Note to Reader: I updated this entry to improve the quality of the writing. My fiancé is my unofficial editor and helps me to stay focused when I write. This post turned out to be more of a rant and for that I apologize. Enjoy!
There’s this really awesome Facebook group that I’ve recently joined called Spartan Chicked. Its a group of women from all over the world that love obstacle course races (OCRs) and working out in general. I have found that it is a safe place to talk about… well, anything really. I’ve seen threads on: before and after photos, healthy living, family/ friends, pregnancy, being on your period during a race and body image issues. The only real requirement that this page asks for is that you be a female. No one cares if you’re big, small, gay/bisexual, transgender, black, white, purple,… I think you get the picture. So long as you don’t say anything that is rude or demeaning to anyone else, you will find someone who will cheer you on. It is a really is a lovely group.
At any rate, I did find one thread that got me thinking. A user posted the following picture of a box of underwear that said,”One Size Fits
All Athletes”. She said that she didn’t like the slogan too much and that she wanted to know what others thought about it.
Many of the comments on the picture said that it was stupid, and to be honest… were bordering on the line of self loathing.
So, here’s what I think…
I think that when many of us think of the word “athlete”, we associate that word with people who are a size 2-4, only eat organic food and spend 3+ hours at the gym daily. We think they are the people that have no problem getting a date and look great in anything from a string bikini to a burlap sack. Many athletic clothing companies (cough cough… Lululemon…) cater to the philosophy that you must be small in order to consider yourself an athlete.
I think the message that Under Armour was something positive. I believe they were trying to imply that it doesn’t matter what size you are.That isn’t what determines if you are an athlete or not. Before I was pregnant, I was a size 3… only because I busted my tail everyday. I have other friends that are very thin and don’t really work out at all. Just like the number on the scale doesn’t matter, I don’t think clothing size matters either. At the end of the day, your dress size doesn’t make you a better person or a better athlete.
So, why bother running or working out? Some people just really enjoy working out. It can bring a sense of accomplishment, and physiologically, running forces the brain to release endorphins (aka: the happy chemical). My two pragmatic reasons for working out are:
1) Uncle Sam makes me work out. Yeah, I signed a piece of paper about three years ago where I agreed to stay in shape in order to maintain my enlistment in the United States Army.
2) Heart disease and stoke runs through both sides of my family. Enough said.
So, for my readers who run, go biking, swim, ect… What got you started? Do you workout with others, or just go solo?