I knew where it was going, because every mouth-breathing troglodyte who wanks off to Tucker Max has screamed SPANDEX IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT.
And there it was:
Does it say "NO FAT PEOPLE?" No. It doesn't. But when the Internet talks about not wearing spandex, they're pretty much always talking about fat people.
I tweeted this:
And wrote this.
One of the things I like about obstacle racing is the sense of camaraderie. Everyone struggles. Everyone picks you up. There's that never-leave-a-(wo)man-behind sense of community. I thought it sucked that the Gladiator Rock-n-Run would alienate overweight women. If someone gets to the starting line and survives the race, they won. They should be celebrated, not humiliated. I don't understand a universe that demands "NO FAT CHICKS" but then harasses fat women out of doing anything that might be beneficial to their health.
The tweet didn't get a response, and I figured that was the end of it. I wouldn't do their race, and that was that.
Until today, when I was at the expo for the Pasadena Rock n' Roll Half-Marathon (which I am running on Sunday.) There was a booth for the Gladiator Run.
I walked past it. There was a man and a woman sitting behind the table, both attractive and in-shape. No one was in line. I could easily go up to them and say something, but I walked on by.
Then I stopped. I thought about how squicked out I was when I read their site. How it brought up embarrassing memories of "RUN FAT GIRL" and the sampler platter of invectives that have been hurled my way when I dare work out in a public space, because I might be overweight. Or female. Or well-endowed.
I thought about how easy it is to take a stand on the Internet, and how hard it is to look people in the eye and say the same thing.
I thought about the races I had done, how I had proved to myself that no matter what anyone thinks I look like in a swimsuit, they cannot take away that I look good at the finish line of a Spartan Race with mud in my eyes and a medal around my neck.
I turned around and went up to the booth.
I calmly explained the situation, and they both looked confused. They hadn't read the FAQ. I reiterated the Spandex Rule. The man assured me that this was about dudes showing up in singlets on race day. That they would never want to alienate anyone (except dudes in singlets?)
Maybe that was their intent, I told him, but many would assume a "Spandex Rule" was aimed at overweight people.
If shaming people caused weight loss, no one would be fat.
He told me that Dan - The American Gladiator who founded the race - would be there in an hour. I told him that I had to leave but that I was happy to leave my phone number or email address to discuss it further. He said that wasn't necessary, but that he would definitely express my concerns.
I don't know if they will or not. I can't really control that. But I can control when I speak up.
So I did.
A Former Fat Girl
December 2012, 150 pounds