Do I see myself as a runner?
Despite having completes 11 marathons and three ultras I still struggle with the label of athlete.
Most days I still struggle to get out there....
I always mentally prepare for the looks,
the inquisitive stares
those faces, clear as day, that communicate a certain level of discomfort at seeing me out there....chugging away, relentlessly
moving my un-apologizing large body through space, owning every mile.
Yet I do not give up. Long are the day I retreat back to my home and lick my wounds for the fear of those stares.
Although the passage of time or the many, many instances I have faced these demons does not make it any easier I know why I run, and that keeps me moving.
Me being out there is like a beacon for so many women; it allows the doors for those who look just like me....
Seeing me out there, week after week slowly doing my miles changes what one expects to see out there... ever so slowly perceptions begin to shift. Others get to see me as something other than what they have conditioned to see...
and begin seeing a fighter,
they begin to see beauty,
but most importantly,
they learn to associate all those amazingly positive things
with a body like mine......
Never give up.