Response to Flintland

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*This is a response to a post by Flintland, a really inspirational running blog. While I’m not a runner (yet), this spoke to me. It’s been speaking to me for a few months now. I’d like to speak back.*

Hey, Fit Girl,

Yeah. You. The one lapping me repeatedly, in running gear that costs as much as my rent.

Thank-you.

Thank-you for acknowledging my struggling. It takes every iota of determination and courage I’ve ever had to come to the track or the gym or my neighborhood and sweat in front of the thin, the accomplished, those that wear their discipline on their toned and buff sleeve. It means a lot to know that there is support running through that head. Support never occurs to me. I don’t meet your eyes, because I’m used to seeing derision. I wish everyone was as kind.

I endure ridicule as I begin this new adventure. And some of the scorn is coming from my own head. Those blaring headphones? They’re mainly to drown out the self-loathing and anger for letting myself get here. Of course, there’s some outside input as well. You probably don’t know this, but a lot people feel free to say things to an overweight person that they would never say to anyone else.

Because my weight is my fault.

But that’s okay. Every cruel remark is like gasoline. Caustic and stinking and flammable as hell. It propels me forward. It cuts through the apathy, the lassitude and the numbness. That pain is a little like the soreness of a hard workout. On my best days, I use it as fuel, not poison. On my worst days, I pretend it’s one of my best days.

Thank you for you commiseration, because having a stranger in my corner… well, it’s kind of awesome. You’ve put some positivity out into the world and I appreciate being it’s beneficiary. The cruel remarks are fuel. The kind words are balm.

I need them both.

And it’s going to take a while, but I’m really looking forward to the day when I get to lap you.

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