Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I saw myself today!

Wow - talk about a throwback experience today!  I went out to run at lunch today and was finishing up my run on the "Riverwalk".  That is the very short stretch that runs along the river (duh!) where they have a short street and lots of picnic tables and some view points.

You guys might remember that when I very first started running that's where I started.  It's about .25 miles one way.  So I ran up and down that short stretch the whole time hoping that as few people as possible would see my pathetic attempt to become a runner.

So as I'm heading uphill, I see this very obese woman running towards me.  She was lumbering along slowly, red faced and huffing and puffing.  I had a total flashback as I instantly recognized myself from 3 years ago.

As she got closer I prepared to give her a smile and a wave as I do with most runners.  But as we neared each other she deliberately turned her head away and gazed out towards the water.

It is totally presumptuous of me to assume I know what she was thinking.  But I can tell you what I thought when I was her.  First she wouldn't look at me because she assumed that I would look down on her running.  She probably thought that I have been running and/or thin my whole life.

And as I passed her I noticed that she had just passed two young women pushing strollers.  They were laughing totally loudly.  Were they laughing at her?  No idea.  They may have been - there are a lot of assholes in this world.  Or they may have been caught up in their own conversation and not even noticed her.  But if that had been me?  When that WAS me?  I would have been POSITIVE they were mocking me.

I so wanted to stop her.  I wanted to tell her to keep it up.  I wanted to tell her that I know how much it hurts.  I so wanted her to know that I get how much courage it took for her to put on those tight running capris and that racerback T-shirt and head out the door.

"Look at me!" I wanted to yell. "I was YOU!!!  Not only does it get better, but the dreams you have - of being thinner and running gracefully - it is RIGHT THERE!  You go, you bad ass bitch!"

I didn't do any of this, of course.  Because you never know how someone will react to this. I would have loved for someone to have given me that speech, but not everyone feels that way.  Encountering his woman was a gift, because it allowed me to reflect on my journey and how different my life is now.

I will say that I truly hope I see her again.  And I hope next time she looks me in the eye so I can give her a smile and a wave.

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