How I see overweight runners.

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Brad's Blog

How I see overweight runners.

Posted on February 28, 2013

I was just talking with one of my students about why he finds it so stressful to run in public.  After a long discussion, he admitted that his biggest issue was that he felt like all the other runners were watching him, and looking down on him.  He was embarrassed about being a beginner, and more importantly about being 100 pounds overweight.  He said that he felt like all the fit runners are thinking “look at that fatty running; he should get off the road”.  Those are his actual words.  It breaks my heart to hear such things from someone brave enough to start running as an adult.  This is hard enough without voices in your head getting in your way.

I am writing this post to let him, and the whole world, know that this is not what most fit runners feel about overweight, or new runners.  Over the years, I have spoken to dozens of my running friends about this topic, and their responses are almost always the same; we are very impressed with people just getting started.  This is even truer if they are carrying extra weight.  Almost anyone who now runs was once an out of shape beginner.   We all remember just how hard it was to get started.   We know what it feels like to be the slowest person on the running trail.  We understand the self conscious feelings that can arise.  We were not born runners, we made ourselves runners.  Anyone who is out there doing the same has our admiration.

Now I understand that saying this will not solve my student’s problems.  Your body image is a very complicated thing, and not one that can be fixed by an outside source.  I have a clear memory of similar feelings when I was first starting.  These feelings will get better, but it does take time.  This being said, please try to understand what your fellow runners really think about when they see you on the road.  They see someone working hard.  They see someone putting in the effort to change.  They see a future runner.

These people are not looking down on you.  They are impressed by you.

Time with the wife.

Posted on February 26, 2013

On Sunday, I enjoyed the most wonderful ½ hour with my wife.  We could not stop holding hands, or smiling at each other.  I felt so good to be by her side.  It reminded me of how I felt when we first started dating.   The best part, was what helped to create this wonderful time.

It was a run we took together.

Just a little 10K around Central Park.  Was the run the amazing part?  No, not really.  Her back was hurting her, and I was a bit tired due to being at the very end of a 3 week training cycle.  To be honest, if I had to grade it, I would call it a solid C.

The great part was after the run, on the walk home.  It was just so wonderful to be with her.  I felt so alive, and grateful for all the wonderful parts of my life.  I felt like for once, I could see the forest from the trees.  Everything was good, and all things were possible.  I can’t remember the last time I felt so good, or so connected to another person.   It was joyous.

The nicest part was that it lasted longer than ½ an hour.  Don’t get me wrong, the walk home was the sweetest part, but the good feelings hung around for the rest of the day.  We were the best of ourselves as a couple.  It was easy, and enjoyable, and…   …you get the idea.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea reading this, assuming that things are not great with my wife at other times.   To be honest, I could not be happier with my life as her husband.  It’s just that this time felt special.  It felt different.   It was note worthy.

So why am I sharing this with you?    I am sharing it with you in the hopes that at least one person who reads it will consider the idea of beginning to run (or learn to run with) their significant other.  Other than sex, I don’t know of a way to feel closer to another person than doing something like this.   It made my day an amazing one, and I feel like this is something worth sharing.