Thursday, November 20, 2014

Intersex - It Doesn't Mean What You Think It Does.

(You wake up thinking you're going to write a blog about one thing and *bam*, something on social media takes center stage and derails that blog completely. Fine. I'll post that later. This is more important, I think.)

So a big, splashy story that will play out all across social media today is that  a woman who dated Michael Phelps for a time was "born a boy." Cue the drama and the "did he know?!" and "dude, that's any guy's biggest nightmare!" and "Phelps banged a gay dude!"

None of that is correct, by the way. And though I realize I am just one person posting facts in a sea of drama, I'm still going to give it my best shot.

The lady in question was born intersex, meaning she was born with both male and female genitalia. She had a penis but no testicles, ovaries but no uterus. It's unusual, obviously, but it happens. People are born with all kinds of physical abnormalities, but anything involving sexual identification makes people even more uncomfortable.

According to this woman, she was forcibly non-consensually assigned a boy's gender at birth but felt like a girl all of her life. She says, "I was born intersex and named David Roy Fitch at birth. By the time I could walk and talk I made it clear I was a girl and dressed as one. In my early teens I was medically diagnosed and went on testosterone blockers, at 15 estrogen enhancers."

There is a lot unknown here about her relationship with Michael Phelps... or if she even had a relationship with him. She may just be making all that up to make herself infamous. I don't know, and honestly, I don't really care.

So why am I posting this? Because what I do know is that there are other people out there who were born intersex, made or had made for them choices about who they were, and have lived with those choices. And I can only imagine how those people must feel each time they see a headline that mocks this woman, insults her as a freak, or implies that anyone who would be involved with them should feel shame or embarrassment.

Decent people wouldn't mock someone because they were born deaf, or blind, or had some other physical difference that would adversely impact their life yet was able to be corrected through surgery and/or medication treatments. So why is it okay to shame someone because their physical difference at birth involved their reproductive system?

We're better than that. Let's act like it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Needed A Win.

I needed a win, and today, I got it.

I've shared already that I've been really struggling. My training has been terrible, my eating has been out of control, and my overall attitude about it all has sucked. But I've been here before and I know what it takes to turn things around.

I had the same sort of plan for the month of October, but I let the stress and drama of my life kick all of that to the curb. But it's only failure if I stop trying, right? So here I am, the Eternal Optimist, still fighting to find my groove again.

I have a big plan that I'll post about this weekend, but I've already started back with my running schedule. Monday was a three-mile run to kick the cobwebs off, and today I had a five-miler scheduled.

Unfortunately, this was me when my alarm went off at 5:45am. I was a big ol' pile of NOPE NOPE NOPE. And my mind scrambled to find any excuse to not get dressed and head out for my run.

"Your big plan hasn't officially kicked off, so it doesn't matter if you skip today's run."
"You should run tomorrow, instead. That makes more sense, really."
"Such a busy day ahead, you're better off sleeping in."

Fortunately, I knew better. So I posted this selfie to Facebook and made a comment about having to get up to run. I did it because I knew that once I made a public commitment, I would see it through.

And I did. In fact, I did more than just get my miles in. I ran the five miles 40 seconds ahead of my per mile pace AND I had all negative splits. The more I ran, the faster I went. And when I was on my last mile and I started to tire, I kept repeating my mantra:

"Five miles. All negative splits. Because I'm awesome."

And that's why I had this big, goofy grin on my face when I finally finished.

I really, really needed this today. I needed to know that I still have the spark, the fire to push myself. My legs were getting sore, but I knew that it was my mind that really wanted to stop. So I opted to run with my heart, instead, and that was enough to get through to the end.

Thanks, friends, for being part of my run today. It's a much better feeling to be able to share my success with you than to have to admit that I gave up.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Ragnar Moves Me." Let it move you to vote!

Please click through and vote for our story!

I took a chance on my first Ragnar, and my life was forever changed.

Fourteen relays later, I've been in a documentary (From Fat To Finish Line)...

run events all across the country...

and joined this family of ‪#‎KiltyPleasures‬ runners.

Definitely, ‪#‎RagnarMovesMe‬.

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