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"Furthermore, women are not physiologically able."

Bobbi Bibb Marathon Expectations Women Potential

I stayed up WAY too late reading Amby Burfoot's new book "First Ladies of Running"  The next one on my list is What Makes Olga Run? , a profile of a 95-year-old track star. 

Then I woke up this morning to read Bobbi Gibb's profile in Competitor Magazine "The Barrier Breaker"  The quote in the header of this email is taken from the email the Boston Athletic Association sent her informing her that her race registration had been declined.  Women were not allowed, and furthermore were not physiologically able.  

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was training for the Pocono Marathon.  Several of the volunteers at packet pick up claimed to be doctors, and all painted ugly pictures of babies detaching from uterine walls and tried to scare me back home.  It didn't cross my mind until much later that if we KNEW how to make babies fall out then abortion probably wouldn't be a political issue.  I trained through 2 of 3 pregnancies and each baby managed to stay up in there to term.

I have had several clients tell me that they are too old, they accept their limitations, that nothing good can happen at their age they just don't want to get hurt.  Well-educated people who should know better.

Records are broken every season.  We are discovering that the actual limits of the human potential are much further than we ever thought they were.  There is a very simple reason for this: we aren't robots.  This makes it pretty hard to control for variables in experiments that involve humans.  The best we can do is look at what has been done, and use existing science to forge a way forward.

That is RISKY, yo. No one wants to be the a**hole who says, "it's totally fine for an elderly/pregnant/woman/person to do (some activity)" and be totally wrong.  So we can wait for permission and inch along with scientific discovery, or we can be like Bobbi and say, "i can run 30 miles, why won't you let me run this marathon?"

As I lace up my running shoes this morning and train for yet another race I should not be physiologically able to do, I challenge you to examine any bullshit limitations you've imposed on yourself or accepted about your ability.  I say this all the time and I absolutely mean it: you have NO IDEA what you are capable of doing.  Neither does anyone else.

PS. This is NOT a license for you to throw the training plan out the window, yelling, "YOU DON"T KNOW!!!  I DO WHAT I WANT!"  I never tell you what you cannot do and are not capable of doing; there is no way I could know that as outlined above.  I DO say what you should and should NOT do RIGHT NOW, and those recommendations are firmly rooted in science.  Every limitation you've described to me is firmly rooted in bullsh*t.  Don't conflate the two.  

PPS. You could probably run 160 every day and be fine.  You could probably also smoke crack every morning and be fine.  I'm not about to be the a**hole that give you permission to do either so go break down that wall if you want and tell me how it works out!

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