Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To the Guy Who Actually BARKED at Me...

She's just a girl and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highway
She's living in a world and it's on fire
Filled with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away

Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
She got both feet on the ground
And she's burning it down
Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
She got her head in the clouds
And she's not backing down

This girl is on fire...
This girl is on fire...
She's walking on fire...
This girl is on fire...

To the gentleman who actually barked, yes barked, at me from his car as he drove past me on my run today:

I could have been humiliated. I could have crumbled into a tiny ball of tears and limped home. I could have decided to never run again. Instead, you made me want to tell you about me and this body you were so quick to judge and then make a public display of your disgust. While you may disparage it, I am very proud of this body, as imperfect as it is, and all it has done for me.

First off, I know I'm fat, thank you very much. My cardiologist and my nutritionist, not to mention the dressing room mirrors in many a department store have also informed me.  I'm working on it and am down 10lbs.

I also know that I run slower than a baby hippo. I'm okay with that because there was a time when I didn't know if I could ever run again. You see, five and half years ago my heart tried to reach and  kill me. I survived an eight hour open heart surgery. Less than 48 hours later I was being thrown out of the ICU because I was up and talking and too lucid for the nurses. I was told this never happens. I spent five days in the hospital. Eight weeks later I was running again.

This soft, fluffy, belly carried two babies long enough for them come into this world healthy and whole even when doctors warned me that despite their (an my) best efforts they could come early and need intensive care. Neither did.

This body also created a brand new human being when nobody thought it would be possible. Two years of tears,  refusing to give up and trusting in my body provided me with a beautiful baby girl.

These saggy boobs provided nourishment for my daughter when she fought feeding and growing for an entire year. She's now 11, beautiful and strong.

This fat ass has dragged itself across many 5Ks. I thought the first one was going to kill me, but now I run them for the sheer joy of it and my son runs them with me, providing us both with a great feeling of accomplishment and a bonding experience I wouldn't trade for the world.

These feet that are plodding along so slowly spent five months immobilized after foot surgery. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to walk around the mall with my daughter much less run again. Part of my physical therapy was ballet. Not only did I get up and running again, my turnout is fabulous and I can even do a grand plie.

So thank you, Mr. Barker. Instead of letting you make me feel bad, you reminded me of all the things I love and am so proud of in this body and the amazing things it has done and will continue to do.  I hope that in the future you are able to look past what ever you saw in me that generated such a low response and instead see all the wonderful things that a woman's body, no matter its outward appearance, is capable of, because whoever she is, I'm sure she's on fire, even if you can't see it. Until then, "Woof, woof," right  back atcha!


  1. Nice post, just a pity that idiocy compelled you to write it.

    PS - I'm sure you are not slower than a baby hippo but I know what you mean. I get overtaken by the toddlers on scooters, three legged dogs and old ladies on zimmer frames but do I care...? Not one little bit!

    PPS - And I bet for every eejit that makes an inappropriate comment, you pass many other runners whose face sports a slight nod/smile in recognition of the achievement of every runner, i.e. that we are actually out there putting one foot in front of another!

  2. Thanks, Mrs. M. And you are right, I love (and get many) of those nods that say, "I feel ya!"