Tag Archives: running

So Many Things!

It has been quite a while, my dear Internet friends. I’d apologize for the absence but I’m having way too much fun at my new job to want to apologize for it. The Matilda Effect is still ongoing and I’m truly hoping it lasts forever.

That said, I’ve missed sharing my new stuff with you! So… A few things that have happened since we last spoke (… wrote? read? communicated via pixels?). From newest to oldest:

Show up. Just do it. I wrote about the simple but often un- or under-appreciated value of showing up, especially when it’s cold, you’re busy, and Netflix is calling. This was partly inspired by Wait But Why and Eric Liu’s phenomenal book A Chinaman’s Chance (really just one chapter of it, but seriously, read the whole thing):


On Ego and Exercise. After running my first (and probably only) half-marathon, I wrote about why I exercise and the intersection of ego and self-care.


On slutty slutty Halloween. Every October (this now seems woefully out of date), there are endless think pieces about why girls dress so scantily. I’m so bored of this conversation, so… I wrote another think piece.


On the pay gap and “trusting the system.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella got into trouble by suggesting that women should just work hard and wait around to be recognized and failed to acknowledge systemic and cultural reasons for the pay gap. Oh yeah, this was at a conference for women in tech…




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Filed under Body Image, Chicago, Gender, Media, Politics, Sports

S(M)onday Scraps 103


1. HISTORY: Imagine you’re 23 and you’re heading off to WWII as a nurse. What do you pack? Slate‘s new history blog has got you covered with a real recommended packing list. Don’t forget your homemade Kotex!

2. ELLEN: Ellen solves all problems. In this clip, she takes on Abercrombie and their whole “only skinny kids are cool” baloney.

3. ART: Like me, you probably assumed pin-up artistry was historically a male artform. Not so! Three of the most respected pin-up artists were women, who knew?

4. SPORTS: Remember Allyson Felix, the Olympic sprinter? What happens after you win gold and you’ve accomplished all your goals at 26? Grantland finds out.

5. EVEREST: Apparently, Mount Everest is overrun by inexperienced, poorly equipped climbers. National Geographic explores what it’s like to wait in line to hike the summit.

6. MAKE-UP: In this short Thought Catalog piece, Chelsea Fagan explains some of the complex rationales that inform female make-up habits. It’s not as simple, “I want to look hot.”

Related Post: Sunday 102 – Depression cartoons, GeoGuessr, war photos, etc.

Related Post: Sunday 101 – Lean In letters, Colbert’s homphobia song, American Girl evolution


Filed under Art, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

Race for the Cure?

This is a picture of me and two friends at the 2010 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure:

We look pretty badass, no? I was so proud to finish that race (1:06!). It’s the longest one I’ve ever completed and it represented the culmination of my journey from never-runner to sometimes-runner. I was proud to raise money and to demonstrate with my actions and efforts a commitment to health for myself and for women across the country.

Sigh. You’re probably familiar with the hullaballoo over Susan G. Komen’s grantmaking process changes that seemed remarkably well-targeted to negatively affect Planned Parenthood (a recipient of $600,000+ in grant money for breast cancer screenings). I had no beef with Komen, besides the annoying pink ribbons plastered over everything. There’s much that has been written about the sexualization of breast cancer fundraising (“Saving Second Base”), but I still believed that Komen’s fundamental goal was a good one. Not so sure about that anymore.

This year, I have a new plan, and you are all more than welcome to get on board. Come September, I will be running a 10K alongside thousands of other racers. I will not be a registered runner, however, and my t-shirt will announce that I stand with Planned Parenthood. Stay tuned, I’ll be asking y’all for donations.

Related Post: How Amy Poehler finally got me to pony up my Planned Parenthood donations.

Related Post: Kate from Smart Girls, Stupid Things on the attempted defunding of PP.


Filed under Politics

I Want to Be Like Amy

Athleta Chi has a great blog post this week about a woman who wants to be a running coach for beginning runners, but worries that people don’t want to learn from a woman who looks like her. This is what she looks like:

Running Badass Extraordinaire, Amy

In the last year, she has completed two 25k races, a trail marathon in Mongolia, an 88k triathlon, a road marathon, an unofficial 50k, and a 60k ultramarathon in New Zealand. I would kill to train with this woman.

Instead of thinking about my body aspirationally (“I want to look like that”), I try to think about exercise aspirationally (“I want to be able to do that”), though I’m not always successful. One of my favorite yoga instructors doesn’t have perfectly chiseled abs. She’s got thunder thighs, like me, and broad shoulders. Despite not fitting the yoga-girl aesthetic, she can absolutely dominate the arm balances, some serious cirque du soleil shit. I watch her, and I think, I guess I don’t have to 115lb to balance on my elbows.

There are a lot of ways to be thin, healthy and unhealthy. As Beth Ditto points out, “To be thin and to stay really thin, some people literally do coke all the time. Some people smoke cigarettes instead of eating. That’s crazy. But that’s ‘okay’ because you look healthier.”

There are lots of ways to be overweight, too, healthy ways and unhealthy ways. I’m not saying there’s not a correlation between being fat and heart disease/diabetes etc. Of course there is. I’m just saying that the assumption that a Size 2 is more fit than a Size 14 strictly based on body type is not exactly a safe bet. Put them both at the bottom of four flights of stairs, or at the starting line of a 5K, or on a stationery bike, and dress size is not a great predictor of the “winner.”

There’s nothing objectively wrong with wanting to be thin. But there is something wrong with conflating fitness and thinness. They can be linked, but not inextricably, and the relationship is more complex than we give our bodies credit for.

Related Post: Today’s post was about why I read Athleta’s blog. This one is about why I buy their products.

Related Post: This yoga studio may have good intentions, but the methodology is seriously flawed.


Filed under Body Image, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

Get Up Off The Couch, Asshole

Harriet, (Photo: Athleta Chi)

This is Harriet. She was the only woman to compete in the 75-79 age group in the Ironman World Championship. This was her 19th Ironman. She’s also completed 20 marathons, 21 long-form triathalons, and she’s won the Escape from Alcatraz triathalon 4 TIMES.

What have you done today? (And for the record, I am on the couch. I just finished a plate of bacon, and I’m contemplating making more. So that is mostly directed at myself).



Related Post: Not quite an Ironman, but read about gym bitchery and unsolicted advice on thigh size.

Related Post: Here’s why I like Athleta.

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Filed under Body Image, Sports