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Feeling like an athlete – This Girl Can

Feeling like an athlete – This Girl Can

When I was 11, I made myself
sick for the first time. Weird, because I think
bulimia has kind of been that kind of enemy but friend that’s kind of been with me my whole life. I cheated the system, I
can eat whatever I like and it’s not going to make a difference, and no-one’s going to care,
and it’s my little secret, and everyone’s going to
tell me I look great, and nobody knows that
actually it’s really grim, and I’ve lost all the enamel on my teeth, and actually I’m failing my organs and, do you know what I
mean, no-one knows that, and no one cares because
you’re getting smaller, and that’s all you want. There was constantly a
sense of I will be happy, and I’ll be successful when I’m small, when I take up less space. When I physically become smaller, that’s when I’ll be better. My screensaver was like somebody with washboard abs and I thought, okay, well I’m going to get to that, it wasn’t a picture of me and my mum at the beach, do you know what I mean, imagine it’s sad because at the time none of that mattered, nothing mattered, like if I had a really
good day, if I really kind of liked the way I looked that day, it wouldn’t matter, because
I didn’t look like that. The images that you see when you think of people exercising, they’re really slim, they’ve got really long legs, and my legs are like a foot long. The idea that that’s
what somebody that runs should look like, I
found really frustrating, because I think that
it’s held me back a lot, and now I’ve got it, I
almost wish I had it. So my mum’s always done parkrun, since I could remember. She printed me off my barcode, and sent it in a letter,
and I didn’t touch it. I was worried about,
will people laugh at me? Will I hold people up? Will I come last? Will I look really jiggly? And then I saw people that looked like me, and they were running, and I thought oh, I think they’re probably
like roughly my pace. It was nice that people
knew that I was new, without making it into a thing. This lady she was so funny, she ran alongside me, she was
like, ‘oh I bought these trainers, but I might take them back because they’re not
making me go very quick’. And I was like, ah you’re telling me! It sounds really silly, but when you go, and kind of when you’re there, and you’re kind of waiting for everybody, and you see a friend that you saw, and you know that the
lady in the white coat, she’s normally a bit ahead of you, so if you can try and keep up with her, and you know that on
the second lap the geese are going to go past the lake, and you can kind of see them, and I think you do feel
like a bit of an athlete, like I know it sounds really stupid, but you do genuinely
feel like you’re a runner and like you can do it. I do find myself like cry a bit, in the car on the way back, just because I think it’s
just really wholesome, and I think in the world
you need things like that, you need things to hold
on to, that are just precious, and just because
there’s good in the world, and ’cause people want to do good. My name’s Kate, and I am a parkrunner.

2 thoughts on “Feeling like an athlete – This Girl Can”

  1. I used to say this to my beginner groups and I'll say it again, if you get out and run, then you're a runner. Your size, shape and pace have zero effect on that status.

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