Being fat is nothing new. America and I have never been tiny except during the horrible times when we were battling eating disorders but of course that didn’t last.
During the last year since starting this blog and our instagram, we have done a lot of work on our psyche to become more comfortable with bodies we have. We are trying hard not to succumb to cultural expectations of our bodies. We are trying to own our bodies. The #SportsBraSquad has been instrumental in creating this positive force in our lives. Given this, America and I constantly try to run shirtless not only because it’s A BILLION TIMES COOLER but also because we want woman who don’t have a typical “runner’s body” to see there is room for them.
A couple of weekends ago we ran a small local race and from the moment we stepped outside we knew that it would be a tough race.
Little did we know that the weather conditions were not the only thing we standing against.
It was held at a local regional park with plenty of rocky trails. Since we live in Nevada, humidity is not a really a thing, except of course on the morning we needed to race. I got off my midnight to 8am shift, dry heaving because graveyard leaves me with the worst stomach aches. I managed to stuff down a bagel and some electrolytes. America was faring much better. Our goal was to finish and do our best in the process.
We were trying hard not to be late to our 10am race but we were cutting it close. We got out of the car and my first thought was….
“There is no way in hell I am going to wear a shirt”
Off it goes.
We walked to the start line and oh do I feel the nasty stares coming in my direction.
This was a small race ~300 people. Everyone seemed to be of different backgrounds and plenty of kids running the race.
Disclaimer because kids were there...I swear my who ha was well covered and there was no chance of a Janet Jackson 2004 super bowl style incidence.
The race started and to say it was cluster would say it nicely. They had us run on a paved walkway that fit one person comfortably and it was awkward for anyone else to stroll let alone run beside you. And of course it was up hill.
I choose to just slowly head up the hill but I was still managing to pass some people. When we got to the top of the hill, the path turned into a dirt road. I was feeling okay and decided to pick up my pace. I started to pass a few more people but now I have noticed I am starting to get a number of slide glances while passing. The women I passed noticed I was a chubby shirtless lady and they started to pick up their pace and tried to pass me. Within 30 seconds they fizzled out and I ran past them…..and they were never to be seen again.
I would like to say this happened once or maybe twice. It happened 5 times. Thankfully I never heard them say anything because I blasting my tunes.
When I finally ran up the constant uphill and crossed the finish line in the grass, I was surprised that it looked like I was the first one in my age group to finish!
I’ve never finished first my age. I was ecstatic. That was until I received the results email.
I did not run the 10k….I ran the 5k.
I immediately went to the timing booth. They were irritated with me. But were thankful because apparently not everyone comes up to them to correct a finishing mistake they said they would fix it. However, because I did not push for the fact that I was first my age group in the 5k. They did not rerun the results for the 5k or the 10k.
When the 5k awards finally came, I did not win my age group. It was the woman I had passed in the middle of the race. Fine. I get it. I messed up. I ran the wrong race. No beer glass for me.
The 10k awards were next. I was called up and I rush up to explain the results were wrong. As I head back down. There was a group of men near the beer tent who said well within ear shot
“There was no way that fat girl could have won anything.”
The rage was real.
But seeing as this was a race put on in partnership with America’s organization I did not want to cause a scene but I also did not stand up for myself.
I could not believe this race. I put up with people giving me nasty glaces. I put up with people feeling dejected when a fat girl passed them so they had to sped up. I put up with not winning first in my age group. I finally allowed myself to put up with disparaging remarks about my body WHICH ACTUALLY WON MY AGE GROUP.
When America finished her first comment as “damn people are not nice today”
While passing a group of women and kids, one of the kids asked
“How can that lady move so fast? She is just so fat.”
I have never ran a race feeling so mad about everything despite performing amazingly. In the past I have just received for support and have never encountered people saying and performing fat phobic acts.
Have you ever experienced like this during a race?
How have you handled it?
Here are some the microaggressions we have faced
Lazy, fat, undisciplined, unclean, stupid, weak,
“You would be prettier if you lost weight”
“No man is going to want a fat ass woman”
“Aren’t you too fat to run? Won’t your knees hurt?”
“Ya know, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”
“You are too fat to wear that”
“Dont worry. One day a man is going to love you even if you look like that”
“Please hide your thighs when you run, they are disgusting”
“Keep running! One day you will be skinny if you try hard enough”
“It doesn’t even look like you workout”
“Don’t you think you should cover up? No one wants to see fat”