My fitness journey has grown on such an extraordinary level. Through running and obstacle course races, I’ve traveled several parts of the United States and even outside of the country. Since 2013, my friends and family traveled with me less than a handful of times. People expressed an extreme amount of fear for me for a multitude of reasons. And in ways, I cannot say that some of these things are irrational. Reading this post, you may not be able to place yourself into any of these categories -- that’s actually fine. Perhaps this will help a loved one or even you - a curious reader - understand why I find joy and a bit of hesitance as I travel while under one of these categories.
Traveling While Woman
I’ve gone to a number of states throughout the United States alone and know absolutely nobody. These days since going viral, I’ve met up with Instagram and Facebook followers who proved to me over time that they’re not on the cuckoo bus. If you find yourself as an explorer and adventurer like me, I’m certain that the first thing thrown your direction when doing such things is being reminded that you’re a woman.
Frankly, I had a vagina since the day that I was born - and this is certainly not a shot at anyone - but some people treat me as if I don’t know the stereotypes of being a woman with a vagina walking around in a city that is unfamiliar to me. I’d be damned if being a woman will be associated with being naive, requiring the escort of a man or limiting the things that I enjoy and would like to venture off to just because I’m a woman.
And yes, I’m not oblivious some areas run rampant with high statistics of sexually related offenses and crimes -- but this can happen absolutely ANYWHERE. Instead, I prefer to be aware of my surroundings, study the areas beforehand and this may mean, talking with some people who visited or a few locals. The latter part is something that I would suggest taking with a grain of salt. What one’s experience is doesn’t necessarily dictate another. Nevertheless, grab your crown and travel the globe. And yeah… your male bestie doesn’t have to be your security guard if you don’t want him there. Don’t believe the hype. In most cases, I am the person who is side by side with my male counterparts kicking ass.
After mile 13, the Chicago marathon was a running metaphor of barriers presented throughout my life. At times, I felt like I couldn't pace fast enough to keep up with the pulled down signage and SAG wagon. Being a back of the pack runner requires a grit that surpasses all of the convenient goodies that typical Google searched articles can provide. When the crowd dissipate and the tables that once housed water and fueling is gone, all you can rely on is your breath, a nervous mind and your training.
With enough time to shower, I performed a simple glance over in my suitcase and kissed my family before bolting off in my Lyft to Newark Airport. Hours before, I fell asleep fully clothed with one shoe still on my foot from attending the No Barriers Summit in New York City. Earlier on in the week, I participated in a branding conference in Santa Barbara and when I look over at my calendar, I realized I staggered my races in an exceptionally sadistic way. Realistically I haven't stopped training since last year; my overzealous calendar requires me to hover somewhere close to 40 miles a week for my running, 3 - 5 hours of cycling, a minimum of cross training twice a week at the gym and whenever I can luck up, an occasional swim practice. Coach Megan Roche managed to maintain my hefty load by weaving my endurance races as part of my training for the Javelina Jundred 100K -- a race held in Fountain Hills, Arizona with a 30 hour cutoff and only a few weeks away. The Chicago Marathon would serve as one of my longest training runs; I was looking forward to taking home a finisher medal for the third year in a row from another food capitol.
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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