Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brotherhood of the Bad Body

With the great spring weather have come some great opportunities to get out and get some activity accomplished.  For me that means bike riding, and I have a couple of really nice routes around town that I’ve been able to ride a number of times this season. 

While riding, I often run into other riders, power walkers, or runners out doing the same thing that I’m doing, and these folks fall into two separate camps.  The first are beautiful, massively in-shape people decked out in expensive, form-fitting exercise togs.  And the other are dumpy, bad-looking, out of shape people wearing ratty gym clothes. 

Like me. 

The interactions with these two camps are as different as their appearances.  The in-shape group clearly has an attitude.  Eye contact is avoided.  A wave or a "Hi," elicits rarely more than a grunt.  The overarching vibe is one of distain, as if to say "Look at you - you're disgusting."  The bad-body group, on the other hand, is just the opposite.  We're smiling and interactive.  We're happy.  Our overarching vibe is one of encouragement, as if to say "Look at you - you're not on the couch.  Atta boy!  Keep it up!"

There is a brotherhood that is forged in shared suffering, and it is clearly on display when kindred bad-body types meet on the street.  While we all aspire to join the ranks of the beautiful people, I hope we never lose our perspective of what is was like to not be in that number, and that we can take simple joy with others, regardless of size or shape, that are out there moving, working, and tying to make a difference in their lives.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with your post. I have a wonderful, well-used trail by my house and I've recently taken to riding my bike on it. While I'm sure it is not a pretty site, I'm not on the couch!!

    Just as I can't imagine walking down the hall at work and not saying hi or smiling, I can't imagine walking/biking/running by somebody and failing to make minimal eye contact. It's just plain rude. I understand 'being in the zone' but rudeness I don't understand. I have actually spent too much timing thinking about these rude encounters while on the trail. Instead I should be enjoying the nature and giving myself kudos for being on the bike and not the couch.

    I also think these are people I wouldn't necessarily care for off the trail either and I suspect they are not any more pleasant.

    Ride on!!


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