The weekend was a bit of a sh*tter, though my grumpy mood was as much the cause of the problems as the result of them! So I’m not going to go there, and instead I’ll relay a brief conversation from Thursday evening.
A brief backstory: I transferred offices in March 2009, but still work for the same firm. The last time I met a lot of the people here was in June 2005 when I was 23, running my best half-marathon times and weighing a fair bit less than I do now (somewhere between 5 and 7 kilos, probably). More backstory- people in Auckland are much shallower, on the whole, than people in Wellington. The boys in my team commonly comment on the relative attractiveness of girls in the team, and they have exacting size standards!
The context: Walking to the pub with one of those colleagues, chatting about swine flu.
Me: Young fit people often do have not-so-hot immune systems, because they tend to work themselves just a bit too hard.
Colleague: When you were doing marathons and stuff did you find that?
Me: Well, when I first started out, I would crash every time I stopped going hard. I could push it so far, but once I stopped moving, it’d all catch up with me. Wait a sec, when I was doing marathons?
Colleague: It seemed like in the old days you were always on the front page of [internal newsletter], running across the finish line….
Me: Yup.. Like in December… when I did my half ironman?
It sort of petered out around there, but I had the clear impression that he’d assumed my endurance exploits were a long time in the past. I found it interesting. It’s been awhile since I felt as if the people in my everyday life were making assumptions based on my appearance (obviously those toned, super fast ironladies in swim squad, and at every race I do are judging me non-stop…) In Wellington, my poor, long-suffering colleagues were treated to excruciatingly detailed training tales almost daily, and no-one would have dared assume that I was less dedicated to my fitness and endurance than I was previously. I wanted to say “You know, dude, I still train at least 7 to 9 hours a week. I go for long bike rides- why, last week I spent 8 hours on my bikes plural over the course of the weekend. I climb the freakin Waitakeres. I run hills. I swim with a squad. I finish half ironmans. Don’t assume I sit on my behind eating candy all day because I’m a bit heavier than I was WHEN I WAS TWENTY THREE.”