Will run for food

My friend Jo posted this on her FB wall:

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Since a peek at the dictionary for a definition of badass will bring up a photo of Jo, my response, at first, was duh. And then I looked at the post again, and I got pissed.  That’s a pretty skinny person up there, proclaiming she doesn’t run to be skinny. And maybe she doesn’t. Maybe that’s her natural body type, or maybe it just happens to be a side effect of all that training. That’s nice for her, but it’s not the case for all of us. Screw you and your smug sleekness, black-gear-with-red-accents runner. (Yes, I know you’re a stock photo. Guilty by association.)

Sorry to repeat myself, Jo, but I hate, hate, hate the idea that you’re less of a runner, that your exertion is impure if part of your motivation for running is to look better. I’ve been averaging about 120 miles a month for the past seven years. These days I run because I love the endorphins, because it clears my head, because I’m a little bit competitive, because it’s a way to spend more time with my husband, and because I can feel less guilty about my propensity to eat everything in sight. And I can assure you that the SOLE reason I started running in 2007 was because I looked at a picture of myself, hated what I saw, and figured running was my only option if I wanted to feel less fat. [Disclaimer: This is about me. I feel crappy when I feel fat. This is is not about you. It’s my blog, and I get to do that. Neat/obnoxious trick, huh?] We’re talking vanity as the only source of initial motivation. I like what I see in pictures somewhat more these days, and I run, in part, to maintain my appearance.

There is nothing wrong with that.  I am not cheapening the sport, and I’m not any less tough, or any less worthy of calling myself a runner. There’s no shame in running to be skinny. I just came back from a run, and I pushed myself to go a little farther and a little faster because last night I completely overindulged on leftovers of the ridiculously amazing steak W grilled. I’m pretty sure my run was as authentic and grueling as that of red-trim smuggity-smugitude up there.

I will never be the badass that Jo is. I will never be the runner she is. I’m okay with that. And lest it seem she’s on the wrong side here, I should include the comment she made: To clarify, someone who’s badass and eats yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

Okay, Jo, I just finished  a 7.5-miler.  Pass me some cake.

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