A couple of days ago, I posted this image…
It created quite a fuss and it even made the Danish media, featured on sporten.dk. What really has interested me since posting the image, is the response, the varied reaction to the image. This response has really provided me a great starting point for this article which highlights we, as human beings, have to accept who we are. We choose our own path in life and therefore we need to accept all the factors that go with it.
No matter what our interests, no matter what direction in life we lead, we need to accept who we are and no matter how much we may want it differently, often our chosen direction in life leaves us no choice but to accept our body for what it is.
Now it is no secret I am a girl but what is probably a secret is how much of a feminine body I naturally do have. Many years ago I worked in modelling and I was not a model for my highly toned, highly muscular physique, and I was definitely not a model for being skinny and petite. I was in fact a model for my curves and my lady like features. Back then I was proud of my body and had accepted who I was.
I was curvy and I was happy.
Today I am still proud of my body, despite a small part of me looking forward to the return of my curves in years to come, I have no choice but to accept my body today for what it is. My career choice, my direction in life is high performance sport, my commitment is getting the very best out of myself and making sure I leave no stone un-turned in my pursuit to reach the highest level I can in international sport. The standard of racing I am up against and the level of competition I want to be competitive with, doesn’t allow me to have curves, doesn’t allow me to carry any extra kg’s and therefore with this understanding, over years of hard work I have no choice to accept my body today for what it is. I have chosen this path in life and I have had to accept the consequences of it.
A little story
At the start of summer 2012 I was finding excellent form, all three disciplines (swim, bike, run) were strong, my running was the best it had ever been, I was finding the shape of my life approx. 6 weeks before the biggest race of my life – The Olympic Games. 6 weeks out and I was almost race ready, race ready physically and race ready mentally, however concern started to grow that my weight at the time 52.4kg was not sustainable for the entire 6 week period leading into the games. It was a weight that had been proven to bring results in training, I was running 60 second intervals on times under 3’00” min per km pace, so it was no secret this weight allowed me to be competitive.
During the 3 years of our on-going relationship my partner, Ben, has grown to know me better than anyone. Ben is a typical guy and loves breasts and bums, however Ben is just as passionate about my ability to perform as I am and therefore even he has had to accept my body today for what it is.
6 weeks out from the games Ben, like myself, was also concerned I had hit race weight too soon. (Weight to a girl is often a very, very sensitive area and a lot of it comes down to self confidence, many people, many coaches have crushed athletes who are weak minded, by saying the words “you need to loose weight” “you won’t run fast unless you loose weight” these comments have often led to eating disorders. Ben has experienced this first hand from his involvement in the British Triathlon program, he has seen female training partners suffer with eating disorders, bulimia, anorexia
because they wanted to run really fast, because they were uneducated in all the necessary areas for effective weight lose and optimal racing weight in high performance sport.) Over an evening meal we made the decision that over the next 14 days the weight should come up slightly, 0.3 – 0.5 kg.
3 weeks out from the games Ben said the words “OK now I think we need to seek race weight again.”. Telling a girl who is 52.8 kg and 171 cm tall that she now needs to loose 0.4 kg takes a lot of guts and a lot of belief, it doesn’t take an education but what it does take is years of understanding, understanding and accepting who I am. Sport isn’t pretty and being successful takes sacrifices in order to achieve. A sacrifice I have had to make in life is giving up my curves in return for muscles.
My competitors are running 33′ minutes for 10 km, breasts and bum will certainly not make me competitive.
I have accepted who I am. Ben has accepted he got chicked 😉