|Kalina and Rachel at St. Patrick's Day 5k|
I have run several marathons as well as 10K's and 5K's. In every race, I see people dressed up. Sometimes it is for a cause and sometimes they are just out to have fun. I have never thought they did it to make themselves faster. However, many are much faster than me and every time they pass me in their silly outfits, it makes me laugh and gives me encouragement. In the end, I know darn well those costumed runners had twice as much fun as I did.
Recently, Self Magazine posted a pictured of two women in tutus on a page they called their "B.S. Meter" along with a mocking comment. This is a magazine that is supposed to be celebrating an active lifestyle and encouraging others to be their best self. One of those women they mocked was in the middle of chemotherapy for brain cancer. She had dressed up as Wonder Woman to run the race which I am sure was one of the hardest races she had run in her life. To top it all off with, the tutus they wore, they sell and give half the proceeds to charity.
|Kalina with Team Tumor|
This tutu story hit too close to home for me. My daughter, Kalina, who also writes for this blog, has been a runner for a long time. As a collegiate runner, she trained to be fast. Shortly after her last college track meet, she was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer at the age of 22. After two harrowing surgeries and months of chemotherapy, her body could hardly get off the couch but her desire to run remained strong.
After years of taking running for granted, she wanted to feel good enough to run just for the sake of running. When she finally felt better, she wanted to run to have fun. Dressing up gives her a chance to laugh, to be happy and to celebrate life. She doesn't dress up because it makes her faster, she does it because it is a reminder to her to have fun...to enjoy the moment.
It is agonizing to watch your only daughter fight for her life. It is more agonizing to think her struggle could be mocked by someone who hasn't seen her pain. To top it off, my heart bleeds because I know she suffers from body dysmorphic disorder. No matter how beautiful I think she is, she will never believe it herself. Our society tells us we aren't beautiful enough, aren't good enough and aren't skinny enough even when we are. Magazines do way too much to promote this by featuring covers where 99% of the time, the person on the cover has undergone photo shop touch ups that change them into something they are not.
Why do we listen? We shouldn't. We should set our own style, our own ideal and make it something that completes our life and makes us happy.
My response isn't to Self Magazine, it is to the readers of all magazines. Put those magazines away and live your life the way you want. Life is too short to try to conform to something that is not really us. Dress up your life. Add pizazz and make it fun.
At the end of the day, we should celebrate our accomplishments and all of those around us. The world would be better if we would build each other up instead of tear each other down.
My daughter has taught me to embrace life and live in the moment. After all, we don't know what the future brings but we have today and today she teaches me to have fun. I'm so glad she's not afraid to rock those tutus because she looks pretty dang cute in them.
I run because I can.
I run because it's fun.
I run because it's hard
I run because it's an accomplishment.
I run to laugh
I run to cry.
Leave a comment telling us what you do to make life fun.