But really, can you really judge how healthy a woman is by the thick, fleshy curve of her hip? Does being a size 12, 14 or 16 alone really mean my days are numbered? That I’m done for? Those who want to judge are much more apt to assess my healthfulness based on the number on the inside of my bathing suit versus the number on the paperwork from my doctor’s lab. They believe the measure of a healthy woman is the measure of her thighs. Forget science. Forgo numbers. Screw you, doctor. It’s modern beauty standards we should worry about. This tells me all I need to know.
I’ve never been afraid when I’ve been out running or walking.
Well there was that one time when I was worried I wouldn’t get to the bathroom in time, but that’s a whole other fear.
I was reading this: My Body, My Run, My Safety—So Stop Telling Me To Shut Up About I
Do I take safety into consideration when I’m out walking and running – absolutely. What women doesn’t have to?
I never let it stop me. I am not worried about running in the parks, along the harbour or in the neighbourhood.
Sometimes I encounter gatherings, the anglers at the boat launch who seem to be sitting and waiting, and they watch me go through the parking lot. Makes me feel super uncomfortable, but that’s me and the voices in my head. I watch people to, it’s human nature. There’s not loud comments or anything inappropriate, so it’s just my worry they are talking about “fat girl walking”, and the reality is they are probably telling the same fishing stories over and over.
I meet dog walkers, other runners/walkers, solo anglers off the harbour wall, cyclists. We may eye contact, a nod or a cheerful ‘good morning’ is all that’s needed.
The most ‘accosted’ I ever got was by a woman who seemed to think I shouldn’t run and would I stop and do Yoga with her. No, I was running, that was my goal, I politely declined, but she followed up with reasons I shouldn’t run. “Listen lady, I don’t know you, you don’t know me, thanks but no.”
I will walk at night. If I have 2000 or less steps to reach my step goal for the day, sure I’ll go for a few blocks, but when it’s dark out, I keep to the residential streets, not the park, not the harbour. The harbour I avoid more so because it’s water and I’m a klutz. If I trip or twist my ankle on the numerous pine cones along the harbour and fall in, in daylight I stand a chance to be seen, at night, not so much.
I also don’t like to be made to jump. I don’t find it fun, at all, and my response is generally pretty violent. I’ve warned the various boyfriends over the years, and they always think I’m kidding, until they purposely make me jump, and then have to duck when I’m about to take their head off. I refuse to apologize as they look at me stunned – not aware I am capable of violence, as much as the next person. I warned them, they ignored me, they learned.
My kids no not to make me jump. My daughter loves haunted houses and scary events at Halloween and I use to cheerful drive her, read a book and then pick her up and we’d share her adventures. But it’s not my thing.
So running in the park at night, is more about low light and feeling jumpy, than my personal safety.
I don’t want to live in a world where I have to think “as a woman, what’s the risk here” – we do have to live that way. So I manage the risk, I believe in my community and I know most assaults are by people known to us.
Ironically I can be more distrustful of a business acquaintance who’s drunk, than a complete stranger in a park at 10 pm.
What does that say?
But this is my small city, and I know I’m fortunate, and never take safety for granted.
I strategically chose the photos to share and they’re not before and after photos in the traditional sense. I prefer to refer to them as “Now and Then.” To me, the idea of being a “Before and After” implies that there was something wrong, I changed it, I’m done, and now I’m better.
I don’t really think I’ll ever be “done”; I’m still human, I still struggle, and I’ll never fully feel like I arrived.
I rarely look at my ‘then’ photos, I never liked looking at myself in photos. But the other day was looking for photos for a work project and went back a few years trying to find the right image, and there I was; then.
Was nice to be able to see how far I’ve come, how much fitter I am, and how much more confident I feel.
I don’t want to be someone one’s Fitspo either, but I do know I’ve inspired a few people to just be a little more active. Which is cool.
This is my latest acquisition (thanks mom!). I wanted something active, and ongoing. Something I could do that was outdoors and not specific to “I”m going to exercise now”.
I’ve been out in it 3 times now, each excursion longer than the last. I did about 4 K in it the other day, just down the river to the 8th Street bridge and back. Took an hour, but I was relaxed and in no hurry.
My arms are feeling it, which is why I’m not pushing. Don’t want to push to a point where I can’t pick the thing up because I’ve wore myself out.
I’ll write more on my experiences with my ‘boat’ later.
Yeah I know, Buzzfeed, but the point is that’s pretty cool!