To the girls who called me “thick” when I was running;
At first, I thought you were going to murder me. You pulled up in a dirty car, slowing down ahead of me to get my attention. When I saw it was a group of females, I relaxed a little. I thought my sisters! Women who are on my team! They don’t want to hurt me, they want to support me! Never could I be so wrong.
One of you rolled the window down, and sneered “Girl, you’rethick!” I’ll admit my running shorts are on the tighter side. A year of full time work teaching teens and finishing full time master’s classes had taken its toll by a few pounds. But I don’t think you targeted me for my shorts. It was my high school shirt, one that I've kept around for 8 years after graduation.The comfortable “CHS” caught your eye because you thought I was in high school. And vulnerable.
The only response I could muster for your insult was a quick“I’m Mexican!” and I turned to keep running. I had been running non-stop for 3 miles already, and was just hitting my second wind. I could hear your laughter down the next block. I was actually a little ashamed; I am proud of the Latina body, strong and able. I am proud of my strong legs that push me through a 5k. I’m proud of my stomach, which is filled with healthy foods. I worked hard for that body you so carelessly tried to destroy. That's not what bothered me.
You thought I was a teenager. You wanted to make me feel awful; I am angry because I teach those girls. I take them aside at school when they are bullied for their weight, drying tears or building them back up. I want to obliterate anything that hurts their self esteem. Yet I realized, as I continued to jog, that I could not eliminate a group of teenagers.
So next time, girls, you decide to bully someone, use your head. You words and actions did not affect me, except to add 5 seconds to my 5k training session. Realize that you are cowards, that one day that weight will fall upon you easily, and you will look to your other sisters for support and love. You will receive it, because we forgive. But we do not forget.
Ps-Also, if you are heckling a runner, please don’t do it from the lazy vantage point of your car. You look like an idiot.