• coachmk

Fitness Protection Roundup, 9/15/19:

This week did NOT go according to plan. Originally, Coach Sarah and I were like, "let's give Brittany Runs a Marathon a pass" after counting all the red flags in the trailer. We don't set out to be contrarian or to play the 'both sides' card. I've always said that 99% of what I preach is the exact same message based on the exact same science as everyone else, and that 1% is presented VERY differently due to my background (remember, I started jogging as cardio rehab for my dad and prevention for me).

About that...weight is part of it. At the time of his heart attack, my dad was 33 years old and I was 4, about to turn 5. He was driving to work at the family business (a Stock Yard) in Cookeville (37 miles), then driving to law school every night in Nashville (80 miles) then home (56 miles). He reportedly smoked a pack a day and weighed 330 pounds and raced Indy cars on weekends. At the time of his heart attack, the doctors refused surgery; said he had to lose 100 pounds first, that he was too fat to survive the stress of surgery.

It boggles the mind that a man having a heart attack was sent home and told to take aspirin and lose weight, that's not how we think of heart attacks, but his recovery from the surgery one year later is where his rehab began. It's also the point where a lot of my ideas about my body began:

  • if you are too loud or too disagreeable, you could kill your dad. Don't stress him out.

  • you ARE your dad, and genetically screwed. Try not to stress about it (but you can't afford to NOT think about it)

  • If you gain weight, you could die. (but don't stress about it, just pay attention but not TOO MUCH attention)

  • if you stop jogging, you could die.

  • If you aren't PERFECT, you could die.

  • you may BE perfect, and die anyway (but try to be perfect, ok? just do everything right and let the chips fall where they may! Carpe those Diems!)

That's a lot for a 6 year old. It's also part of why my twenties were as rough as they were. I did everything right and still got the short end of the justice stick as well as more trauma to bear, so I went the other way. I gained a little weight, just enough to look chunky on my small, 36A frame. I stopped wearing makeup and threw away my blow dryer. My clothes were 2 sizes too large and didn't 'show off' anything. No one could credibly accuse me of trying too hard, of 'asking for it'.

There was definitely a period in high school when I had a rough relationship with food and my weight and the health implications ("how many pounds overweight can I be before my heart gives out?"), and the answers were vague and sucky. Thinner is better, no matter what. No matter how. I didn't feel like I was in control of anything, and my body was the enemy; we were locked in a lifelong struggle to enjoy what I could without stressing too much before it finally totally betrayed me and killed me; I had a ticking clock over my head (did I mention every woman in my family had had a hysterectomy by 35? so if I live past 33 YAY! GUESS WHAT another countdown clock begins!). It would be too easy to call this an eating disorder. The truth is, I didn't care if I lived or died. It was easier to talk about the food, though. Easier to talk about my weight, to help me manage weight. To stand outside the bathroom door and make me AWARE that you were listening (even when you weren't paying attention or helping me when I begged for it). It was always the easy topic, the easy work. (It still is); it was a cop-out (I wasn't bulimic).

It took ten years and LOTS of mistakes before I started accepting and embracing my body (and forgiving myself as well as my parents). I will always be healing and learning to trust it. Each day, I come back to the mantra: "Focus on what you CAN do" in some way, and my path forward becomes more clear. Weight would neither protect me from predators nor kill me in an instant. I realized my fears hadn't protected me, and the medical advisories were exactly that: "you know the risks better than anyone, ask about the rewards not the risks, child."

I know what the journey to self-acceptance looks like. It comes from what I call 'ugly work'- facing your demons and your trauma and your mistakes and learning to live with them, as well as yourself, accepting the bad and recognizing the good. This journey is ongoing, and I've committed to the ugly work for the rest of my life, for my sake, for the sake of my husband, for the sake of my kids. I'm HERE For The Hard Conversations, because the easy ones don't deter much less solve problems.

This work isn't sexy, and it wouldn't make for a good movie. If you were to watch it though, I wouldn't have to tell you that it has nothing to do about the weight loss. You wouldn't even notice if it was happening, there's plenty of drama without it.

Whether you are ready for ugly work or not there yet, there is a place and space for you in Fitness Protection. It's never about the running, and it never WAS about the weight. We will listen, and meet you where you are at, because we don't have to have Hard Conversations every day to make you feel supported through Real Issues. Support may be all you need to have the strength to do what you need to do, knowing we have your back. THAT sense of security doesn't always come from home, it is hard-fought to come from within, but it can grow from a seed that is planted the first moment you realize you are seen and heard and are still welcome.

But that fun starts NEXT week. Surprise coming at you on Monday, watch your iTunes feeds and your inboxes. :)


Coach MK

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NOW for your Nuzzel Outtakes!


Monday was World Suicide Awareness Day, you should listen to this podcast with Carol Seppilu who survived a suicide attempt and runs ultras with a tracheotomy tube.


When Amelia Boone speaks, I listen: https://themorningshakeout.com/podcast-episode-76-with-amelia-boone-and-brad-stulberg/

Body Image and Fatphobia

THERE IS NO SUCH THINGS AS RECREATIONAL ADDERALL https://medium.com/omgfacts/this-is-your-brain-on-recreational-adderall-fc3fa5ab3290

You will hear us discuss intuitive eating A LOT: https://www.outsideonline.com/2394686/what-is-intuitive-eating

This one HURT


Worth reading, but also...hurts.




Representation of ALL bodies in sport is CRITICAL!


As Seen On Our FB Pages

Age tells you NOTHING. It's what's inside that counts!


Has-been? NOPE.




Amby Burfoot swims Long Island Sound with his sister Natalie, an amputee:


You should DEFINITELY be watching women's soccer right now!


Pro Running


This was a big deal, if you follow college track: https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/2019/09/vin-lananna-opens-up-about-leaving-oregon-to-become-track-coach-at-the-university-of-virginia.html

"In the past three months, Elinor Purrier has set PRs in the 800, 1500, and 5,000 meters, she has pushed Jenny Simpson to the limit at the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York, and she has made Team USA heading for the world championships in Doha later this month." SH IS TWENTY-FOUR!!!


Proletariat Running

SO SWEET! https://www.adn.com/sports/2019/09/10/by-setting-an-american-age-group-track-record-one-anchorage-runner-pays-tribute-to-another/

Another nurse qualifies! https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a28970888/kristina-aubert-olympic-marathon-trials-qualifier/

Does a connection between running and shingles exist?


An ode to running nowhere


It actually IS complicated. How do you make space for a protected group, and protect the space? I appreciate nuanced takes on this complicated issue where people say TERRIBLE THINGS.


This just breaks my heart. We need to care more about victims rather than second-guess going after predators.


Trail Running




Nothing To Do With Running

But Everything to do with life.... https://newcountry991.com/to-the-suicidal-person-i-love-please-stay/?fbclid=IwAR1_ySI1M9bVXodswx0d_7btTHRE9ympvlqf54QXLsezB_VMsgbKpWo-L7k

I AM, TOO!!!! https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/i-am-why-do-i-need-venmo-years-old



That new Monopoly Game has a BIG PROBLEM: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-misplaced-feminism-of-ms-monopoly

THIS is how you do it right, not by stealing. https://www.npr.org/2019/09/10/759609407/her-own-toy-story-how-a-6-year-old-girls-letter-launched-plastic-army-women

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