If you follow me on Snapchat (user name: ladymiryaa), then you know I have been trying to walk every day that I am not working as part of the Mission To Fit Better Into My Pants. Now that it is winter here in the mountains of Arizona, it makes it harder to walk outside since it is like 15 degrees in the morning. Yeah so not happening. I don’t need to be a Fat Girl popsicle. So, I had to figure out a way to get my walk in even though it was cold enough outside to freeze my boogers.
When I trained for The 3 Day walk, I ran into this problem as well when the weather was bad. Back then, I had a YMCA membership so I used to go walk on the treadmill for hours (omg….boring as fuck) but once in awhile, I switched it up and went to the local University and walked the concourse in the Dome. I am not gonna lie, going around and around in a giant circle is also boring as fuck, but a little Pitbull on my playlist and I can do 2 miles without going out of my mind too bad. Plus I Snapchat while I walk and these can be pretty amusing. I feel a bit like a hamster on a wheel, going round and round for no apparent reason, but I know that I cannot sit around all winter as well. I needs to fit into my pants…when I wear them. So, today, I dragged my flass off the sofa and went to become a hamster for 30-45 minutes.
Now, having gone several times now since winter started, I have noticed a few things. There are others who come to also be hamsters. Some of them wear weight vests (why is this even an option?), some run the concourse and some run up and down the stadium stairs. Now, being a Fat Hamster, I just walk around the Wheel till my 2 miles are done…sometimes I watch all the other hamsters and wonder how in the world they can do the things they are doing. I got there today and started my hamster trail, tunes beating out my pace, and catching glimpses of what appeared to be some sort of girl’s athletic team doing a workout down on the field as I rounded the corners. As I was being a hamster, I started wondering if I could actually run up and down the stadium stairs. I was totally afraid of dying trying to do those stairs and not being found until some janitor came and swept me into the trash. I contemplated it for a few laps and then decided to try it since there were currently no other hamsters there to stop and gawk at the Fat one trying to not be Fat. Going down stairs is a little harder for me as I am terrified I will fall down them so that was a little slow, but then I turned around and ran….yes ran…up the stairs. I got to the top, winded, and turned around and did it again…because I don’t want to be the Fat hamster. Taking a deep breath, I ran back up. I felt like I was gonna die by the time I was done. My legs were rubbery and my lungs on fire. But I did it. I was pretty proud of myself. Then I kept on being a hamster…although quite a bit slower.
Once my lungs didn’t feel like it burned to take a breath, I could talk and not cough, I thought that maybe I should try that again. As I rounded the corner where I had done the first set, I saw a group of college age dudes sitting there. Well shit. I don’t wanna be the Fat Girl Dying On The Stadium Bleachers in front of guys who will probably sit there and make Fat Girl jokes to each other. So I kept walking. As I continued on my trail aroud the Wheel, I thought about Whitney Way Thore, the star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, and her No Body Shaming Campaign. I am all about No Body Shaming, as we all are aware, and she inspires me with her Big Girls Dance Class and not being ashamed or afraid of her body. As I came back around again, I decided “Fuck it. I am gonna do it anyways. Let them make all the comments they want. I need to do this for me.”
Taking a deep breath, I walked right next to them and started down the stairs and back up. A bit out of breath, I got to the top, avoiding looking at the guys and started back down. As I tried running up the second time, my body started to protest and I stopped, breathing hard and really hoping I wouldn’t die right there on the stairs. That is when it happened. I had a silence in between songs and all of a sudden, I heard shouting. I looked up and saw all the guys standing up shouting down at me. I took out an earbud, cringing inside, really hoping there were not Fat Girl slurs being yelled at me. What I heard, made me wanna cry. They were CHEERING me on. “Don’t Stop!” “You got this!” “You can do it!” I stood there, still sucking air like a fish out of water, with a stunned shocked look on my face. Then, they all jumped up and ran down to me, coaxing me to finish, pushing me to run up those stairs one more time. One of them said “We know you can do this and we are gonna do it with you!” Tears started to form and a smile broke as I nodded (since I was still out of breath) and I RAN up those stairs with all those college boys cheering me on the entire way and running next to me, in front of me and behind me. When I reached the top, there were high fives from all of them, even though I wanted to puke and die. I looked at them in amazement and squeaked out a “Why?” One of them smiled big and told me they had seen me over the last several weeks and watched me finish my last set and wanted me to know that I could do this. No Fat Girl jokes. No jeering. No teasing. Tears welled up in my eyes as I thanked them profusely (turns out they are members of the University football team) and they all encouraged me to come back and keep at it. Oh I will college football dudes…I will keep being a hamster. And thank you. Thank you for not body shaming me. Because even a Fat Girl needs encouragement.
Today, I encourage you to challenge yourself. One stair at a time. And don’t be ashamed if that is all you can do….one stair. Because there is no body shaming here. Just cheering.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today I thought I was gonna die on the stadium stairs and be found at someo point by some janitor, swept up in the trash like the hamster I am but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who got some unexpected support from strangers who didn’t body shame Running. The experiment continues….