That you drown during the Iron Man. Or suffer an MI during training. Either works. Stop pretending your anti-ableist bull shit is going to get you through a goddamn Iron Man. Add this to your hate mail. You’re disgusting. Not an athlete. Not a marathoner. Not a human. A ham planet trying to fit in with the rest of us.
I gather from this that Tommy is against me, and compound words. I think that a ham planet would be adorable and I really wish I could draw so that I could have a beautiful illustration of a ham planet to go with this piece, but that’s a topic for another day. I get lots of hate mail, often hundreds in a day. A few are people like Tommy who take time out of their busy schedules to tell me that they hope I die doing my IM.
A lot of it is from people who want to make sure they I know that I could (or, in their estimation, will) fail at my IRONMAN. You know, discouraging me “for my own good.” making sure I’m aware that I could fail at this and suggesting I go ahead and not try. Sometimes, someone who is actually well meaning asks me if, considering the fact that my attempt is so public, I’m afraid of failing at the IM.
The truth is, obviously, that anyone who attempts an IRONMAN could fail. People who have made it to the podium in IMs in previous years have found themselves unable to finish in future years. Lots of people start training but don’t finish. It’s so common, in fact, that the IM coordinators go to great lengths to make sure we know that no matter what happens, we are not getting our money back if we don’t show up or complete the IM, unless we buy insurance that they sell because this happens so much.
I can’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the kind of people who take the time to write hate mail to discourage someone they’ve never met from trying to achieve a goal that has nothing to do with them, are also the kind of people who try to set the bar so low for themselves that they can trip and fall over it because they fear failure and/or they’re perhaps already soaking in it. So maybe they think we should all fear failure like they do? Of course there’s no way to know for sure, and luckily it just doesn’t matter.
I don’t expect to fail, but I’m well aware that I could, and I’m not afraid of that. What I’m afraid of is not trying because I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid of living a life so meaningless that I become an internet troll who harasses bloggers who are trying to reach goals, or e-mails people to call them names (however adorable) and tell them that I hope they die. I’m afraid of letting a fatphobic world and all of the shaming, stigmatizing, stereotyping and oppressive bullshit that comes with it make me live a life that’s smaller or less than the life I want to lead.
Compared to that, not being able to swim, bike, or run far enough or fast enough to finish an IRONMAN seems like pretty small potatoes (or should it be pretty small ham?). Besides, I’m very much expecting to cross that finish line and get my medal. So here’s hoping that I don’t die trying to do the IM, but if I do at least I died trying to achieve something and not trying to discourage someone.
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While I totes appreciate all of this faux concern