One Size Does Not Fit All
There are somethings in life that carries the description of “one size fits all” this is definitely not the case for runners. During lunch a couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a couple of co-workers (teachers), who also happen to be coaches. So this is how the conversation goes. Coach - I get so tired of all the morning runners, which causes all the drivers to be more cautious not to hit them. I see the same runners each day and I really don’t even know why they continue to run because it doesn’t appear to be helping them, they are still overweight. Me - (with attitude) well first of all, it is helping because they are moving! Which means they are at least being heart healthy, and just because they don’t fit the image that you have in your mind of a runner doesn’t mean that they should quit running, and exactly how do you know if they have lost weight or not. Of course the conversation went on further but it was his initial statement of “ I really don’t even know why they continue to run because it doesn’t appear to be help them, they are still overweight,” that caused me to think. Why has society placed an image on every sector of life?
I agree that when we see the Olympic runners, the elite runners, and the hometown marathon winners, they usually have a slim frame. This is because endurance sports tend to favor a body type that consist of low body weight and lean body composition.
But just because my frame isn’t slim, (I consider myself to be “fat fit”, because I have a larger frame, and an unwanted midsection) does that mean that I am less of a runner? To answer my own question NO! I am a runner because I have declared that I am, lately I run most days, I’ve trained for races, and I have finished all of my races vertical and smiling. But that still doesn’t stop the body image that society has placed on runners. To be honest that doesn’t exclude me because there has been several races I have ran and seen what I consider to be an overweight runner and I too have had some negative thoughts. The main thought is, now I know I’m not going to let him or her beat me, since I’m looking at them from behind, but I must confess that sometimes they do.
Body image is simply the way one sees him or herself in the mirror, and maybe when you look in the mirror you see some areas that need improvement, ( like my midsection (abs) as I have previously stated) but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. It just simply means you need to continue to work on your body composition which is the ratio of body fat to lean muscle. And, let me just say body fat is hard to lose.
As a runner why is weight even important, as long as you can keep your desired pace then why should it matter. Honestly, weight does play a factor in a runners efficiency and endurance, which means it basically affects a runners finish time, but not every runner is running against the race clock. But if you are setting new goals and would like to hit your “race weight”, then I would encourage you to invest in Race Weight by Matt Fitzgerald.
So, as a runner, walker, or a person who just exercise regularly, if you see your reflection in the mirror and you are pleased, then that should be enough. Don’t let society put you in the category of “one size fits all”. Just remember what Dr. Seuss said "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."