i was scrolling through my news feed on facebook the other day, attempting to distract myself from the crowd of people on the express train, when a post from a friend caught my attention.
upon reading it, i instantly felt irritated. as somebody who has always vocally struggled with my weight and appearance, i know many people assume that i took up running as a way to shed pounds and feel good about the way i look. and frankly, they're wrong.
when i decided to start running, it was to challenge myself. how far could i go? i knew it wouldn't be much to begin with, but i was interested to see how far i was able to push myself. would i actually stick with it? the dusty guitar, used-once tennis racket, half finished cross-stitch patterns, and unopened cookbooks under my childhood bed are a testament to my lack of dedication when pursuing interests. could i actually change myself to be considered athletic? i took a class with a girl training for a marathon during fall quarter last year, and we always joked about the impressive .4 miles i walked to class that morning and how it was my exercise for the day.
i never realized how exciting running could be. each new personal record, whether it's for speed or distance, just gets me motivated for the next run. each time i struggle or have to cut a workout short, i make a list in my head of what to change so it doesn't happen again. i want to succeed. i want to do my best. i want to cross the line of that half marathon feeling strong and proud.
and i don't care what i look like when it happens. i can honestly say that the forethought on my mind when lacing up for a run is that i want to prepare for my races; weight loss is the farthest thing from my head. and it's definitely not motivated by a lack of confidence in my appearance.
don't get me wrong. it is kinda of cool that my metabolism is the fastest it's ever been in my life, and that i don't have to agonize over every meal like i used to. but when i went home and heard my sister say "you don't even need to run anymore; you're skinny enough" i was annoyed. here i am working towards a difficult fitness goal, and it's reduced to mere aesthetics. i definitely set her straight, but i know there's still people in my life who don't understand my intentions. it's frustrating, but in the end i have to remember i'm doing this for me, and people can have their opinions.
i'm running to achieve something, and that's not a number on a scale; it's a number on a timing chip.