I’m sitting and writing while icing my right calf. I pulled it on Thursday night’s soccer game after maybe ten minutes of play. I’m loving soccer but even warming up and being careful doesn’t mean I won’t get injured. I’ve been thinking a lot about my tendency to share when my fitness goals are not going easy. It’s a deliberate choice but it’s a tricky balance. I try to be genuine without holding a pity party. I am choosing to do challenging things because I think they are interesting.
A few weeks ago I got to go to WisCon, a feminist sci-fi and fantasy convention. I blogged a bit about it here. One of the panels I attended was “There Can Be More Than One: What Makes Strong Female Characters”. It was an excellent discussion about the kinds of strong women can be. One thing that came up was that strong female characters were not necessarily physically strong or never needing help. They were the characters who rose up from adversity again and again, changing tactics, engaging allies and persevering. In my understanding we were exploring what it means to be resilient and how writers and fans can look for nuanced understandings of strength in the stories we share and read.
I find strength in sharing my thoughts and feelings with friends. I think we are creating spaces to acknowledge when it doesn’t come easy. It’s a small rejection of the the well-lit, effortless image of fitness found on Pinterest, fitspo and magazine ads. It’s about building each other up, especially when we are down. Down is a place I know well with many years of grappling with depression and anxiety but I also get the intense joyful moments too, sometimes in the same day.
So me and my cranky calf are attempting a 100 km ride today. Last weekend I chose to do 50 km on Saturday as it was very hot and windy saving the 100 km for Sunday. Unfortunately my tumbles damaged my derailleur and it snapped off just after half way so only 60 km that day.
My bike is back from the shop and my wallet is a little lighter but I think I’ll have a good ride.