Again, not without humor, it’s not just aging elite exercisers. To wit:

I find it massively offensive that anyone at any point points at someone who is doing his/her goddamned level best to get in shape and criticize what they wear. What a statement of insecurity on their part. Imagine how this woman feels: https://blog.strava.com/podcast/mirna-valerio/

A plus-sized endurance athlete. Black, female, large. IMAGINE the abuse she has endured. That woman would run me into the ground in ten steps. We are brutal to those who don’t FIT THE MOLD.

Not that I feel strongly about it or anything, Jane. But as a one-time obese woman with this very issue, and now as an aging athlete, I dress for what works for my sports. I might be tall and thin now but I sure as hell didn’t used to be. What that does for me is that when I see a double-wide running down the street in my neighborhood, I see myself thirty years ago. All I can think of is

DAMN GIRL, YOU GO. YOU JUST GO.

There are things that the body does that we cannot negotiate very well. If we return to exercise after a few decades, research shows that we will likely reap all or most of the benefits. We may not get that tiny butt or our waistline back, if we ever had one, but we live longer, happier, healthier lives. Is this not enough that we now have to suffer class consciousness that we can’t sport a $200 sports bra without our extra boobs hanging out?

And at a certain point, who gives a rat’s patootie what your friend thinks? To be frank, having been on the receiving end of some pretty brutal bullying about my body, I no longer have the patience for such arrogance. I’m pretty chuffed that folks get to the class to begin with. Why on earth is that not enough?

I was chuckling at this when I was remembering your other piece on wisdom. This woman, as she is past 70 herself, is most certainly not wise. I know she is a dear friend of yours, but in this regard, she would not be a friend of mine. But that’s just me.

It’s not the age. It’s the road rash, the humility, the gratitude, the insights. And, frankly, the lumps and bumps (physical and emotional) that we have all endured to get this far. We all need permission to be in the state we are in, to drape it as necessary, and not be made to feel like fools when we are doing our level best to do better.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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