The other day I was looking for some journal articles for my research work, and came across to a very interesting paper about female triathletes by Cronan and Scott - “Triathlon and Women’s Narratives of Bodies and Sport”. As a triathlete I couldn’t put this away but was sucking all the information in while getting my hair done.
Before writing about my thoughts, a question to all of you: why do you work out?
This article lists women’s companionship as one of the work out motivators, as well as mentions that women may not be as competitive as men. Against my belief, this study also suggests that weight loss may not be the primary reason for spending countless hours at the gym, on the bike, or sweating in the pool. Yes, you can get very, very sweaty while swimming!
While I personally disagree with some findings in this study, others I can sign without hesitation.
Competition. I believe men and women can be equally competitive, and sometimes I feel I am ready and willing to push myself a lot harder than my male counterparts. When I am at the start line for a race, I automatically kick in the race gear. I don’t see or hear anything but just focus on the race ahead. All I care about is the performance and doing everything I can, and still some more. At the start line I am in my own world, in my bubble.
Size 0. The magic 0. Zero. Catwalks scream this, and set the expectations how we all should be size 0, skinny with blonde hair and blue eyes. More perfect than a barbie. More than often I have seen weight loss minded personal training clients who are setting these goals. Sorry, then I am not your trainer. No, I don’t want you to obese but within normal weight. I want you be healthy and in shape. I want you to train hard. HARD. Period. But I don’t want you to be skin and bones, without muscles.
So here we go – I have a confession to make. Despite all the training I do, I am nowhere near 0, nor will ever be. Instead, I have too wide shoulders, giant thighs, and leg muscles that sometimes embarrass me. Do I care? No, not at all. I am happy with myself when I can run 2 miles under 13 minutes, dead lift twice my weight, and I have more energy than Duracell Bunny. I am healthy, fit and strong. I get compliments from my doc about my blood pressure, blood tests and heart rate.
The comment in this particular journal article made me smile. In general women who entered the triathlon training program wanted to be stronger and faster, and even the ones with some weight loss goals eventually enjoyed being in shape, and didn’t care about pounds and inches. But they were feeling well.
So I am curious to know why you work out? What motivates you? What do you want to get out of your work outs?
And lastly, here is a picture of my new hair. I absolutely love my hair stylist – she makes miracles every time.