“To the fatty running on the track this afternoon…” That's the start of a Facebook message courtesy of of Viral Nova. Oh great, I thought, another self-righteous Maria Kang-styled rant that I have have absolutely no desire to read to the end. But, you know what? I was happy I did.
The note to a stranger carries on in the same desultory, almost poetic fashion:
“You, whose feet barely lift off the ground as you trudge around the track ... You, whose sweat drenches your body after you leave, completing only a single, 20-minute mile … There’s something you should know: You f**ing rock.
Wha? The writer then switches gears altogether, admiring the sheer exertion that it takes for the runner to persevere in spite the extra weight "of more than two of me, clinging to your bones, begging to be shaken off."
Of course the letter is also full of scathing presumption: “Each lap you run, you’re paying off the debt of another midnight snack, another dessert, another beer..."
Yet the writer does that incredible, amazing thing. Stepping out of his (for sake of argument) own skin and into someone else's running shoes, only to develop a finer appreciation for the runner.
“It’s 20 degrees outside, but you haven’t let that stop your regimen ... You run without music, and I can only imagine the mantras running through your mind as you heave your ever-shrinking mass around the next lap. Let’s go, feet. Shut up, legs. F**k off, fat.
“If you’d only look up from your feet the next time we pass, you’d see my gaze has no condescension in it. I have nothing but respect for you. You’ve got this.”
Empathy is a rare thing, a beautiful thing. Who knows, maybe the writer of this missive will go one step further in the right direction and leave the "fatty" label behind. I hope so.
What do you think of the note: Inspirational or *rseholey?
Yay or nay to these exclusive gyms that cater to a very specific clientele?