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Breaking the Chain

running-encouragement.jpgI don’t usually wade into debates on current events on this blog, but a link to  news story this morning grabbed my attention and hasn’t let me go.  It was immediately followed by a link to a post from a member of a Facebook group of which I’m a member.

The first link took me to the story of a woman battling cancer and still tackling a marathon and encouraging other young women to be their best – all while wearing a tutu -who had been ridiculed by a fitness magazine dedicated to women.  As the mother of a tutu-afficianado, I was first caught by the joy in this woman’s face and couldn’t help smiling at someone who, at a time in her life when it would be perfectly understandable to withdraw a little – is giving her all to others and to life.  It made me want to get off my butt and go run.

Then I read the rest of the story – how this fitness magazine had used her photo – without warning 0r research – to shame this display of joy.  The first thought that went through my mind was, why?  Why did this magazine feel the need to promote fitness in some women by putting other women down?   Did that really build anyone up?  All I could think was if this beautiful, strong woman could be the subject of ridicule while running a marathon with cancer, what do people think when they see a short, still-pudgy middle-aged mom running down the road?

I was still boiling from this affront to a woman I didn’t even know when the second link caught my eye. It took me to a hilarious acerbic and unapologetic attitude adjustment by a woman I know only through Facebook and her blog. It was a rallying cry for herself and anyone reading the post.  Without bashing anyone else’s journey, she reminded us all, it doest matter what the hell anyone else thinks about your lunchbox contents or your spare tire.  All that matters is getting it back on the road, and I put away the cookies.

She didn’t know it, but her post was a call to arms – not just to eat better and run more but to break out of any chains forged in negativity or meanness in favor of making links with other people who are ready to shout, “Atta Girl!”  (or Boy!)