What Will The Neighbors Think?

Flying Rhino ArgyleDue to circumstances sort of beyond my control (the local track being closed, and my desire not to run on a treadmill at the gym) I ended up doing my plyometrics and speedwork interval run on the street in front of my house Wednesday night.

I am sure that the neighbors did not think that it was in any way weird as I went back and forth doing high knees, walking squats, broad jumps and the like, followed by running sprints.

But I did it! I finally got some shoes and insoles that seem to be working, I didn’t have any issues with muscles cramps like I have in my last couple of runs and I was able to hold the speeds that were assigned.  Of the running, this is the kind that I hate the least like the most and that plays to my strengths least weak weaknesses, so while Wednesday is a long tough work out I dread it least look forward to it most out of my running workouts.

Every time I work out in public I am reminded of the distance I traveled in my personal journey to body positivity. There is no doubt that being a fat person who enjoys participating in athletics means that I benefit from unearned (and unwanted!) privilege. Even though I try (though perhaps don’t always succeed) to be incredibly clear that I participate in fitness because I like it, and that it doesn’t make me any better or worse than people who choose other hobbies, and that I’m completely and totally against the “Good Fatty/Bad Fatty Dichotomy” and everything it represents, that doesn’t stop some people from treating me better than they would if I didn’t participate in athletics. I didn’t ask for that privilege, I can’t give it away, but it’s important that I’m aware of it, that I’m vocal about it, and that I use the platform I have to speak out against it.

But there’s also a downside.  I’ve received far more, and far more vicious, street harassment for exercising in public than I have for walking around in public, or even eating in public (of course that’s just my experience, I’m sure that other people’s experiences vary.)

So the majority of the time that I lace up my running shoes (or put on my swimsuit, or get on the spin bike) and exercise in public, someone says something unwanted to me –  whether it’s yelling slurs at me from their car, or making unsolicited comments about my body/weight/weightloss, or throwing something at me.  So the idea of doing high knees, walking squats, and sprints up and down my street caused a little bit of anxiety.  But I pushed through and I’m happy I did, and even happier to say that nobody said a word (which may have a little to do with the fact that it was 2am) but I’m still counting it as a very good day!

So things continue moving right along, heading slowly but surely to the IM finish line!

More Cool Stuff:

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Check out my book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details


About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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3 Responses to What Will The Neighbors Think?

  1. lsstrout says:

    Hooray for doing your training despite the obstacles!


  2. expendableenergy says:

    so heres my experience about street harassment: when i first started working out outside people gave me unwanted comments and i always took them terribly; it hurt my feelings, discipline, and attitude about working out. I started to combat this with my own idea. I look and act like i belong, like its my jam no matter what im doing. If i have a confused look on my face people say something, but, even if i have no idea what im doing (because its the first time trying something new) i pretend like i am already a boss at it. I pretend that i know what im doing and people leave me alone. I find that comments are given to me because they want to “help” but since im confident i dont look like i need their “help” or “encouragement” and i pretty much get left alone. keep up the good work and own it!


  3. Jeenie says:

    yay! I’m so happy for you that you found shoes and insoles that work for you and that there is no more cramping \o/


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