I joined the Exercise for Pink Community on facebook, and I found such an inspirational blog, Hey, fat girl, as I scrolled through the posts. If you have ever spoken to me about group exercise, I hate it. I don't want to be seen. I did not run through town because I just knew I would be laughed at. My solution was to run on the river trail that is in town. I started this about a year ago. It was not easy and I was very embarrassed about my body and my lack of fitness. I kept my head down. It was away from traffic, but it was crowded with fit runners and bicyclists. I looked up one day, and I noticed everyone would smile and say "Hello," or "Good morning." My only thought was, Why are they not laughing at me? I am fat and I jiggle when I run. I'm the punchline in some awful joke. As the case usually is, I was my worst enemy.
Soon the weather started changing and it was too dark and dangerous to run on the river trail, so I began running on a walking track at a local park which happened to be just about 3 miles around. My first day, I was amazed at the different shapes and sizes that were on that track. They became my community. I saw each of them as an inspiring piece of my life's puzzle.
The weather continued to change, and one evening after a very intense run, my calves had me near tears from the cramps that they were feeling. I can only imagine that this had more to do with the sudden cold that had hit town than with the "intensity" of my run. My community had been abandoned for winter by everyone. Including me. I didn't run often anymore, just on the weekends when I could make it during daylight. It was lonely.
Then for Christmas, my biggest fear and at the same time, my biggest wish came true. My sister, (we are not very touchy feely with each other, so I am tearing up here) who although doesn't share her emotions, shows them through her actions, gave me a membership to a gym. I had been putting it off due to finances, especially when I could run for free at a park. I also have somewhat of a social anxiety. I don't like crowds. I don't like to be the one who stands out. I don't talk to strangers unless they talk to me. I especially do not like others to see me exerting myself. They'll only laugh at you.
I was laughed at a lot as a kid. I was a heavy kid who had ugly scars from automobile accidents. I was laughed at by classmates, by friends, I think it hurt most when family laughed at me. I brushed it off, but really I was laughed at enough that I don't like to share anything that I feel is important to me because I think I'll get laughed at if they think it's silly. I didn't even ask my parents to come to my sporting events. I didn't feel worthy of their presence because I wasn't any good anyhow. My parents never laughed at me. The let me reach for my goals, no matter how silly they were. Goals like running a 5K. My mom has been there for me every step of the way. Whenever I reach a new goal or break a personal record, I call her first and she always pretends to be as excited as I am.
Late last week I finished the Zen Labs 5K app. This training app gets you from the couch to a 5K in 9 weeks. Admittedly, I didn't complete 5K, and it didn't take me 9 weeks. It took more like 15 or 16 weeks. The apps starts you with running and walking intervals and then takes you to a full 30 minute run at week 9. I cannot run 5K in 30 minutes. I have run 2.25 miles in the 30 minutes (not too far off).
Initially, I had decided that when I completed 30 minutes of running, I would be finished with the program, but that is not the case. How can I stop now? I have not completed 5K. NO! I will continue. I began the 10K program last Friday. I don't expect to run 10 K in an hour. I plan on using the program to get me to the 5K (regardless of the time it takes). I started the program at day one in hopes of increasing my speed over time and my stamina. I just completed week 1. This is a 14 week program (realistically giving myself 20 weeks). By the end of week 14 I should be running two 30 minute sets with a minute rest in between. Eventually, that minute will be eliminated.
Go ahead, call me Fat Girl, go ahead, laugh at me. I will hide no longer! If you don't like my jiggle, look the other way. My goals may seem silly to you, but I take them very seriously. I am the fat girl that will not leave the spinning class no matter how much she wants to. I am the fat girl who kick Zumba's ass.
I am a runner. That's what I am.
*All pictures were taken off of the Exercise for Pink Community facebook page.