I have an idea! Tell me what you think…
We managed to book Sophie Radcliffe from Challenge Sophie for a Trail Running magazine photoshoot yesterday, and it was brilliant to meet her. She was excellent to work with, highly intelligent, proactive, fun and the thing I liked most about her was that she is focusing on helping others – she had just come from a conference about young people as the first generation growing up surrounded by social media and all the pressures and excitement that brings.
Jeeeeez, I’m so glad we didn’t have Facebook when I was at school or uni! It would have exacerbated my totally unfounded worries about my fat (strong) thighs and slightly unflat (normal) stomach. Looking back, this was a complete waste of precious time – I had and still do have a brilliant, healthy body that can run ultras, swim, bike and hike in the mountains for days.
So, during conversation with Sophie, I shared with her one of my ever-bubbling ideas and she encouraged me to act on it. So here we go!
#RealRunningBodies is my latest campaign.
Runners upload underwear shots of themselves using the hashtag #RealRunningBodies for all to see how awesomely imperfect a real, healthy runners’ body looks. Once we’ve got a few on social media, we start share the posts and hashtags to every positive body image influencers we can think of, like This Girl Can, The Good Men Project and Young Minds. It’s be great to get a whole stream of them drip fed through to the Trail Running magazine website, so I’ll have a word with the team…
To fight back against the unrealistic, damaging media images of men and women we see every day. We need more people, especially youngsters to waste less of their precious time worrying about their looks, following fad diets and becoming obsessive about body image. There are so many other better, more productive, happier things to think about!
If you have run a 5k, 10k a half marathon, a marathon or an ultra and beyond, your body is doing you an amazing service. Now it’s time for your brain to recognise this fact. It may not be ‘perfect’ in the eyes of the media, but it’s pretty fit, mighty healthy, and carried you all the finish line.
- Brain, stop being mean to Body. It’s doing a great job.
- Focus on what our bodies can do, not their imperfections.
- Let’s show the world what our #RealRunningBodies look like.
I’ll start, shall I?
This body has done the Bob Graham Round, three trail marathons in three days, 4-day adventure races, 50k ultras, week-long hikes through the mountains, river swimming, mountain biking, road cycling, everything!
BOOM. Nice work bod!
Share your #RealRunningBodies now and fight back against time-sucking, damaging body image worries with me.