the effect will ever go away, or if one random jerk has made me impossibly uncomfortable in my own skin for the rest of my life.

5 comments on “Two Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me”

  1. I have had lads wolf whistle at me only to laugh their heads off when I turned around. I’ve had someone throw water at me while driving past me in the car. A lad even shouted, “Put some clothes on!” when I was about 9 miles into a 10 mile run. People are horrible. No wonder I cover myself up all the time and I’m constantly self conscious.

    • I can never understand how people can openly insult other people like that. Maybe I’m unusual, but even if I was completely repulsed by a person (which I can’t really see happening), I would keep it to myself. They likely have enough going on in their life – why would I want to make them miserable, too?

      Also, you are GORGEOUS. I don’t know what those guys were going on about. Clearly they were employing the “pull her hair because I think she’s pretty” tactic from kindergarten. (Or maybe they were just insane?)

      • I just think some ‘men’ think they’re allowed to say whatever they want and it doesn’t hurt. They were all very young (late teens, early twenties) and always with friends so it was probably an ‘impress my friends’ scenario.

  2. Two things:
    1) you absolutely don’t need to be a runner – it’s not for everyone. And if you just want to get moving a bit, how do you feel about walking? I’m not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, but I love to walk.

    2)That guy was a complete ass—-. That’s the thing about people; there’s always those who will just knock others down without even realizing what it’s doing to the other person and it’s horrible. Please don’t let one person ruin it for you though. You are a beautiful girl Ang.

    • Thanks, Zi! ♥ I do walk quite frequently, actually – when I’m not holed up in my sad cave (aka, hiding from the world) I have to walk to take a bus wherever I want to go, so it’s basically unavoidable. I enjoy it when I’m not having to rush or lug things around – just walking around a bit with Mark and going home whenever I want feels nice. Carrying 20 pounds of books for school and walking home after 12 hours at university is a completely different story, though!

      As for that guy – my brain knows that I should have disregarded his comments years ago, but I guess it’s one of those things that I’ve hung on to for years. If nothing else, I should learn to turn it into fuel for motivation!

      It is nice to hear someone else say that they’re not a runner, though. I’ve often imagined that I must be in the minority – or at least as far as the internet is concerned!

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