I have been going back and forth deciding if I should even post about this here but I’ve figured it was worth talking about at least once, I’ll be back to my normal blog topics tomorrow!
I mentioned on the blog that I had a freak accident that resulted in a very serious neck injury – I lost the use of my right arm for over two months and am still not back to where I was with strength and flexibility. The neck is better but while it was healing I had almost three months of seriously restricted movement and I felt like I needed a goal – and preferably something at which I have no natural talent.
Then one day I got bored and restless which lead to me Googling terms like 300 pound marathon. What I found were a bunch of blogs where people had done marathons to lose weight and were devastated to have accomplished neither, and then a blog from a doctor who said that you should never attempt a marathon unless you are within 20% of your “ideal weight” Thirty minutes later I was committed to the Seattle Marathon, 31 minutes later my best friend, Kel, responded to me e-mail with “I’m in” and we were off to the races.
The question that people ask most is “You seriously want to do a marathon?!” My answer is that no, I really in no way want to do a marathon, but I want to be someone who has done a marathon and I’m not willing to buy a medal in a thrift store and lie my ass off, so let’s get to training for this bad boy. I’ve given up most of my plyometrics, HIIT, and normal workout routine for a program designed to allow me to walk a marathon in 20 weeks. I decided to walk it because my first commitment is to More Cabaret and so it is more important to do everything I can to avoid injury than to run a marathon – so I decided to walk. I’ve posted some things on Facebook and I’m already getting some questions and some crap so I thought I would use this opportunity to clear some things up:
What I am doing:
Attempting to walk 26.2 miles, cross a finish line, receive a medal and a shirt that doesn’t fit, and be able to say that I completed a marathon. This is really pretty simple.
What I’m not doing:
Trying to prove something to my haters – there is no point to this, these people are aggressively poor at reading comprehension, and have shown repeatedly that no matter what I write they’ll just make up whatever they want. I would not cross the street for my haters, I definitely wouldn’t walk 26.2 miles for them.
Trying to show that if I can do it, anybody can! This is never true. First of all, we don’t yet have proof that I can do it, and when I cross the finish line we will have proof that I can do it once under specific circumstances. I’m not trying to inspire anyone to do a marathon, or suggesting that I should be an example of anything – I bitch constantly about the training to anyone who will listen, and I once postponed a 6 mile training walk for two days because my ipod stopped working and I was completely unwilling to go that far without music. (So what I’m saying here is that you may want to pick a different role model.)
Trying to challenge stereotypes. I am not responsible for people’s stereotypes, bigotry or if they choose to question them in the face of evidence to the contrary. This is about crossing the finish line, getting the medal and ill-fitting t-shirt and that’s all, if someone chooses to dismantle some of their bigotry along the way it’s a bonus.
Trying to be a good fatty. The good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy is bullshit, we must stop perpetuating it. I like doing athletic stuff so that’s what I do – I get to do it and I get to talk about it, but it certainly doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone else. If I liked to crochet or write fiction (instead of being abhorrently bad at them, as I am in reality) I’d do that and write about it and it would be no more or less deserving of praise than finishing a marathon.
Telling everyone so that they can hold me accountable. I keep seeing this as a recommendation “tell everyone you know that you are running a marathon, tell them to ask you if you are making your training goals.” Maybe it works great for some people but it sounds like a great way to make me want to punch my friends in the face. I’m fine, I’m not looking for anyone to “hold me accountable.”
A final note – a number of people have suggested that choosing 20 weeks of hell followed by a single day of consolidated hell just to get a medal and too-small shirt is not in keeping with my message that those who are interested in movement should consider doing things that they love. I want to be super extra crystal transparently clear that NOBODY is ever obligated to do any exercise, and certainly not exercise that they hate, and certainly not this much exercise. This goes way beyond what I need to do to be healthy – it’s about accomplishing something that I used to think was impossible for me: finish line, medal, shirt, bragging rights, the end. Wish me luck!
Spoiler alert – I finished it! Read the full race day story here:
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