IWD guest five: running and the acceptance of glorious difference

Last but not least, my longstanding friend, the feminine feminist:

I decided to write something because I’m excited that today is International Women’s Day.

I nearly missed my window of opportunity but I realised I wanted to write something in the final three or four minutes of my gym workout tonight.

I was pounding the treadmill at sub 9 minute miles partially
-a- because I want to complete a half marathon next week without dropping on the spot, and partially
-b- because I want to prove to my male friends that I’m at least half way close to competing with them on time. This doesn’t mean that I’ll beat them, but merely that my time will be acceptable. I hate the fact that it matters, but when I suggested a race time I would be happy with and one said ‘are you really THAT unfit?’ I was absolutely gutted. And rose at 6.30am a couple of days last week to do speed training. For me, it’s the taking part that matters, but I allowed his pressure to make me despise my little legs for not being able to outrun him.
The other reason -c-, of course, is that I have to run to stay slim…. because that is what makes me acceptable. On this matter, Kate Moss’s epithet is philosophically astute- ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ (although I think she must never have made any of Nigella’s recipes).

Oh for a society where looks and size don’t matter, where life isn’t a competition, and where women and men can be accepted in all their glorious difference and complementarity, as equal.

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