It was a lovely day. The sun was out, but the air was cool. Almost to my home, I heard a story on NPR that brought up one good thing about rising gas prices; one man said that instead of getting in the car to drive two blocks (TWO BLOCKS??!!!) to the grocery store, he now walks.
Great idea, I thought to myself. Instead of asking Jonathan to bring down the tickets to the chicken barbecue at my elementary school so I can pick it up when I get home, I’ll ride my bike to the school instead. It’s only just down the road, which is fairly flat. It shouldn’t be a problem.
To be honest, it really wasn’t a problem. I did get off and walk a few times (to get through crazy intersections and once when I didn’t think I could make it up an incline before I’d have to cross against traffic), but overall, I did well. When I got home though, I called Jonathan to come down and put my bike away because I was so shaky, I couldn’t really walk. It took all my willpower to climb the stairs to our apartment.
I checked tonight after Bible study. I traveled 3.4 miles. Pretty good for someone who has only ridden her bike twice in the last month and hadn’t ridden for several years before that. Pretty good, too, for someone who weighs 350+ pounds.
The trip, though, was marred by two incidents. Since I had to cross a highway overpass after climbing a fairly steep hill (for my level of riding, anyway), I decided to walk my bike. As I dismounted in a nearby parking lot and started walking, several young guys in an SUV chose to comment on my appearance/walking my bike with rude noises and gestures. Then, on the return trip, I was preparing to turn onto my street, which necessitated moving into the turning lane on the left. I signaled well in advance, checked to make sure I wasn’t going to get run over, then moved into the lane and safely made the turn. As I finished turning, a guy yelled out the window of a car going past behind me.
“…illegal… cover your fat ass!” with the ellipses representing the words I couldn’t make out because of the Doppler effect.
To that gentleman (a term which I use very broadly in his case), I had this to say had he actually stuck around for a conversation:
I’m sorry my presence has offended you. I neglected to consider that your sensitive eyes might happen upon my large body in motion. I do believe I will cease any attempts to exercise so you do not need to fear seeing such things as you saw today. Of course, that means I shall always remain an offensive size, which you seem to despise.
In other words, DUH!! I mean, come on! A fat girl getting some exercise so she maybe won’t be as fat as she is now. You should be applauding her, not ridiculing her!
It’s just another reason that society is messed up. Society wants people to be thin, but they won’t provide safe, accepting places/areas for fat people to exercise.
What’s the solution to this problem?
(Someone later suggested this response: “I’m ready for the next Famine, how about you?” )