Tag Archives: exercise

Defiant Athlete: Week 8

It’ll write my two month progress report on Monday. Two months seems like both a really long time and no time at all to me.

It seems like a long time, because I am fighting the frustration of not getting the results I want fast enough. I don’t want a two mile outdoor walk to feel like an epic woman vs. nature struggle. I don’t want to have to struggle my way up a hill by coaxing myself into just going to that car, and then that sign post, and that rock.

It seems like no time, because it’s flown by. And other than those damned outdoor walks, I’m having a real good time.

Here’s what’s the best part of the real good time: You. The conversations that are happening in comments here and with my friends and family on Facebook are exhilarating. They are the most fun, they are intellectually exciting and they make me more happy than I can express. Thank you for that.

I feel on fire with the idea of the defiant athlete. I want to yell “you can move for fun!” from the roof tops. If anyone has any leads to rooftops that I might yell from, let me know.

This week, I’ve logged less points than the one before, and the one before I logged less than the one before that. I’ve noticed that the last two weeks, and this week in particular, I’ve worked out a little less, but much harder. Also, this week I stopped logging grocery shopping as points. My fitness level has improved sufficiently that grocery shopping isn’t the feat it used to be. I could probably still give myself zone 1 points, but I’ve decided not to.

This week’s Ten List:

1. I did twenty minutes of 2.8 mph for four minutes followed by one minute of slow jogging at 3.5 mph. I’d planned on doing this for an hour, and couldn’t. My lungs and heart loved it, my legs did not. After the fourth minute of jogging, the pain on the outside of both calves was intense. I did run the last minute at 5 mph, when I knew I was going to have to stop. My legs gave out, but my heart rate didn’t go as high as 3.2 mph for a minute did in week one.

2. I had a nice little indication that I’m getting stronger this week. After the above mentioned walk/jog, I went on the elliptical. I told myself I’d go as slow as the machine would let me until it started to get uncomfortable. Two weeks ago, this was about 3 minutes, although I could push to eight. This week it took ten minutes for me to feel like I wanted to stop. I probably could have gone 20.

3. I’m really enjoying yoga, and Ruby is becoming a serious little yogini. She asks me to do yoga with her before bed almost every night. She says it helps her relax, which is hilarious coming from a six year old. But awesome.

4. I walked a mile on the treadmill in just under 20 minutes this week, which is a personal best. Yay!

5. I walked 2 miles outdoors in 39 minutes, which made up for the pain.

6. I am still (still) struggling with not weighing myself. I don’t know how to stop this. I mean, I know how to just not weigh myself. I don’t know how to stop wanting to. Does the desire eventually just go away?

7. My legs hurt so bad when I try to push past my comfort level when walking that I wonder if so many years of sitting at a computer most of the day has atrophied my muscles. I’m serious.

8. I am so anxious to get to Carson City, so that I can have access to a pool and maybe by a bike, take some belly dancing lessons, join a boot camp. I want to have fun.

9. I’ll have to take what’s good about the boot camp and leave their diet at the door. And tell them I don’t want to be weighed and measured. I’m willing to give that a try for one six-week cycle, because the idea of functional training appeals to me so much. I think I’ll open a dialogue with the trainer before hand.

10. I had a really interesting talk with the owner of my gym this week. She asked me about writing, because her son-in-law has written a book. I gave her the basic spiel about being prepared for rejection, but getting it out there anyway. Then I told her about Defiant Athlete and that I want to write about it as an academic study. She got so excited. She started telling me about a woman whose been able to get off blood pressure medication and one who is controlling her diabetes through exercise. I feel like I could turn her excitement and willingness to see exercise as something other than a weight loss measure into a way to reach more people, but I’m not sure how.

 

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Athleticism Deserves Protection

Athleticism, it seems to me, is something to be protected.

Like an endangered animal, it needs to be coddled a little, given just the right environment and the chance to reproduce in a controlled space. After a while, it will thrive in the wild. But at first? It needs protected status.

Because it has a natural predators.

There’s the dreaded nay-sayer. This is a tiny internal bug that does big damage. It wiggles its way through your ear into your brain and sets up housekeeping. And it whispers, “you aren’t good at this. You will never be good at this.” Over time, the nay-sayer collapses your self-confidence. It might be microscopic, but it is loud and left unchecked drowns out any evidence that you can, indeed, do this.

And then there’s the bully pig. This one is an external threat that often hits in childhood and adolescence, but can strike at any time. Nay-sayers live in clouds around the bully pig. The bully pig has an acutely developed radar for any sign that you are feeling confidence or having fun. It strikes, and strikes hard, when you least expect it. The bully pig literally or metaphorically kicks your legs out from under you, sits on your chest and screams in your face that you suck. This is not a subtle predator.

The well-meaning oh dear is an insidious enemy to athleticism.  On the surface, it’s a sweet, kind little animal that seems to only want what’s best for you. It directs you to pursuits that you are more well suited for. The oh dear wants you to succeed, and would deny strenuously any suggestion that it means you harm. This predator kills your athleticism with kindness. An oh dear might even encourage you to participate in more suitable athletics–swimming instead of dance, in my case. In your childhood, the oh dear might have shaken her head and lamented your clumsiness or hugged you as she told you that not everyone can be a fast runner, and wouldn’t you like to just quit? He might have packed away your basketball if you couldn’t get the hang of free throws or made sensible statements about spending money to keep you included in a losing soccer team. As an adult, you might find an oh dear watching you a little sadly as you lace up your sneakers, offering up better ways to spend your gym membership money or reminding you that you’re too old to learn to ski.

Lastly, we find the media bird. This is not a pecking, picking little sparrow. The media bird is a pterodactyl ready to eat you whole. It comes at you from all points, squawking that you are going to die if you don’t fit its very narrow range of perfection. It both insists that you can do it! and that if you do, but don’t shrink in size as a result, you are still going to die and it’s all your fault. The media bird is a fear monger. And it is everywhere. It’s oppressive presence often results in the despairing feeling that there is no point in being an athlete if you do not lose weight as a result.

Yes, athleticism deserves protected status.

Your athleticism deserves to be protected.

Here are half a dozen ideas for how to do that:

1. Check out the defiant athlete list on this site. It is full of people who have held on to or rebuilt their athleticism despite the predators that might have killed it. There are resources out there–find them and use them.

2. R emind yourself that being athlete does not equal winning first place ribbons. All it requires is showing up and moving with purpose. In fact, disconnect the words athlete from the arbitrary idea of ‘good.’ The point is not whether or not you are ‘good’ at something, the point is whether you enjoy the process of participation.

3. Find body-positive outlets for your athleticism. If you have a large-body yoga class near you, consider joining it. There are some athletic pursuits that are safe places for fat people. Belly dancing and roller derby come to mind. Conversely, if your heart is in surfing or marathon-running or some other sport where fat people aren’t the norm, carve out you place in it and burrow in.

4.  It can be difficult to make room for running/walking/riding a bike/rollerskating/lifting weights or whatever it is that you want to do. Doing so requires you to decide to find a way to put some of your resources of time and maybe some money into it. Especially if you are the type that doesn’t take much for herself, finding an hour or a few dollars and holding on to them can be very empowering.

5. Disconnect moving your body from weight loss. This might take some time, especially if you are unraveling years of this kind of thinking. But it is possible. A mantra might help. Repeat I am an athlete as many times as it takes to make the daydreams about a smaller body go away. Also, remind yourself that having thoughts about weight loss does not mean that you are a defiant athlete failure. One thing that I’ve found helpful when the indoctrination gets overwhelming is to turn ‘thinner’ into ‘stronger.’ Replacing the word ‘exercise’ with ‘training’ has helped as well.

6. Nurture a healthy sense of fuck you. That’s right. If you need permission to be counter-culture and abrasively protective of your right to athleticism, I hereby grant you with it.

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Defiant Athlete: Week 7

This has been a good week for me. (I’m finding that hard to say, in light of the colossally not-good (turns out there is not an adequate variation on the word ‘bad’) week so many millions of people had.)

A couple of really exciting things got rolling. I started the Rad Fatties Project. I started a page up above which has an explanation for the project, and an invitation to join it.

I also started a new story. It’s a YA thriller, sort of a Bourne Identity-type story with a fat, athletic teenage girl protagonist. I usually feel at a total loss when I don’t have a current fiction writing project going. At first, I finish one manuscript, and it gets rejected some, and then I think: that’s it, I’m done. Who needs this shit? And then I get restless, and I start to think: Oh, God, what if I have no more ideas? And then I get an idea, and the cycle starts again.

I didn’t train as much as I wanted to. Or, as much as I set out to last Friday. I was tired. The sleepy kind of tired where, by afternoon, staying awake sometimes feels like a giant effort. I wonder if maybe my body just needed a down week? I’m not sure.  I know that I haven’t been getting enough sleep, which . . . yeah, it leads to staying awake being a giant effort. I think I need a bed time this week.

Here’s this week’s ten list:

1. I walked a 5K! I don’t believe I’ve walked 3.2 miles all at once in — I don’t even know how long. A decade? Longer? And not only that . . .

2. I walked a 5K at an average of 2.9 mph. With no shin splint pain. I used hills the first 20 minutes, but turned them off when my calves started to tighten up.  When I still had no pain after 45 minutes, I decided to push it, to see how close to a 5K I could get in an hour. I jogged for two of the last 15 minutes, walked at 3.5 mph for maybe half of it, and 3.2 mph the rest. I got to 2.9 miles in the hour and finished the last three tenths during my cool down. I was sweating and grinning and people were looking, but I didn’t care.

3. I went 1.25 miles during my outdoor walk this week. That one hurt. The good news is that it didn’t hurt until about halfway through. Which means, slowly but surely, I’m getting stronger. A couple of weeks ago I went half a mile and  literally limped home wishing I’d brought my phone so Kevin could come get me.

4. I realized that part of why walking outside is so much harder is because our roads are not flat. They’re curved, for snow melt run off. So when I walk in one direction, my right calf and left hip hurt. On the way home my left calf and right hip hurt. I think it’s a result of walking on an angled road. Also, I walked faster than I do on the treadmill, 3.0 mph, and uphill most of the way.

5. If I walk down the middle of my very quiet street until I get to the highway (which is not quiet), there is a chance that a nice old man in an equally old pick-up truck will have to come up very close behind me while I’m singing Boy George out loud and wait for me to notice, then laugh and wave as he passes me once I scramble out of the way.

6. I now have a copy of Big Yoga: A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies by Meera Patricia Kerr. Review is forthcoming.

7. King Arthur Flour sent me a giant box of their gluten-free mixes. I’ll review them one at a time, but not all at once, I promise! Also, Ruby picked a random winner from the entrants to my cracker contest, and the winner is Katherine.

8. Adopting HAES has made cooking so much more fun. I am also finding, though, that too much sugar makes me feel not great. I still struggle some with making that translate into not eating enough of it to make me sick–with not feeling like I need to over-indulge in forbidden foods–but it is getting easier.

9. I have not weighed myself for an entire week.

1o. I am formulating my plot to turn Defiant Athlete into an academic study. It’s pretty damned exciting.

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Defiant Athlete, Week 6

You’ll be happy to know that I still love the name defiant athlete and will not be changing it this week.

This week was a little tough for me. It had its ups and downs. Things are going to get a little TMI right about now, so feel free to skip ahead to the ten list.

I was on my period this week. You’d think after 25 years I’d have the hang of this thing by now, right? But yeah, not so much. It knocks me on my ass every single month. Since I was 14. Every month. Now, there is some good news. See, usually I get the flu for two days before my period. Like clock work. A two day flu, followed by five days of misery, every single month since the summer before the tenth grade. That’s a quarter of my life, yo. Suckage.

Turns out, the flu thing is tied to gluten. I’m not a doctor, and I can’t even get a doctor who will listen to me tell them that I have a gluten issue, so I don’t know what eating gluten has to do with my period. But I do know that this month, like every other month where I didn’t eat gluten for the weeks prior to my period, it snuck up on me. That doesn’t happen to me. Ever. My period arrives with flags waving and trumpets blaring and me feeling like the whole damned parade marched over my poor body. Except if I’m gluten-free.

Also the five days of misery are reduced to two, which I will take. But there are still those two days, and they still leave me feeling like a weird, dysfunctional creature for a while. My mother had similar periods to me, by the way, and when she was my age she had a hysterectomy and went on replacement hormones. She said that the surgery gave her back her life. Unfortunately, the hormones took it 8 or 9 years later when she got breast cancer and the they made it grow faster than the doctors could treat it. So, this period thing is a big deal to me. I really, really don’t want a hysterectomy. Ever.

Okay, this long and winding TMI story is basically to tell you that this week was a little up and down for me. While the week of doom was reduced to two days of the icky blahs, I still had some of the mental stuff that comes knocking every month. For some reason the only time I ever really feel fat and super uncomfortable in my own skin is when I’m on my period. The rest of the time, I know I’m fat, but I feel functional and healthy. I still had that discomfort in my skin thing this month, but it was less and for a shorter time. So that’s good.

All of this is to explain that I decided to take two days off of exercising this week. In a row. When I’d already taken one day earlier in the week. At first I was upset with myself. My inner Debbie Downer was all “what a fucking lard ass. Get out of your chair and go take a goddamn walk.”

No, really. That’s what she said.

But, since I wasn’t exercising, I was spending more times reading some pretty amazing things that some pretty amazing bloggers have to say about body acceptance and HAES. And I realized that, while food and diet get the bulk of the press regarding HAES, movement and exercise fits in as well. And learning to listen to my body and then honor what its telling me is a huge step in achieving the level of self-acceptance that I’m aiming for. It’s as important as removing the moral judgment from chocolate and cheese. It really is.

I’ve worked out 5 or 6 days a week for five weeks. This sixth week, I only worked out 4. And that isn’t good or bad. It just is. It’s morally neutral, just like I’d believe it was if anyone else on the planet Earth told me that they skipped two days of exercise.

Yeah. Learning to treat myself as well as I’d treat any stranger off the street is taking some time, but I’m getting there.

This week’s ten list:

1. I tallied 830 training points this week. This was super exciting, because Sally Edwards says that 800 to 1000 is the training load for someone aiming for a sprint triathlon.

2. I walked 2 miles once (outdoors) and 2.5 miles once (on a treadmill with hills) this week. This is the furthest I’ve walked in at least five years.

3. Today I walked for thirty minutes on the treadmill, on the hill setting, at 2.8 mph. This is the fastest I’ve been able to walk in weeks. My shins didn’t bother me at all!

4. I do feel a knotted muscle in my left butt cheek. (I am the queen of TMI tonight, right?) It doesn’t feel like a serious problem, just a tight muscle. I’m going to use my special softball-on-my-mattress trick to work it out tonight.

5. The softball-on-my-mattress trick involves placing a softball, or a baseball, between my body and my mattress and rolling gently over it on sore muscles to work out the knots. It works like a charm.

6. I have alternated pretty wildly this week between utter inspiration and almost crippling doubt. The inspiration is winning.

7. I’m worried that all this talk about athleticism is maybe making people who have mobility issues or other differences in ability feel like they’re left out of my enthusiasm or like I just don’t think they count as defiant athletes. I’m planning on writing about this in the upcoming week, because it’s a topic that means a lot to me.

8. I need a senior study project for my BFA, and I’m 90 percent sure that Defiant Athlete is it. I have huge ideas. Great big ones, I’m telling you. I’m so excited, it’s hard to contain myself sometimes.

9. I have decided I don’t like my exercise journal. I don’t like that I have to ignore that half of each day’s space is supposed to be used to record calories and fat grams. I’m seriously considering designing my own, which could then become part of my senior study. Something tiny, that I can bring with me to the gym without looking like I’m lugging my little black book around.

10. I’m curious about something. If I did design this little HAES-friendly Defiant Athlete journal, would you be interested in having one? My idea is maybe a little monthly 1/4-size 16 or 20 page ‘zine with pages in the back for recording your training and maybe some art/photographs/words in the front. Something worth holding on to. If something like this was cheap–like not much more than the cost of producing and shipping it (I’m thinking something like $2.50 per book delivered in the US and a little more internationally, but I have no idea what it would actually cost to produce. This is a price I’ve seen on other ‘zines though, so I’m assuming it can be done) would you want one? Theoretically, of course. I won’t hold you to it. If its something you’d consider, what would you like to see inside of it? Ideas?

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Review: Debra Mazda’s Shapely Girl Fitness

(Warning: Some talk of weight loss below.)

I have used a lot of exercise DVDs and Videos, starting with Richard Simmons and stretching forward twenty years to the Roller Derby Workout.

I doubt if there is anyone reading this who needs to be told that exercise videos are rarely body positive. Lots of skinny girls in spandex doing things your body won’t do without even breaking a sweat, meanwhile the leader is screaming at your to move your fat ass and lose weight. And often, even those that try to be body positive usually focus on weight loss. Like Richard Simmons parading his class at the end of his videos while letting you know how much they’ve lost.

The exceptions to that, for me anyway, are HeavyWeight Yoga 2: Change the Image of Yoga (which, full disclosure, is my only yoga DVD) and the Roller Derby Workout. Both of  these feel like training to me. The girls in the Roller Derby Workout talk about how the exercise they present will make your muscles strong enough to be a derby girl, which I like. Roller Derby is a generally body positive sport, so while the girls in the video are slim, I never feel like they are pushing me to be.

When I was sent Shapely Girl: Let’s Get Moving with Debra Mazda to review for you, I hoped for another body positive DVD. Especially because where I live, in the mountains where winter stretches into June, I sometimes can’t get outside or even out of my driveway.

Ruby and I put on our yoga pants and tank tops and worked out with Debra Mazda this morning. Here are some general impressions first:

The Pros

Debra Mazda is adorable without being annoying. I would love to have an actual class with her.

The women in the video class were a nice diverse group who all had giant smiles and looked like they were genuinely enjoying themselves.

They sweat.

I sweat.

I was able to complete the program.

The music was non-intrusive.

The Cons

I only saw one big one. Debra, while being anti-diet and generally body positive, does sporadically encourage you to burn some calories. While this isn’t a huge part of the DVD, it’s there. I would much rather have her tell me to “come on, get stronger.”

Debra lost a significant amount of weight through exercise and has built a fitness career as a result. I felt like her heart was in the right place. She says several times during the DVD and on her website that fitness happens at every size. That message is on her website as well. But it’s right along side a video that features women who have lost weight. She has the opportunity to be revolutionary–to leave weight loss out of the fitness equation all together. And she almost does. But for people who are very sensitive to weight loss messages, there could be some triggering.  (I recommend skipping the video on her website if talk of weight loss triggers you.)

Every now and then I come across a resource that could be body positive and fat accepting–except that it throws in a weight-loss message almost as an after thought. As if someone said, you know, more people would buy this if you tell them it will make them thinner, and so they did. But it’s not the main message.

This is an old school dance aerobics DVD and Debra reminds me of a hipper, female Richard Simmons. She wants you to love yourself and enjoy moving your wonderful body. She also brings to mind Susan Powter, but in a toned down way. And, she has big giant steps over both of these 1990s gurus in that she doesn’t advocate dieting. In fact, she has a no-diet contract on her website.

I am fairly uncoordinated and it takes me a long time to get the hang of dance steps. There were a few minutes where I just marched in place because my arms and legs wouldn’t move together that way. For some reason, I really had trouble with the V-step with opening and closing arms. Ruby laughed.

Debra offers some modification, but not much. I would have liked to see more. The whole workout could be done sitting down, using arms only, for people with mobility issues. Or standing with arms or legs only, for those with lower fitness levels. The complicated steps aren’t necessary if you can’t keep up. You can just march in place to keep your heart rate up until that part is done. I think when you’re marketing an exercise DVD to people with larger bodies, it is important to address issues like mobility and differing fitness levels. It seems that in her live classes she does this. I would have loved to have seen one of her class participants doing modified exercises.

One of the problems with aerobics in general, at least in my opinion, is that they are so tightly tied socially and culturally to weight loss. They just are. It’s up to you to decide that whatever movement you do, you’re doing it for reasons other than weight loss. Even when the person teaching you suddenly pops out with “burn those calories, girls.”

I felt this workout in different parts of my legs than I do on the treadmill–especially on the outsides of my thighs and hips. My arms got a harder workout than they are used to. As I was doing the Jane-Fonda-esque arm moves, I thought about how stronger triceps will make me a stronger swimmer. And, I kind of enjoyed the retro-feel of the exercises.

This DVD has an introduction, where Debra spends some time talking about fitness for all bodies. Then there is a 30-ish minute workout. There is an option for a 52 minute workout, which I was going to do today. This longer workout restarts the first workout, minus the warm-up. I decided that 30 minutes were enough, but I thought it was sort of innovative to offer some way to extend the workout if you want to.

There is something called Circle Time, which is basically a short advertisement for Debra’s gym. If you don’t live in Philadelphia,  you don’t really need it.

It’s warming up here. Which, believe it or not, means we’ll be getting more snow. (It doesn’t snow much in the dead of winter when it’s very, very cold. We get our heaviest snows in the spring.) I’d do this DVD again on days when I want to train, but can’t get outside or to the gym. I also sometimes just really like to exercise with Ruby, who is a natural athlete and gets real, pure joy out of moving her body.  Sometimes she’ll ask me to exercise with her. (She loves the Roller Derby Workout and asks me to put it on at least twice a week.) Being strong enough to keep up with her is way up on the top of the list of benefits to being a Defiant Athlete. She liked the dance parts of this DVD and I can see us just doing that part sometimes for fun.

DISCLOSURE: This DVD was sent free to me for review purposes, however my opinion of it is honest and my own.

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Defiant Athlete: Week 5

In her book Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete, Jayne Williams talks about how sometimes it is the adverse conditions that makes you feel like a superhero. Going to work out in the rain or snow, for example. Or moving, even when you don’t feel 100 percent.

This week I had a killer, very mucus-filled cold. I still managed a few light workouts during the worst of it. Not really even workouts, more like just easy body movements so that I was doing something other than laying in bed feeling sorry for my sick self. And you know what? I did feel better because of them. Getting my blood moving was a good thing. Also, I was proud of myself for listening to what my body felt like doing, and not the little voice that said “Dude, this is the perfect opportunity to not have to do this.”

The day before yesterday, I felt better. Yesterday I felt about 90 percent. Maybe 95. And I had the best workout I think I’ve had in the last five weeks. I’ve been so frustrated by my physical inability to exercise as hard as I want to.  I start slow, and then get this incredible feeling like I just want to push and fly and move. And then my ankles start to go stiff, and then my calves start to burn. And I have to stop.

Yesterday while I was going at a slower pace on the treadmill than I wanted to, but not hurting, the girl next to me was going at the same pace, but had her machine set at about a 45 degree angle. I’m not kidding. She was holding on to the bar in front of her like she was a mountain climber pulling herself up a cliff. I was afraid if her hands slipped, she’d topple over backward.

But then I thought: I wonder if I could do hills? So I pushed the hills button–and I did hills! 30 minutes worth. My heart rate went right where I wanted it to and then the rest of the workout was right at the point that I could do it, but only just. Perfect! And my legs didn’t hurt, except for a light burn in my upper thighs. I was grinning from ear to ear when the cool-down started. The owner walked by and said I must have had a great workout. I did! I felt exactly what I wanted: like I was in training.

My grin looked something like this:

(Ruby was student of the week, which was awarded on PJ party day. She could hardly contain joy.)

Here’s this week’s ten list:

1. I started keeping track of training points. I’ll explain more of this, probably tomorrow. This week I logged 493 points, despite taking two days off and having two days of very light workouts. I’m really proud of this. (You can see my log by clicking on the Training Log page.)

2. Keeping a training log makes me feel like I’m coaching myself.

3. I can do 20 squats, without holding on to anything.

4. I ventured into the free weight section of my gym yesterday and I loved it.

5. I’m doing an old-school aerobics DVD today so I can review it for you. The woman who it features reminds me of a slightly-cooler, female Richard Simmons.

6. Ruby wants to learn how to swim when we get to Carson City so that she can join the competitive team–because she wants to be a Tiger Shark.

7. I am getting stronger. Yesterday I did 40 leg presses with 15 pounds of weight. Five weeks ago I could barely do 5 using only my own weight. Also, last night I realized I can now carry my 4’2″, 70 pound six-year-old at a dead weight to bed when she’s sound asleep with no problem. I couldn’t lift her 5 weeks ago without feeling like I was having a stroke for the next several minutes.

8. Five weeks ago, the treadmill shut me down when I tried to do hills because my heart rate went crazy (to the upper 160s.) Yesterday I did 30 minutes and it stayed at 136, which is 75 percent of my maximum heart rate and a good training pace for me. I could have done more.

9. I need a final project for my senior year of my BFA, and I think Defiant Athlete might be it. More on that later.

10. My blog was added to Notes from the Fatosphere. *waves at all the Fatospherians.*

I’ll be posting a Defiant Athlete update every Friday. Subscribe to my feed if you’d like. I’d also love-love-love to hear about your athletic exploits in the comments!

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