Soon after completing my first marathon back in 2006, a friend I had known for years and who had been wholly supportive of my marathon mission asked if I planned to keep running marathons. She remarked with the assumption I wouldn’t because people like you and me weren’t built to run. She meant that I was short and top-heavy. True then, true now. I’m no Shalane Flanagan, that’s for sure.
I agreed with her, I think, feeling a little put off and confused, but I’ve run another five marathons since.
Around the same time (in the prime-time of AOL Instant Messager — does it even still exist?!), I was chatting with a former high school classmate I hadn’t seen since graduation four years earlier. He had always been ridiculously fit and athletic and, in hindsight, probably placed more value on thin than kind when choosing his lady-friends.
In our chat I mentioned I had recently run a marathon, had moved to Southern California, was doing well. Blah, blah, yada, yada. His response?Wow, you must be really tiny now. Hmm.
I’m still short, have boobs, wasn’t tiny then and am not tiny now, but the fact that I actually remember having these exchanges in the first place makes me think it is a topic for discussion. Megan Birch-McMichael, a blogger for Zelle, Runner’s World’s new web-home for women, thought so too. For this Friday’s Feature, I wanted to share her commentary called But You Don’t Look Like A Runner.
Have you faced conversations like these? Have a wonderful weekend and RUN, no matter what you look like.