Friday, March 10, 2017

What Does A Runner Look Like?

I spent the four-and-a-half hours of drive time to Calgary this weekend listening to Kelly's podcast. If you haven't already listened to it, go to Itunes/Google Play now and download it. Kelly is one of my favourite humans. She's hilarious, down-to-earth, motivating, inspiring and beautiful inside-and-out.

  She's working towards her goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. In order to run the Boston Marathon (besides charity options) you have to run a certain time, based on your age and gender, and then even sometimes that's not good enough because of registration numbers. For Kelly, that means setting a 3:30 minute marathon goal. A year and a half ago, Kelly broke the four hour marathon for the first time. She's coming along way and that's all because of her hard work, commitment and dedication.

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What I love about Kelly is her honesty. She's raw. She makes running more real than ever before. She is breaking down barriers and encouraging others to do the same. She started the #SportsBraSquad; a social media movement to encourage women to shed their shirts and feel comfortable in their own skin while working out. One of her podcasts really struck a cord with me. She was talking about how a lot of running brands don't have realistic models promoting their gear and how some people's expectations of how they should look is skewed because of it. 
Then, she said something I love "Strong Doesn't Look A Certain Way It Feels A Certain Way."

It got me thinking.
Why do brands have models that don't look like everyone buying their clothes?

What message are they sending?

Kelly isn't the only one empowering women. Last year, my beautiful, talented and strong mama friend Dorothy also started a movement called #IHaveARunnersBody. She wants people to know that runners aren't supposed to look a certain way. It's simple, if you run, you have a runners body. 
Dorothy also, recently, shared comparison photos of herself during a race to show we are worth more than just a photo.
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I love that message.

I've had my share of struggles with my body image. Last year, I wrote about (more like 30) pound weight gain and the time I was mocked (specifically my thighs) during a race. It was tough. YES, I cried, a lot, I called my mom for support and I turned to friends, and counselling, for help. At times, I didn't feel like I could run anymore because of the weight gain. Everything felt harder.
Then, one day I woke up and realized it didn't matter that I was slower or that I wasn't running 25-30 miles a week I was still a runner. I built off that and started going back to the gym. I started lifting weights and focused on getting stronger. I started running again but stopped focusing on distance and speed.

I put away the scale.
I started setting goals that weren't focused on just health and fitness.

Today, I'm thankful for women like Kelly and Dorothy for encouraging women to embrace who they are and the way they look. For teaching us to love ourselves. For calling out brands that aren't setting good examples and for being a part of this amazing running community that sees right through the bullshit.

So, here's to the runners. You beautiful runners.

If you're a runner go look in a mirror. That's what a runner looks like.

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE this post...every single word.❤

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