I really liked you. Really, I did. Even though most of your magazine was fitness fluff I have read 1,000 times before… I still enjoyed it! I don’t know how I scored a free subscription (probably from one of the many races I have participated in over the last year or so)… but when it started showing up at my house I was pretty pumped up!
I looked you up on Wikipedia just now and read the opening remarks from the first issue:
An extraordinary spirit and energy are emerging in women today. Fitness is the fuel. We have acquired a strong appetite for the full experience of life—the exhilaration of the outdoors, the challenge and success of professional work, the honest enjoyment of sex. Self will be a guide to the vitality we need to do all the things we want to do.
Really? Really?? I know I have already touched on the whole issue about the Tutus… but I just can’t get over this. Even after the lame apology was posted to Facebook… it’s just too much.
Let me tell you a little about myself.
I have struggled with my weight and body image issues for my entire life. My whole life. That’s not an exaggeration either. There is a video of me – 7 years old(?) – pumping up an air mattress at my aunt’s house. I looked directly at the camera and said that I would pump it up myself because I needed the exercise because I needed to lose weight. That’s me with the pigtails… not fat.
Anyways… I grew up always thinking I wasn’t good enough. I am extremely uncoordinated and sports are NOT my thing. I played softball one season. I was on second base (have no idea how that happened) and waiting to run to third. I vividly remember thinking to myself in that moment about how terrified I was. I was more nervous standing there waiting to run to third base than I was standing on a stage dressed like a scarecrow ready to sing “If I Only Had A Brain” to 200 strangers.
I guess the point of that story is that I was no good on a team. Sports were not my thing. Being lazy was my thing. I didn’t do anything, ever. Slowly I gained more and more weight until I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. Then, one day, I was done. I was done feeling fat and unattractive and unhealthy. I was ready to change.
It happened slowly – in my living room. One DVD, 30 minutes, every day. Healthy cooking. Tracking calories in and calories out.
Then it happened quickly. Weight started flying off and I felt so good about myself. I lost about 60 lbs and changed my life. But there was one little problem – I was lonely. My DVDs were great, and I liked going to the gym… but once the weight stopped coming off there was no motivation and it just wasn’t fun.
Here’s the thing about running – it can be whatever you want it to be. I can go out alone, I can go out with my friends. I can listen to classical music or I can listen to gangster rap. I can wear super expensive high tech coordinated running gear, or I can wear a f***ing tutu. It doesn’t matter because I am running and I am finishing something. The thing about running is that you do it FOR yourself, WITH the love and support of a million other people.
Wanna know the reason everybody puts those annoying 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on their car? It’s not to brag about an accomplishment… it’s to show that they are part of the club. Part of the group. Part of the team.
Never in my life have I ever met another runner who has put me down. My friend Lauren runs so fast she places… my friend Jenna just killed her first marathon… my friend Izzy is running like 100 races this year… and none of them have ever put me down for my 11+ minute miles and 2:30+ half marathon finishes. They celebrate with me like I just won a gold medal at the Olympics. Because that’s what this is about. That guy in the picture with us is Jeff Galloway – an actual Olympic marathoner – and he was proud of our accomplishments, too.
The fact that SELF Magazine intentionally asked readers to send in pictures of themselves running in tutus- knowing full well they were going to call them out on the “BS Meter” is disgraceful and a slap in the face to every runner, everywhere. I am disappointed and ashamed and I am breaking up with you.
I am also going to be sure to order my next Tutu from Glam Runner, which I will rock (hard) at my next race.
P.S. SELF has posted a “Conversation with Awesome Monika Allen” – my favorite comment on the Facebook post that linked to this was “I’ll bet you burn a ton of calories when you backpedal that fast, Self Magazine” – which I think is hilarious. I am glad to read that the “BS Meter” will no longer be running in the magazine, but I am still upset that SELF hasn’t owned up to the fact that they deliberately misled her by asking for permission to use her photo so that they could mock what she wore. If she didn’t have a brain tumor this story wouldn’t have gotten the same amount of press… But whatever.
P.P.S. Vegas was amaze. Details to come! 🙂