Sunday, June 23, 2013

We Will Make It Anyway

Women in sport is a hot topic right now. Lots of women have come under fire for following a sport/fitness regime/exercise routine just because they want to fit into X Dress or Y bikini. The rise of women pushing to for more recognition of female sports is everywhere, and it seems, according to my Twitter feed at least, that rather than aspiring to fit into a pair of skinny jeans, we should all be training insane to be the next Jessica Ennis/Rebecca Addlington/Insert female sports personality here.

I fully support the idea of #beprettyonrestdays and getting down and sweaty with your choice of fitness or sport, but y'know, the pressure to not just run, but run a marathon, not just cycle, but win the TDF, not just swim, but become a record breaking triathlete, that's getting a but tedious.

One of my new favourite blogs, Girls Guide To Life On Two Wheels (incidentally also a book, kudos) takes a great and balanced view on this subject, and it's something I wanted to add to, having 'gotten into' cycling this year, and getting more serious about fitness whilst T is away. Her recent post on why we shouldn't be shaming women who consider how they look to be important, that's especially insightful, go read it here.

Having started really enjoying cycling, I've noticed more and more that there's almost an expectation in social media as well as the wider world, that all of a sudden I must want to get hot under the collar about bikes of all types, and want to race, and be the next major British female cyclist. Truth is, I don't. I like cycling. I enjoy exercising, I like beating my own times on my bike, I like my Crimson Beast. Aside that, I don't care. I cycle because I like it, and it fits my lifestyle. When I do it, I go all out and get on with it, but you know what, sometimes I get to work, look in the mirror post shower, and wish I'd just gotten dressed and done my make -up at home rather than trying to do it in awful light. And that's ok too.

You know what's also cool? Finding a sport you love, and wanting to take it to the next level. You want to run marathons, compete in ballroom dancing or join a boxing club, good on you. Enjoy, make hay, just don't expect me to be crossing that marathon line with you, alright?

I don't want to be a statistic female who does far less than the recommended exercise each week, I don't want to be overweight, I don't want to be unfit, I also don't fancy having heart disease, a stroke, diabetes or not being able to run for the bus. But I will not apologise for not wanting to be elite in the sports I partake in. I will enjoy them, I will play them wholeheartedly, but I will not be pressured into thinking I want to take my sport 'to the next level', when frankly I don't.

To all you amazing women, who pull your trainers on a few times a week, and enjoy running a few miles, who cycle to and from work and enjoy cycling without needing to get to about 30kmph, and who like to hit the gym but are happy to leave it having done their own workout 1 hour later, you're awesome. You're beating the stats, you truly are doing it for yourself and that makes you even stronger than you realise.




Sophie in the Sticks said...

Hurrah, loved this post Chloe! Well said that gal x

Susanne said...

I exercise. I can't imagine my life without excercise. I can't imagine a week without any physical activity. When I'm ill, I'm suffering because of the lack of movement. I feel bad about myself when I don't workout. It's my drug, but I don't push anyone to do it too. It's everyone's own choice.

Maria Fallon said...

You are so right, my workout at the gym might be *easy* but I am just proud that I am doing something!

Maria xxx

char said...

I really agree with this. I love my swimming, I go daily and try to beat my personal bests, so I guess I'm competitive with myself in that respect.
I also go to spinning classes most evenings and have a gym workout which I try to do a couple of times per week. I'm used to going to the gym both before and after work, but I'm quite content with what I do, and although I change the workout every 8wks or so, that's so that my body doesn't get complacent, not so that I can compete to be the best at anything. I don't want to be a professional athlete, compete with anything or any of that. Why should I?