This is me two years ago during our honeymoon in Norway.  Since this picture was taken my weight has been all over the place.  It has been insane and it has been a struggle. Not only is it because I want to look great but because it affects my body, not just physically.  I can tell when I am gaining weight because it is extra weight that I am carrying and believe me-- the body feels it.  That being said, I am an avid fitness fanatic.  I like the gym and strength training but I LOVE RUNNING. 

When I was in kindergarten I ran in my first field day and I remember my dad telling me "go out there and run as fast as you can, but I want you to also have fun".  I did and that day not only did I walk away with four ribbons for our "track field" day but also with a love for running.  I was hooked.  That love for running continued in middle school and high school, and I was good enough that I went to college at the University of Puerto Rico on a track and field scholarship. Then when I joined the Army, I kind of despised running because it was not fur the joy of it but it became a job. I am going to be honest-- it has been a back and forth between love and hate.  But in the end my love for running always wins.

Why do I write all this? Because last week, I was body shamed by a running snob.

I went to a running store in the Twin Cities and I was looking for the new Hoka Hupana.  This sales girl in her twenties came to assist me and when I told her what shoes I was looking for, this is how that conversation went:

"I would recommend these other shoes since you are just starting running"

"Umm... how do you know I am just starting?" 

"Well, you just don't look like a runner.  I've worked in this store for a while and you get to recognize people who are serious runners."

I am going to be honest.  Her words stung because they pissed me off, then I got pissed off at myself because I felt embarrassed with my weight gain and wanted to leave the store.  But I did not.  Did she display enough judgement to not make such a generalization? No. But was she wrong? Not at all especially if we go by the what we normally see in running magazines.

She was right.  I don't look like the runners you see on magazines.  I am 6'1" and 210.  I AM NOT A PETITE WOMAN. Yes I'm overweight.  In triathlons I would be considered a "Clysdale" division (by the way, WTH is up with that?).  I have reasons-- not excuses-- as to why I gained weight and am working damn hard on getting healthier.  I go out there and give it my all when I work out. No I'm not skinny with chiseled muscles that make me look ripped. 

But she was also wrong.  Simply because I don't look like a pro runner does not mean I love running any less and I am not a runner.  I love it with all my heart since the first time I tied my first pair of shoes. I am a runner and just because some people deem my body type "non-runner like" doesn't mean anything. 

But here is why the snobs of the world need to be careful what they say-- not only does it give the sport a bad name but comments like this can make someone who is thinking about giving running a try, hesitant about taking that first step.  However there are good news ladies and gents-- and that is that no matter what body type you have, the minute you start running, no matter how slow or fast, you ARE a runner.  So don't you EVER let any running snob tell you otherwise.  Instead, put one foot in front of the other and show them what grace under criticism looks like.   Happy running!

 I may be joining one of these awesome ladies: Week In Review / Sunday Fitness & Food / Fit Fashionable Friday / Friday Five 2.0 / Tuesdays on the Run/ Wild Workout Wednesday /


  1. Since when does the way one looks indicate running experience?? I'm sorry you had to endure that ignorance.

  2. Wow! I cannot believe she would say that. Shame on herself. No matter what size or shape we are doesn't indicate whether we are a beginner or advanced runner. I hope you didn't buy those shoes from her!

    1. I didn't. The manager noticed I was leaving so soon and asked if I found what I needed and I said "sure, a unhealthy dose of body shaming. Have a wonderful day. Not sure what happened after that because I left.

  3. Seriously????? Has this chick not had any customer service lessons? (obviously, she was not going for a big sale with a slice of sales commission). Sorry you had to be a part of that...but it sounds like you handled it with grace and dignity.

    1. Lol... that's what I said to my husband. Those shoes are expensive and that would've been a good mission.

  4. Oh, I absolutely had that experience the last time I went to get fitted & I AM petite (and not too heavy). In my case, I think it was the grey hair + the fact that I'm curvy and don't really have a runner's body, either.

    However, as we continued to talk, it quickly became clear to him (I think) that I actually knew what I was talking about & what I wanted.

    It's the old Don't read a book by its cover. So it's not just you!

    1. You are a better human being than me. At that point I was just turned off by the situation. And absolutely about not reading a book by its cover-- something I'm trying to teach my stepkids.

  5. OMG--I can't breathe! Who would say such a stupid thing? I would have walked out of that store. What does she know?

    My husband always is amazed at the variety of body shapes at my races. And let me tell you that I have a lot of runners twice my size easily passing me. There is no "typical" runner's body. OMG. I'm speechless.

  6. Wow, I can't believe that woman said that to you - she was so WRONG - I would have requested to speak to the manager! Sorry you had to go through that!