Being a Fat Athlete

I was doing some research on swimming and sore abs because… Well, I went for a good swim today and my abs are sore! Look, don’t you Google every damn thing you go through? You don’t. Fine. I’m a weirdo. Deal.

Anyway, as I was maundering around the Internet and avoiding finishing my last article for today (but I did send out a good query for AT THE FOOT OF THE THRONE three days early thnxsomuch!), I ran across Fat Girl on a Bike.

This chick made me ashamed of myself and face how damn’ vain and shallow I can be.

Vain? Yeah. You see, I’m fat. No, it’s not a value judgement. I am.

But I’m also an athlete, dammit. I never called myself that because I’ve always felt I “wasn’t there yet”. I played soccer, but I wasn’t great it at. So, I wasn’t really an athlete. I was a martial artist but I never earned a black belt, so I’m not really an athlete. I’m fat, so I’m not really an athlete.

This woman, who is doing triathelons not to “get skinny” or any other damn reason than she bloody well wants to compete in triathlons puts me and my scale stepping to shame. I’ve actually had to psyche myself out to go to the pool and swim, which I love because I didn’t feel like I really belonged in the pool with all the real athletes. It’s idiotic. Like you don’t deserve to claim a love of movement, which I do have, unless you’re committed to “getting skinny”. That’s gotta me more important than loving the movement for itself.

Now, I know swimming is good for me. How I feel after a good workout (and the sustained good mood for many hours) is a powerful motivator to get me moving. Yes, yes, yes, I’m all for the increased health benefits of being active.

But I swim because I love to swim. It feels good. I lift weights because I love to do it. I adore moving heavy stuff. When I was a martial artist, the love of having the guy a foot and a half taller than I am go THWACK! on the mat was immensely satisfying, and so was being knocked flying. (Hey, you know I’m a weirdo). Anything that requires finesse of physical control excites me.abbyestockton2.jpg

Will I get stronger and more fit the more I do it? Of course. But I don’t have to have goal of looking like Pudgy Stockton (I know, not fashionable, but I really, really like the way she looked) to just enjoy the workout for its own damn sake.

5 Replies to “Being a Fat Athlete”

  1. Glad you have a postive outlook on this matter. Send me some of that attitude! I have gained 100 pounds over the last 20 years and because of that I do feel that I do not belong in the gym or at the pool. I feel that people look at me being fat and think what the hell is she doing here now! If I take my kids for a walk it is because I want to and enjoy it but other people think…there she goes trying to loose weight. Just because an overweight person is active does not mean we are dieting and trying to be skinny. Of course I need to loose the weight and yes I start everyday thinking this is the first day of the rest of my life and today is the day…hmmm still figuring that one out!

  2. Oh, I love this! Thank you.

    I’m going to post it over at Spiral Steps:

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/spiral-steps/

    Are you coming to the North American Discworld Convention? You would make a wonderful Seamstress:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/seamstressguild/

    Sia
    Who is trying to exercise in order to fit into that corset she had made in back in 2003. It seem so unfair that we get wider as we get older….in a just world, it would be one or the other, but not both.

  3. I also swim firstly because I love it, and second I’m training to do the Tiburon Mile. My goal isn’t to win the race, but to just do it. People tell me “Oh! You’ve lost weight!” and all I can really say is “Really?” Losing weight is going to happen with the exercise, but it’s not that important. Feeling good, and keeping emotional stuff in check, and feeling stronger is why I do it. So, go you! 🙂

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