Encouraging all kinds of athletic bodies

Thursday is HIIT day. I’m starting to wonder if the staff is rotating the class instruction; I was hoping the original instructor would be back but today it was phone-it-in guy. So it goes.

It wasn’t a great class, either. There was a bigger turnout today (4 people rather than 2) but this one guy was driving me up the wall. Not only did he keep walking through my space, but instead of working through the work intervals he’d get winded and then stop and start talking about sports. The rest of the class was men and they were all easily distracted by football talk– even the instructor! They just stopped moving and started talking. Finally I was like "You know, you could do more lunge jumps if you weren’t talking." This got an "ooOOOOOoooo" response. Annoying guy replied, "Well you just need to talk about something else then!" I’m not in HIIT class to talk, you bozo. Anyway.

On a much better topic: the Body Positive Athletes blog tipped me off to the fact that it was once again time for the ESPN body issue (which is always gorgeously done) with an excellent post about track&field athlete Amanda Bingson, who holds the US record for hammer throw distance. I saw her picture (NSFW-ish; nude but no bits showing) and my first thought was "holy crap, she looks a lot like me!" She’s built like a brick house and she’s beautiful. I need to keep this handy for when I start to get the "shoulds".

And her story also makes me think: how many of us who were discouraged from athletics as kids because of how our bodies looked, could’ve gone on to have really awesome achievements? You know, I really enjoyed my muscle development class in high school. I took group tennis lessons a couple summers and had fun with it (and was actually halfway decent), but my high school didn’t have a team so that went nowhere. No one ever said "hey, why not try out for the soccer team?" It wasn’t even on the radar. I was convinced I was super fat and hopelessly unathletic, and I never heard otherwise. 20 years later, though, I’m finally having a great time with it!

Bingson obviously bounced back from her volleyball disappointment and went on to track&field success. I hope more of us who were never encouraged to enjoy activity can find the joy in it, even when we’re older. We probably won’t make it to the Olympics, but we can have fun!

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About G

I'm running while fat. And learning other fun ways to honor my body.
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