Cool Shirt!

Posted by barb on Jun 18, 2006 in Biking |

I’ve mentioned here previosly that sometimes I have trouble looking at myself as a *real* cyclist and my insecurities as a “fat” cyclist. I hate to admit it, but I also sometimes have trouble seeing myself as a worthwhile person in general, just because I’m larger than I should be (actually, more likely because I can’t seem to change that fact). On one level I know that’s stupid, but our culture has been set up to make fat people feel like lesser human beings. Never mind that I’m an astrophysicist contracting at NASA – I’m fat, so I can’t be as much of a person as the thin supermodels on the cover of Cosmo.

I don’t usually dwell on this much, or, rather, I try to bury it as soon as the thoughts pop into my head. Today, while biking, a group of cyclists passed me and Andrew, and one of the women said, “Cool shirt” as she passed me. I was wearing the cute “lava green” shirt I had bought for myself last summer the first time I made a 20-mile ride. I’m certain that this woman didn’t know the impact of her words.

As a large woman, (fat woman, plus-sized woman, real woman…whatever you want to call us) I don’t hear compliments on my clothes from people much. Especially strangers. It usually feels more like people only notice my size, not the way I dress myself. Never mind that I try to dress tastefully. I realize that I can not cover the fact that I’m large, but I’m also realistic about how I clothe myself – nothing too tight or revealing; I just want to look nice. But most people can’t get past their initial impression of a large woman in front of them.

I have to say that on the bike trail I feel especially “out there.” On the trail, I dress clothes that others on the trail wear. But rather than feeling like I fit in, I feel more like I stick out even more. It’s amazing how happy those two little words from a complete stranger made me. She saw past my size, and saw my shirt. I smiled for the next several miles of our trip.

We biked from Andrew’s work, again, but this time made it into Leesburg. This is my longest ride ever, so a good trip all around.

Blackberries  Turtle on the trail  Red wildflower

Trip miles: 26.8
Weekend miles: 38.1
Season miles: 186.5


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