I started this blog with the sole purpose of keeping myself on track, accountable, and as a way to release frustrations, ideas, commentary while I tried to right the ship and start moving in a forward direction. I think, for the most part, it has served its purpose. What I did not realize is how many people would start reading this because of the title, and because they relate to what I am talking about. They have sent me texts, messages on here, and a lot of private connections on Facebook, giving me thanks for saying what they were thinking and giving them a little hope that even though they are larger than a regular athlete (whatever “regular” means) that it is still possible to cross the finish line of a Half Ironman or Marathon. You may not win any medals, or ever stand on the podium, but you will finish, standing, strongly, and knowing you EARNED that medal when they handed it to you. And that’s what it is all about. It has been a learning experience and quite the journey. I have learned a lot about myself and about other people. Some good, some bad, but it has been an amazing 5 years on this road. It started with such a small entry, declaring my intent to start. I think it was two paragraphs long. I have become much longer winded in the meantime. I have ruffled feathers at times for sure, and have been called out for my “directness” on a few occasions, but I think overall the blog has proved to be useful, if not for everyone, for most, and especially for me to get thoughts and ideas on (virtual) paper.
Much of it centers on the issue of weight. Not just the problems with losing and managing it, but also the issues arising out of training as a larger athlete. It has been hard to get those that have never been heavy, those little rubber people that weigh 110 pounds and barely touch the ground when they run, to understand the stress and pounding a body weighing 260 pounds takes over the course of 13.1, or 26.2, or 70.3 miles. Coaches and trainers schedule night runs of 10 miles, because they can do that in an hour and a half, without realizing that it takes us 2-3 hours, meaning we are running until 9:00-10:00 at night, or scheduling a “quick 5 miles” in the morning because it takes them 40 minutes but not understanding it takes some of us over an hour. It’s not their fault. It’s because they’ve never been heavy and they don’t understand the challenges.
I love it also when you say this to some of them and their response is “well, just lose weight and you” be fine!”
Thanks for the news flash Tom Brokaw. I hadn’t thought of that.
I have learned so much about why my weight is what it is and how to get a handle on it. A lot of thansk goes to Vinnie Tortorich, Jon Smith, Anna Vocino, Abel James, Debbie Smith-Potts, NerdFitness, and Zen Triathlon for the mountains of information on their websites and podcasts. And I cannot say enough about the myriad of other books they have pointed me to (“Fat Chance”, “Wheat Belly”, “Good Calorie Bad Calorie”).
So how does this relate to Fat Slow Triathlete?
I had written the original post a couple of years ago stating that we were going to incorporate the “brand” of Fat Slow Triathlete. This has not come to frution yet, mostly due to life getting in the way, and some to do with finances (as it always does) but Fat Slow Triathlete, Inc. is a reality, co-owned with Dr. Jennifer Cultrera.
But to what purpose?
To be honest I am not 100% certain either. All I do know is I want to be that person that can share the problems of training as a larger person, understand the frustrations we have, and help them work through it. And it is not only the training issues. One of my biggest frustrations with the sport is the clothing. It is almost impossible to find a triathlon top that fits. But do I really want FST to be a clothing company? Not really. I do want to offer clothing designed to fit the larger athlete. I have written about this a few times, about how it is almost impossible to find tri clothing with room enough in them that they don’t end up being belly shirts after a swim.
Seriously. No one wants to see my belly coming out of the water, being thrown to the ground and splashing water on me while they yell for someone to call Sea World.
This is not a “chuck your career” type of move, though I wish it could be. I can’t imagine a better life than to have it centered around research, writing, and training. Where could this go? More professional writing opportunites or, dare I say, an actual book? How about a podcast?
So what, loyal readers, do you all feel about this? What direction would you suggest this venture head toward? I would really appreicate your input on this.