Sam sent me this wonderful interview with our friend, Fit and Feminist blogger Caitlin Constantine, not just because we both like Caitlin so much, but also because she knew lots of Caitlin’s story would resonate with me.
Sam was right. It’s kind of odd, really, because I always think of Caitlin as a natural athlete–young, energetic and full of vitality. Me, not so much.
But she actually wasn’t always into sports. If anything, discovering endurance sports helped her work through some tough life stuff. As she says in the interview, that’s how she found her strength.
I can relate to that part of the story. I’m not quite the endurance athlete that Caitlin has turned out to be, but I don’t really think that’s the point. The point is that:
Endurance sports have forever changed her relationship with her body. “I’m strong, I’m capable and I’m powerful. And more than anything, I know my body belongs to me, and it’s not a tool for someone else to abuse.”
I blogged recently about how getting into triathlon has changed my relationship with my body, given me a sense of what I like to call “confident ownership.” See Mine All Mine.
I could also relate to the part about self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. That is definitely a dark part of my own personal history. I now live a life that is completely drug and alcohol free, but it wasn’t always that way.
Getting into physical activity in a way that challenges me has given me far more satisfaction than any kind of mood-altering substances ever could.
And of course, I can relate to the fit feminist. Feminism and sport both require community in order to thrive. I love that there is a growing community of feminists who approach sport and physical activity as passions to enjoy rather than as obligations to endure–required to achieve a certain body ideal.
Caitlin started her blog to “help others see fitness from a feminist or a more inclusive perspective. It’s less of being an authority on the subject and more of starting a conversation.”
One of the things Sam and I love the most about our blog is that it’s brought us into conversation with like-minded women. When this all started, we were going to blog for two years and then stop (remember that, Sam?) as soon as we turned 50.
But by the time that day came, we were committed to continuing the conversation and deeply attached to the warm and wonderful community that has sprung up around it.
Caitlin has a long way to go before she’s 50, but I sure hope she has no plans to stop blogging then, or anytime before that day comes.