September 13th, 2011
98 notes ·

Did I ever tell you…

that story about my hill training? No? I didn’t think I did. 

I had arrived early at the hill to get a few hill repeats in, before my running group showed up (as I’m a slow runner, and don’t like finishing last).  I was on my second hill repeat when it happened.

Eyes forward. Shoulders loose. Arms pumping. Breath.

I felt the hover of the car just behind me. 

Left foot. Right foot. Left foot.

*Flash* 

What? What was that? Why isn’t this car passing me?

Pump. Stride. Breath. 

I fought the urge to turn and see, y’know, play it cool for a few strides. But eventually my curiosity got the better of me…

And there it was, a car filled with five twenty-something guys all staring at me. Looking at me. Laughing at me.

I panicked.

Pump. Stride. Breath. Breath-Liz-Breath!

My eyes darted between the 5 faces in the car, trying to see if I recognized anyone.  I didn’t.  The back and front windows were open, and the two closest to me were hanging out the side.  They kept laughing. Kept pointing. Laughing and pointing and staring at me. I didn’t smile. I didn’t flinch.  I just kept running. Trying to comprehend what was going on.

And then I saw it. They were taking photos of me. Or wait, was it a video? I instantly envisioned the photos. My God, and the video.  My short shorts. My thighs. The fat spilling out of my top. The cellulite.

Ohmygod. What is happening? Who are they? Why won’t they drive off?

Eventually the car passed me, and their laughter and a honk disappeared around the corner.  I stopped running. I stopped moving. I wanted to sit down and cry. Disappear. I wanted to disappear. It was literally my worst running nightmare come true.  The reason for years, and years, and years I sat in my house, not wanting to leave  in fear of being judged. In fear of being seen. In fear of being noticed.

I didn’t blog about it when it first happened, as I was scared it had something to do with this blog.  Scared those photos were going to appear on some website, or perhaps even in my email.  I still have absolutely no idea who those guys were, or why they took photos of me running up a hill, but it really shook me. To my core.

I then felt myself regress.  Regress to the old, self conscious, self-hating, person I once was. It was awful.  All those familiar feelings of feeling like I did not belong. Did not deserve. Was useless. Was doomed… 

It took me a few days, and a couple of runs to get over it, but I did. And I can’t say enough how thankful I am that that happened to me now, and not 2 years ago when I was a new runner, a very (very!) self conscious new runner. When I was not strong enough of a person to realize those stupid assholes’ actions and comments do not define me. Because they don’t, they really, really don’t.

Two years ago, that incident would have ruined me.

But today, at this point in my life, I am strong and confident and happy enough to (eventually realize to) flip those losers the bird, and truly know the person I am, a girl running up a big hill towards her goals, her dreams, and yes, a cellulite-free-bum, is a better person than any of those guys are, and there is no way in hell I’m letting them define me, even for a moment in time.

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  1. becare-ing reblogged this from one-twenty-five
  2. relovingit said: That is awful. I hope you know that you are spectacular and there are creepy guys out there who do stuff like this to women REGARDLESS of size, cellulite, whatever, I’m sure you looked rocking that day, and you have NOTHING to be embarrassed about.
  3. shirivasta said: wow…scary. those a**holes. my husband keeps insisting i get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. if this happened to me, i wouldn’t even be able to tell him about it i think.
  4. sweat-revolution said: you’re just incredible Liz.
  5. gillsquirt said: i’m sorry that happened to you! trust me when i say that besides those immature dickwads, we allllll know that you are a colossal badass!
  6. greatescapes22 said: I would consider this a form of street harassment :( I’m glad you’re able to talk about it now.
  7. jenni-rose said: Ugh, that’s awful. People suck. Once I was running on a busy road and two boys drove by in a pickup truck and threw a wiffle ball at my head. Assholes.
  8. whatrhymeswithemily said: I seriously am constantly baffled by what fuck-ups some people are.
  9. glam8angel said: I recently went to a poweraid race ready meeting -course was 2 hard for me- left in tears. Shook me to my core. Hardly ran since. Made me feel stupid for trying to run (I weigh 245) even though I can run 10k on my own.
  10. mar-kicksass said: Wish I had been with you, I would have thrown a rock at the car. What a-holes. Glad you can look back and realize that, and keep running with your head held high. :)
Welcome! I'm Liz, the girl relieved the Internet has 0 calories. South African by birth; Canadian on paper. A marathoner. CrossFitter. Paleo (somewhat) eater. Traveler. Cheese lover. And I think you're great!