A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across this blog post. The author is a photographer based in Kentucky who is doing his best to try to lose weight. He’s also been a victim of bullying. What he saw in his gym that prompted him to write this post is simply heartbreaking. I’m not going to reiterate what he witnessed, instead I’m just going to encourage you to read his post. Especially my readers who teach – I think there’s a very good lesson to be learned here.
To give you the short version, the author witnessed an overweight woman working out. As she was doing so, she was being “slyly” photographed by another 20-something woman. The author could see where this was going – right to Facebook – accompanied no doubt by some rude, hurtful comments. Without giving anything away, let’s just say the author kept it from happening. You’ll just have to read it for yourself to see how.
The author’s point was far from lost on me and gave me a newfound respect for those who are fighting for a healthier life. The question is then – why do those who choose to change their lives get picked on by others?
On a day home from work, (thanks in no small part to some alien stomach bug), I went on a Netflix documentary roll. One of those films was The Bully Project. If you haven’t seen it, then have a box of tissues ready before you do. It’s nothing short of devastating. Kids in schools being beat up, taunted and humiliated, to the point that they take their own lives, their families left to pick up the pieces. Had I behaved as badly as the perpetrators in this film, I never would have seen the light of day. Why do these kids think it’s okay to treat another human being like they’re nothing? Are the parents so out of touch with what their kids are up to that they never notice how they treat others? Are these the kids who grow up to think it’s okay to take pictures of big people trying to make themselves healthier and do nothing more than embarrass them?
If you’ve been following my little corner of the internet here, then you know I like to keep things fun and light-hearted. Sometimes though, when something I see, hear, or read, leaves a strong impression, I feel compelled to throw my two cents in. And hope that maybe my venting in my little corner of the world, makes an impression on someone else.
As athletes, I think it’s imperative that we not only encourage others to physically live a healthy lifestyle, but set a positive example for others to follow as well. We have a great opportunity at every race, training run, or gym session to encourage others. Having been in that position numerous times myself, I can’t tell you how much that pat on the back or a simple smile can lift both your spirits and your pace. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the reason for that smile?
Thanks for listening.
Enjoy the ride.
Have you ever been the victim of bullying? Or if not, what would you do if you saw someone else being picked on?