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Thighs.  Calves.

Abdominals.  Biceps.

A road.  A race.

In middle school, I was always one of the skinniest girls: a peapod with a floppy ponytail.  My shirts were too big.  My legs were straight lines.  My wrists could break off at any moment.  I was a small kid.

In high school, I tried drinking whole milk.  I ate a ton.  I wanted curves.  I wanted a body that moved, that swayed, that wasn’t so string bean thin.

Then, I went to college and my body changed.  I gained weight—maybe twenty pounds from my high school years.  I gained mass, but I wasn’t strong.

Now, I am thirty and this Monday at training we were asked if we wanted to do a weigh-in.  Some women wanted to and some refused (weight is such a delicate issue).  I opted for it.  In this setting, with my fellow teammates, I figured, “It’s a team.  They aren’t going to care and I’m not going to care.”  However, my reaction to my weigh-in was odd.  It was a mixture of embarrassment and pride of how much I weighed.  In high school, I felt like I was nothing because I was so thin.  In college, I felt I had substance.  I weighed something.  However, this isn’t good enough.  The point is not to just be heavy; the point is to be strong.

Women are often prompted to be skinny.  This is the goal: thin.  But is it?  What about weight that is powerful?  I want my body to weigh whatever it will weight but move like a horse, every muscle working in motion to propel, faster, and faster, and faster.

I want legs that will carry me through.  I want calves that will take me down that road faster than I thought I could go.  I want to be sleek but muscular.  Racers are muscles working together, legs churning, moving, digging in deep; they are bodies in motion, powerfully soaring across that beautiful finish line.



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