Over the last couple of months, I've been introduced to a new audience thanks to my first contributing piece to The Root about being heckled during the New York City Marathon--and MOST of the feedback has been amazing. Nevertheless, I find myself here once again, trading in conspicuous hecklers for upgradable concerned trolls who follow my articles; some are bold enough to surface into my inbox.
Again, I question my own credentials -thanks to trolling- of what message am I sending to myself and to an unsolicited audience about being a plus-size athlete. A few weeks ago, I started receiving concerned e-mails from various people on my platforms, questioning if I have a 'resume' showcasing my fitness and running accolades. One person has gone as far as to write me a six paragraph bittersweet love letter praising my 'little medal from the NYC Marathon' but wanted to give me an opportunity to be transparent with a growing audience if I purchased any or all of my prized possessions from E-Bay.
First of All...
Granted, I know that I am a high school dropout who wasn't able to complete college due to my strained financial situation but e-mails like this leaves me in such an intense perplexed state--I find myself in a bit of a quandary of whether I want Latoya or Shauntay to respond to these inquiries. In this instance, I'll introduce you to both parts of me who equally want to give you the best feedback possible to your tantalizing questions.
Latoya, a respectable, pragmatic young woman, developed some counter questions of her own--yes, I spoke in the third person:
Conversely, Shauntay have abrasive questions of her own:
Let's Be Serious For a Moment
The short response to these accusations or showcasing a 'resume' is for you to admire all of my fat rolls running away from your bullshit.
I think this issue goes a bit beyond the jabs at my inbox but more at people who don't fit the cookie-cutter credentials of what an athlete looks like. Honestly, this conversation is old for me - perhaps new for others - and I'm not here to prove myself to anyone about the finisher medals that are collecting dust on my wall--and you shouldn't either.
Without being my typical NYC self and giving you the directions to sniffing my ass after a three hour run in the heat, instead I'll leave you with this: If you have time to question someone else's growth, then you should consider utilizing a portion of that time into figuring out how they did it so you can do better. Honey, when I can't beat anyone, I learn from them. Being fit in my personal life is not a competition for me. I'm not striving to become one of the elites but I want to be the best role model to myself everyday when I'm popping my ass, blowing kisses to myself at 4AM when I want to roll back over in my bed instead of going for a 20 mile run. When I hit the sign up button on a website for my next race, I want to be assured that I'm good enough, trained enough and fit enough to nail the next race. Creating a resume is the furthest thing on my mind. If you are so worried about my credentials, Google me. I'm sure someone's website has a list of my races because the Internet be trippin with its dry stalking ass. In the meantime, I have a bronchitis infection to nurse, a gym to attend and some sneakers to fuck up at the gym. Catch me on the trails boo. I hope I see you out'chea in these streets with me.
Great article. You have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. The nerve of these people that would probably not survive 10 minutes running with you! Keep up the great work!
This is pure beauty. Thank you.
I can't express my love for this. This resonates with me. I have been following you for a bit (creepiness is unintended) and you are a huge inspiration to me. You help me more than you know. You are someone who doesn't let life get her down. You get back up and say is that all you got. Sharing your journey as a plus size athlete is enabling me to become more comfortable in my skin. It helps. Thank you for posting!
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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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