I’ve heard them all. All of the insinuations that I either don’t exercise enough or am not capable of running very far or fast because of my weight. These “insightful comments,” are much too good to keep to myself so let’s take a look at a few of them, shall we?
~I’m trying out a new podiatrist who can hopefully figure out why my right foot is plagued with chronic pain. After spending approximately 1.3 minutes with me, Dr. Heel informs me that, “let’s face it. When we live in a great country like ours, we grow up hearing we can do anything we want. That’s our wonderful American dream! But the reality is you’re just not built like a runner. There’s a reason runners are tall and thin. But you just don’t have the body type to run. I’m sorry.” Gee. I was sorry, too. Sorry I was going to have to keep looking for a decent podiatrist.*
*Which by the way I found not only after Dr. Heel’s remarkable conclusions but his misdiagnosis of the problems plaguing my foot. My current competent doc put me in a proper pair of orthotics and my foot ailments are now kept to a minimum.
~A friend and I are appraising my front yard, trying to figure out why my recently planted magnolia tree looks shrunken and miserable. The possible solution? Tilling the soil because, after all, the work “will be good for your arms. It will tone them up and make them strong.” Hmmm. Guess the weight training at the gym must not be doing the job.
~”Patti, are you still running” asks Kathleen, the traffic coordinator at one of the multitude of radio stations where I worked over the years. “Yep, every other day.” “Doesn’t look like it,” snarks Ken Cruz, the afternoon DJ, passing us on his way to the on-air studio. Funny guy.
~”Oh, it’s so good to see you,” says Terri as she arrives at my house for dinner. “I brought the perfect appetizer for you. It’s very low calorie.”
Then there are the looks of shock and surprise I’ve gotten through the years when I’ve shared with various people that I’m a runner. “I never would have guessed that,” is also common response. Okay, so I’m not thin nor, at this point in my life, even on the slender side. I’m not thrilled about this. I try to count calories, watch what I eat, etc. But it’s harder to lose weight as I’ve gotten older (fact not excuse) and my body will take whatever opportunity it can to hang onto the “f” word.
So, yeah, I’m a heavy runner. But I run. I’ve run one marathon, a handful of half marathons, and I’ve lost count of the 5ks. I train with a fabulous group of runners several times a week. They’re like family to me and not one of them would ever think to make a crack about the extra weight I’m carrying. As runners, they know their bodies and they would never presume that I don’t know mine. We’re out there, running the streets together. All body types, shapes and sizes. Are most of them thinner than I? Yes. And maybe someday my weight will match theirs again. But even if it never does, I’ll see them on the road.
And they’ll see me.