“I learned a long time ago that the last thing any woman should be thinking about is being ‘skinny’ or ‘thin.’ To me, those words imply weakness, fragility, the inability to stand firm in a storm. If you want to change your body, aim for ‘athletic.’ An athletic body is healthy, strong, and built to thrive. An athletic body can take many shapes.” ~Lauren Fleshman
I’m always so critical of my race pictures because as any runner can tell you, about 95% turn out terrible. Racing hurts. A lot. Combine pain with bad angles and poor timing and your self-esteem can plummet. But as I get older, I’m finally realizing that it doesn’t matter what you look like. All that matters is how you feel. On this particular day, I conquered 13.1 miles through hilly SF and crushed my time goal. Was it pretty? Hell no. But did I feel incredible after? Hell yes. Some people run to lose weight but runners run because they love it. Maybe it’s more of a love-hate relationship but we know that our world is more complete with it than without it. It’s easy to get obsessed with weight and macros to run faster but if you don’t fuel your body right, you’re never going to progress, which I learned the hard way. I’m finally getting to a point where I don’t care about the scale or calories. I eat to run, not the other way around, and I’ve set almost 10 PRs this year alone because of it. There is no one perfect body type. I don’t care if I weigh under a certain amount as long as my muscles are strong enough to support me for however many miles my heart desires. Respect your body and be grateful for the ability to do what you love. At the end of the day, it’s not about how fast you run the miles but how you make the miles count. Run for time, run for health, run for competition, run for any reason in the world, but most of all, run happyMelissa M.