Last week was a pretty big week.  On Tuesday I got see Neil Gaiman read from his new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane in Brooklyn and got to meet the man himself.   We discussed how Matt Smith is not actually taller than him and Neil (I’ll pretend we’re on a first name basis) signed the book and two photos for me.  Wednesday was the 8th annual Solstice Sprint 5K.  It was the biggest year ever for the race and the race raised over $2,000 for the Farmington Library.  That’s a lot of books (hopefully some of which will be authored by Neil Gaiman).  On Friday, Scott flew in from Texas and we headed to Lake Placid for a training camp.  I love Lake Placid.  Its a magical triathlete-y place and it makes me happy to be there.

Running on River Road.  Shaun likes this particular angle.

While I was very excited for all of these events, I was also incredibly anxious. Big events inevitably involve pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.  I don’t do particularly well with pictures under normal circumstances.  Add to that weight gain and tight tri and running clothes and it makes for not a pretty picture.  When I look in the mirror I see lots of things, sometimes I am ok with my current appearance, sometimes I hate the way I look and sometimes (probably quite often) I see myself very differently than I actually appear.  Unlike a mirror, pictures do not lie.  As hard as I have worked to accept where I currently am as far as body composition and appearance, seeing myself as the rest of the world sees me is difficult.

Welcome to Lake Placid.  Apparently Lake Placid is also bidding for the 2022 Winter Games.
Its even more difficult to see pictures of myself when everyone around me is not fat (or more accurately, when lots of the people around me are very lean).   At the Solstice Sprint 5K or in a place like Lake Placid, I feel like I’m the awkward fat kid.  I keep hearing the song “One of these things is not like the other” in my head while biking or running on the Lake Placid course.  Plain and simple I often felt like I did not belong.  Several times during the weekend I wanted to wear a sign that said something to the effect of yes, I know I’m fat but please understand I’m really trying.  Not fun. 
I tried to avoid pictures at the Solstice Sprint 5K.  I was not completely successful. 
I know that many of my feelings are based on my own distorted sense of reality, especially when it comes to body image.  I was recently reminded of a quote from Vincent and the Doctor (side note — this is an episode of Doctor Who, Series 5, Episode 10 to be exact, if you have never watched Doctor Who its something you need to invest some time in and soon):

The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things.  The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.

The way I see it, right now I have a really big pile of goods things and a decent sized pile of bad things going on in my life.  I need to remember that while the good things don’t always soften the bad, the good things in and of themselves are still really important. 

After seeing this picture, I thought I looked about 5 months pregnant. 

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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

1 Comment

donna furse · June 26, 2013 at 12:08 am

Keep doing what your doing, keep exercising and eating healthy, things will change. On another note, did you ever go see the doctor to have them check your thyroid and other labs to make sure things are ok. Dot your i’s and T’s.

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