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Try-athletes. April 12, 2008

Posted by phledge in family, fat, fun, health, phlegm.

Today I got up before Maude’s own sunrise to go with my in-betweenie sister (K) and her roommate for their female-only triathlon.  Let me note that I decided to wear my “I am Kate Harding” t-shirt (hoping I’d see a fellow Shapeling, or at least get questions that led people to FA), and then freaked out because I didn’t shower this morning and my hair was a mess and in essence I was not a cute fattie and…wait a second, hello, was that a point I just missed?  :headsmack:  Okay, so I went to this event and, heh, slept in the car for the first two and a half hours.  I woke up at about 8:45 and, since K said she expected to be across the finish line at around 9:30, I had the opportunity to go grab a cup of coffee at the only coffee place open in this faux Italian village shopping center resort place thingy:  Starbucks.

I’m noticing at this point that my writing is becoming loose and flowy, but please try to bear with me while I work out this brain problem.  I have been such a phenomenal space cadet lately, it hurts.

Anyway, so this resort is really, REALLY pricey and anyone who’s been to Vegas knows that the beautiful people come here to be seen and get drunk.  When I ordered a latte with whole milk, the cashier—an older woman whose nametag told me she was from Montana—didn’t bat an eyelash, but the young pretty thing behind the espresso machine croaked out, “WHOLE?  Is that what you meant?” to the cashier.  The cashier smiled (I had love for this woman, lemme tell ya) and said to her, “That’s what I wrote, right?”  To which the barista said, “Well, I just NEVER see it, so I wanted to be sure.”  And I cracked up in my cold little heart to think that I blew someone’s mind for my preferences today.  All before 9 am.

I mosied over to the finish line and watched the women as they crossed.  This is where I get all mooshy and emotional, because I was in tears thinking of so many things about these amazing athletes:  how much work it takes to get your body to do something like this, how many of them might be doing it because they hate their bodies and want to punish them(selves), how many of them are mothers inspiring their daughters to either work hard to achieve this dream or to punish themselves, and how ALL of them, every last one, was BEAUTIFUL in a way I can’t describe.  The woman who very clearly at some point in her life had been horrifically burned.  The woman who ran on a prosthesis.  The numerous women with stretch marks, thigh jiggle, wrinkles, knee braces, easy stride, stiff stride, cancer in their pasts, all of them.  It was inspiring to see women of all sizes and shapes and ages and colors and motivations to get through that final stretch, and it brought tears to my eyes.  When K finally came across, I was proud to bursting that she does this, regardless of the fact that she thinks she needs it so she can lose more weight.  I saw power, power that runs in my family and in all women and in all people.

We are limitless, y’all.  Don’t ever tell yourselves otherwise.



1. wellroundedtype2 - April 12, 2008

Wow — get flow-y whenever you want to. That was beautiful.

I have been considering trying a triathalon myself, considering that I know how to swim so now it’s just, uh, getting back on a bike for the first time in 20 years and figuring out how to manage the “run” — and I realized, that, yes, I would like to swim .5 miles, ride 12 miles and run/walk/stumble/amble 3 miles in rapid succession, to provde something to myself, but I don’t know if the whole competitive scene is for me.

Congrats to your sister, and I hope the latte was delish.

2. mrs.millur - April 12, 2008

Go for it, WRT2! I finished my first short-distance try-a-tri almost two years ago, with my infant daughter cheering me on. I had started training the summer before, but bailed on the race when I found out I was pregnant. Turned out the gym was a great place to get alone time after she was born and she loved the child-care centre.

When I started ‘training’ I was a decent (if slow) swimmer. I knew how to walk. I didn’t own a bike.

It doesn’t have to be competitive. I raced against myself- against my own expectations of what my body could do, if I asked it, and prepared it. I didn’t finish first- or anywhere near first. But I finished. I’ve seen pictures of that day. Not particularly flattering, by conventional measure. But Phledge is right- I was beautiful, that day.

Phledge you make me so eager to get back into challenging myself with this sport!

(and Sarah at http://fatgirlonabike.wordpress.com/ rocks!)

3. phledge - April 12, 2008

WRT2, I was chatting with K’s roommate, E, for whom this was the first triathlon, and we agreed that the two of us really didn’t have a competitive bone in our bodies. However, what struck me was that she just wanted to see if she could; it was one of those, ‘hm, maybe I would have a good time and I wonder what my body’s capable of,’ decisions on E’s part. And she looked awesome, too.

It’s definitely got me thinking that I would like to get to the point where I could run an itty bitty 5K. And thanks for the compliment!

4. phledge - April 12, 2008

Oh, yes, the Marshmallow of Steel—absolutely an inspiration for people of all sizes and physical fitness levels. Thanks for linking to her, Mrs. Millur! I hope you get back on that horse, and know that you’re beautiful whether you do or not. 🙂

5. K - April 13, 2008

That was gorgeous. I”ve never been to a marathon, but you definitely painted a vivid picture for me. Thanks for sharing.

6. littlem - April 13, 2008

Quite a word picture you paint there in your prose, Ms. Doc.

(“Marshmallow of Steel.”



7. phledge - April 13, 2008

I have to give credit where it’s due, so props to Sarah for coming up with the most excellent squooshy nickname for…herself.

And I’m glad everyone’s enjoying my writing. I don’t feel like it’s as tight as it could be but if it’s getting the message across then it’s doing its job. 🙂

8. kateharding - May 6, 2008

Let me note that I decided to wear my “I am Kate Harding” t-shirt (hoping I’d see a fellow Shapeling, or at least get questions that led people to FA), and then freaked out because I didn’t shower this morning and my hair was a mess and in essence I was not a cute fattie

Oh, sure, and they THOUGHT IT WAS ME! 🙂

9. spacedcowgirl - May 6, 2008

“I saw power, power that runs in my family and in all women and in all people.”

This brought tears to my eyes.

A beautiful entry, and fuck the whole milk gatekeeper lady.

10. phledge - May 7, 2008

Oh, sure, and they THOUGHT IT WAS ME!

Yes, except they hollered out “You fucking brontosaurus!” as I walked past. So when they see you on television, rockin’ the cetacean tweenie look and your gorgeous blonde hair, shilling your awesome new book with TR, their little brains will asplode. ‘That other one was lying,‘ they’ll say to themselves.

A beautiful entry, and fuck the whole milk gatekeeper lady.

Like I said in the post, I actually had a good giggle at the whole milk thing. I think it was less about my fat and more about the whole-milk-phobic hordes of Botoxed eating-disordered rich people that usually stalk the place. There’s a lot of pain for those folks, who people assume are so lucky.

11. Reminding me why the “Size Acceptence” and “HAES” movements matter… « the list of now - May 9, 2008

[…] pinches her belly and says she should do some sit-ups. They’re not there when she orders a whole milk latte, and the barista looks at her like she asked for two shots of dead baby in it. They’re not there […]

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