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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Strong women, complaining women

The big race I was organizing is over. You can see photos of the event here

Watching a sea of over 1800 women running and walking together was thrilling. There was a tangible feeling of excitement and comraderie in the air. So much strength and vivacity. I felt proud to watch women and girls of all ages, fitness levels and body types participating in this event. I had an overwhelming sense of the power women have. Our strength is not only in our numbers, but our resilience and perseverance.

My husband jokes around that we have a way of speaking to each other — he calls it Reddy and Able speak, after Helen Reddy, the woman who sang, "I am Woman." He bases it on the words and phrases we use to talk to encourage each other. For example,  "you're amazing," "you're a powerful woman," and "you go girl." Whatever. He's never given birth or been pushed down by "the man." But, that's a topic for another blog.

I've learned a lot from putting together a race with the words "love your body" in them. First, finding shirts that fit every body type is virtually impossible and women complain. A lot.

I heard so many complaints last year, that I took it on as my problem to solve. This year I was determined to get it right. Finding good shirts has been the bane of my race director existence.  My boss and I looked at several kinds of shirt manufacturer samples. We made a very informed decision and felt good about it. But, when women picked up their shirts (in sizes they picked themselves from measurements I listed on the registration site, incidentally), the whining began.

"This isn't a medium!?"

"How do you expect me to fit into this?"

"Does it come in any other colors?"

and the most common complaint,

"Can I exchange this for a different size?"

It seems that no matter what the effort, we girls will always find something that wasn't good enough, didn't work for us, and didn't meet up to our expectations. Maybe we're strong, but satisfaction is definitely our Achilles heel.

My solution next year? Socks.


  1. I think socks is a great idea. Or how about a simple necklace with a small charm? Or better yet? A high-five for a job well done. ;)

  2. I was in the line at T-Point with ALL those women who made those was Cracking me UP! (But then it got irritating cuz it took them an extra 10 min of MY time to complete their whining and exchanging... (not fun) So I think socks is a great idea! If you were to ever go with the necklace/charm idea....I could TOTALLY help you out with that, and you would be feeding women on the other side of the let me know if I can help!
    Wendy Bird
    Pearls With a Purpose Foundation


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