“You run so much so how come you are not thin?”

In the early days of my running “career” (which only started about 4 years ago) I was told by a member of my Indian husband’s family that, “We all agree you are completely ridiculous for running at your age.”

Ouch.

Subsequently the same person (no names, no pack drill) said, and I quote, “You really are making a fool of yourself, you know, with all this stupid running.”

There was more, but it makes me irritated to think about it.

Perhaps had I been younger, or more assertive, I’d have told said people where to get off, but I wasn’t and I didn’t.

I just listened to the petty words and inwardly fretted that, yes, actually, perhaps at 60 I was “completely ridiculous” and making a fool of myself.

4 years on, even though I still sometimes have my doubts, I just can’t be doing with such nasty comments.

Cannot.  Be.  Bothered.

I thought it was just me, until I read a post on Facebook this morning from the young and lovely Beejal Dhawan.

And I quote the lady herself:

“While I was running my LSD this morning….one thing kept drawing my attention … which was….One relative who visited us yesterday… asked me,”You visit remote places….cities … countries… pay so much money for registrations….flight tickets…hotel stays…does someone reimburse it to you …to which my obvious answer was No… to which she said … then why the hell do you do it …so much running… you are already fit … gayab hona hai kya…look at your face… it’s lost its charm….ab apne saath saath Ramon ko bhi laga diya hai ismein….what do you derive out of it … To which my answer was HAPPINESS & HEALTH…..!!” This is not the first time someone has asked me this … especially family… am sure most of my running buddies must have faced this situation with family & friends…. So what is your take to a similar situation guys ?”

Er.  Hello?  “Your face…it’s lost its charm…”

What??

For anyone who doesn’t know Beejal, she’s a knockout.  Absolutely gorgeous.  And a damn fine runner as well.

Almost as revealing as her original posting, were follow-up comments her friends made:

From Ashita Ajmera Shah: ” Oh Beejell .. I have faced this many a times and my reply is “I love what I am doing” and end the conversation there itself. It’s a task to let people understand what you have achieved unless they start doing the same.”

And then this one from one of our mutual running friends, the equally lovely Priti Thakkar Zaveri :

“I face a very funny one- I get to hear many a times- you run so much – even then how come you are not thin- I mean you still are not thin you know- ?!! I always reply- so the glow you see on my face (best one is after a run!) is cause I love running and doing what I am doing!! I know I don’t fall into “customary thin-athlete body” but I am doing what makes me happy and that’s what matters at the end of the day!”

My goodness me, Priti, but you are SUPER well-mannered.

Unless the person telling you that you’re not thin is a stick insect, you should tell them to mind their manners!

Men apparently get asked those questions, too:

Dharmendra Kumar replied: ‘We can all pray at home. Why do we spend time, money and travel far corners of the world for that holy site and pray? You have a reason for that, I have reason for running. This is the best analogy I give…especially to elders who question my running. Can’t say this to an atheist though 😊

For youngsters, give them the analogy about drinking…going to pubs/bars instead of having it at home 😎”

And the charming Alfredo Miranda also weighed in:

“Someone said “The heart has reasons that… the mind will never understand”. If my own mind can’t understand it… why to waste time trying to explain other’s mind… I gave up long time back.”

Very philosophical, Alfie.

Gosh.

What is it with people trying to rain on our parade?  Do we runners make remarks about couch potatoes?  Or about other people’s lack of exercise or fitness?

No.

We don’t.

So people should stop passing comments about the passion and the drive and the months of hard work every runner puts in.

And, before I sign off, let’s go back to the lovely Beejal, shall we?  Just watch her starring in her own TV ad, and then remember “look at your face… it’s lost its charm…”

8 Comments

  • Very well crafted Christine Pemberton Massi

    So we’ll answered by all guests BeejalDhawan, Priti ThakkarZaveri, Alfredo Miranda , all of whom I know personally,and are amazing Runner Souls

    You ,your present self for that matter have the best answer to the question put to you,,
    look at you now ,60 + and in top 1% of the people in the world who run a full marathon ,, that also with a smile on the face ,, which itself is PRICELESS

    Running Massi Rocks
    This should be your blog name from now on.

    God Bless you

  • Karandeep well that’s good news about people starting to run. Great!

  • Ha,ha!!This happens to everyone irrespective of age/gender!However over time the questions change from ‘Are you mad’ to ‘Wow!How do you manage?’ to ‘How can you help me get fit too!’So don’t fret or pay any heed to the naysayers.Being ‘fit’ is a normal state one should be in and there’s nothing freakish about it.Going in the same vein Bejal,I was told that “Aap 5-10 k type ke runner toh ho sakte ho but body half marathon type ki toh nahin lagti!!”,and that to by a hard core couch potato!!However,to offset a few not so positive comments there are hordes of compliments too that keep coming with clockwork regularity to keep us going….for as long as we can….the way we want to!Free to be….Wish you all a Happy Independence Day!

  • Deepinderr Singh Bindra

    I often get this question from my friends who are non runners & relatives too …” why do you run ? & especially now after fifty…what do you want to prove to us ? ” ….hell what !!!! Prove to you …..bloody hell !!! What is there to prove ? That I am more fitter ? Isn’t that obvious …that I enjoy ….again it’s that obvious ( otherwise why would I do it ?) Are you trying to get yourself hooked up with some pretty babe at this age ? ( Phew ! Now I give up !!!! & the last one is simply too outrageous …You have a son who is 26 & a daughter who is 23 ..you need to be looking out for life partners for your children & not running with pretty babes…

  • I often get this question from my friends who are non runners & relatives too …” why do you run ? & especially now after fifty…”what do you want to prove to us ? ” ….hell what !!!! Prove to you …..bloody hell !!! What is there to prove ? That I am more fitter ? Isn’t that obvious …that I enjoy ….again it’s that obvious too ( otherwise why would I do it ?) Are you trying to get yourself hooked up with some pretty babe ? Phew ! Now I give up !!!! & the last one is simply too outrageous …You have a son who is 26 & a daughter who is 23 ..you need to be looking out for life partners for your children & not running with pretty babes…Guys have a life !!!!

  • Hahahah …. tell me something new

  • My only suggestion is start running. Then you will never ask this question. I started running at 50

  • Pallavi Aga

    Such a lovely read. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole article. Ahhhh well I’ve had my share of such weird comments all the time ; usually grin it off. Have stopped fuming too now. Usually people who can’t do it are the ones who comment.

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