‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
As a trail runner — sticks and stones are common foes. My friend Josh calls me ‘Princess Faceplate’. For good reason. I’ve earned the nickname.
Nothing serious has ever transpired for me personally – and I will admit that there have been some close calls. I have friends that have met worse fates, serious injuries, broken bones, even career ending injuries. It’s part of what we take on when we hit the trails… Tripping, falling, scrapes, blood, wounds, stick-‘snakes’, etc…
But when I really got to thinking about it; some of the worst wounds are inflicted with words…
I was running along thinking ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? That old childhood saying a total and complete load of crap!‘
Some of the words said to me and some of the others folks I know have been imminently hurtful and often-times it’s from a source that has NO CLUE they’ve lobbed something hurtful in our direction.
For me, people commenting on my weight or how my body looks (‘too big to be a runner’ is the one I can’t seem to forget) send me into a tailspin. Every time. I’ve done a TON of work on trying to get over this issue. A ton.
Then I found this great blog post and realized — I’m not alone. I’m not the only one who would prefer a scrapped knee to a comment that I can’t dislodge from my brain. I am not alone by an epic long shot. And that actually makes me sad.
Give the article a read.
Critique of the Female Trail Runner
No really… Go back and read it.
I can’t stop thinking about it.
And since some of you won’t read it; here’s the gist… It details some of the hurtful, rude and mean things that are said to some of the top, elite, wildly-talented, healthy female athletes in ultra running.
After a conversation with my friend Rebecca the other day — we pretty quickly agreed that this article could apply to ANY sport/event/venue/issue/person.
This issue isn’t just about running.
Negative comments, critiquing of others, being treated rudely or having thoughtless words cast our way is something we have probably all dealt with. And I know from conversations with my guy friends; this isn’t limited to women. There is a WHOLE lot about someone you can’t see/don’t know — and commenting just makes things worse for that person.
And we all pretty agree these days that cowards/bullies hide behind social media to say things they would NEVER say to someone’s face.
Telling someone she looks ‘too thin’ isn’t going to help her on her road to recovery from anorexia. Telling me that you ‘didn’t know women my size’ could run is not helpful to me in maintaining my weight and my commitment to fitness. Telling my friend recovering from a serious accident that she looks ‘scrawny and weak’ is NOT a confidence builder on this woman’s road to rebuilding her fitness and stamina.
NONE of us know anyone else full backstories or struggles, our passions, our fights, our desires — we so, so often take one look at the physical shell and make a comment based on how someone looks.
That’s not helpful or kind.
And shouldn’t we really endeavor – in this harsh, tough world – to help and encourage others and show them kindness when we can?
It’s really pretty simple.
Just my opinion.
Now, go read the article. 🙂
And if you want to read some more good stuff — visit their website at Trailsisters.net