My dear readers, sometimes I come across a post that leaves me so inspired and so awed that I just have to share it with you. Today I read such a post called “Of Tiny Pink Dumbbells and Fat Chicks” by Carrie Patrick. Please, PLEASE go read it. It’s totally worth it. I’ll wait…
There is so much wonderful stuff in Carrie’s post. And I really don’t think I can improve upon it in any way. All I can say is that it leaved me feeling inspired.
Carrie echoes the experiences of so many of my students. So many of them are left feeling shamed because life has dealt them circumstances that mean that they can’t do what they once did. So many of my students face strangers who are tell them that they could look completely different if they just “exercised a little bit”. Naturally these strangers don’t know anything at all about:
A) How much my students are exercising now,
B) What specific challenges and barriers any particular student may be facing or coming back from, or
C) Any reason why it would even be this stranger’s dang business.
It’s like I said in my previous post. In my experience, THIS is my “before” picture AND my “after” picture and my “after, after, after” picture. You cannot know how much I exercise, or what kind of exercise I do, or how well my body functions by looking at a picture of it. You cannot take my plump form as an invitation to identify me as a beginner or somebody in need of your inane praise to “stick with it”.
I have come back from moderately severe injury. And I am sort of proud of that. But I have watched students like Carrie, come back from monumental, devastating injury and win. I have watched students who could barely walk from the car to the door of my class increase their fitness level so slowly, week after week, month after month and even year after year to the point that they could exercise for 60 MINUTES AT A TIME. I have worked with students with chronic conditions who are in the middle of a flare-up and are experiencing a pain level of 8 or 9 on a scale of 1-10 during their workouts still show up, still smile, still participate. These people are my true fitness heroes. They are my real inspiration.
So no. I am not going to be overly excited or impressed by simply looking at a glossy, photo-shopped picture of a muscle-bound person in tiny spandex clothing with sweat artfully and strategically swabbed onto their beautiful brows. I am a stranger. I know nothing about their fitness level or what it took them to look the way they do. I don’t even know if they look anything like that in real life.
I have plenty of real-life examples of true dedication. The kind you can’t see in a glossy 8×10 photo.
Thanks again Carrie for sharing your story and making all of our days a little brighter.
The Fat Chick