Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Everyday a Marathon

The school year has begun, which for most means finally cracking open those books after a summer of non-commitment, or perhaps a summer of working that Barista job, but still having time to take a step back and tip-toe through the random-ten-hour-Six-Feet-Under-marathons.

I've had a different summer and thus, a different first day back.

Because of my internship with Student Involvement and Leadership at my university (I was their print and web design intern), in some ways, I never left last year. My summer was filled with plenty of fun, enjoyment, and relaxation, but for the past month or so, I've been going 200 mph, trying to mitigate my various levels of involvement while still doing my respective jobs. This has effectively translated into one tired Fettchen.

I want to say something that I'll most likely say again and again, but perhaps maybe, when I need to talk about this in the future, I'll just do a clever link back to this post. Think of this as our Grundsatz, a basic principle I want you all to understand:

Walking is hard.

Yesterday, the first day of class, was host to our campus' involvement fair, where the first-years come, fresh from convocation, and get a chance to see the array of clubs and organizations offered at PLU, deciding with whom to give their email. I'm a diversity advocate working out of the diversity center, so from about 8:30 until 9:45 I was running around, getting this together for not only my job, but also the organizations I belong to. There was set up. There was take down. And all before noon, I was zonked.

Then it was time for class.

I want the world to understand that despite the specialness that was yesterday, for me, everyday is a marathon. The weight that I carry around makes it so that by the end of the day, I'm completely exhausted, and sometimes even thinking of moving hurts. The support that we give to fat people when they're working hard physically is the kind of response that values the percieved outcome of that pain, rather than the pain. I don't know how many times I've heard others say "Good for you!" or "Proud of you!" as if they feel that this level of activity is taking me somewhere, to that place of being thin like them.

I'm not sure that's the case, really. I take everyday in stride, hoping that this won't be the day I injure myself. Sometimes, I think, how easier my marathon life would be, were it not for the extra me that I carry.


Anonymous said...

I've never liked the "proud of you" thing when applied in this general situation; it's so discomfiting. It always reads as "I'm proud of you [for exerting yourself to the point of pain in order that you might appear more conventionally attractive to the rest of the world]." Which is why Oprah weight-loss specials and those weight-loss commercials piss me off considerably.

I've never felt proud of you simply because you've taken a step toward thinness or conventionality or whatever and I hope it's never seemed that way. I am, however, consistently proud of you for, and amazed by, all the things you do all the time.

Jake K.M. Paikai said...

And that, my dear, is why I love your face.

heart.body.mind.soul. said...

Speaking as someone who both understands in a very intimate way where you are coming from, and one who has been on the receiving end of such "praise," I have to say that I agree. It's like being reminded on a daily, hourly, etc. basis that you are different...and less, somehow.

We are not less, you and I. We are not subhuman, nor do we feel differently than they might if they were singled out for doing something that was a norm for everyone else.

I do have to very much second what the first commenter said. I know we haven't known each other terribly long, but you continue to amaze me everyday, and I someday hope to have even a modicum of the knowledge and insight into the world that you have. You are much braver than I, and say things I am nowhere near comfortable saying yet. But I have you to model after.