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And by little shits I mean children you encounter on you runs, so called children who do things as hurtful as their adult counterparts, hurtful things such as name calling, pointing, mimicking and even throwing things.

When I was at college I was sitting round a friends house just chillin when we heard an almighty smash. We ran outside to find a smashed milk bottle by the front door and could just about see the culprits running off down the road.

“Call em a sod ju, call em a sod” my friend cried. This was funny on soooo many levels and still makes me laugh out loud even twenty years later.

Why she couldn’t call em a sod herself I will never know and why would they care about being called a sod anyway? they had just lobbed a glass bottle at her front door for no reason other than just for fun.

I have been thinking recently about why kids can be such little shits, me included I guess as I was the biggest little shit as a kid, just ask my teachers at school oh and my mum!!!

But anyway…

This whole blog came about because of one such challenging child. I was minding my own business carting my size 20 body around a park as part of an organised fun run and he (the grubby little kid) was fishing with his dad. Really he should have just ignored me and concentrated on getting a catch or whatever it is you do when you fish, but no he had to call out.

“Fatty Must Run” and then roll around laughing and soaking up the admiration of his dad and his friends, who should have known better.

I was too mortified at the time to respond but I wonder what I would have said to him anyway? I mean how do you respond.

Unfortunately that wasn’t an isolated incident either. I often find myself the victim of abuse from children not even out of primary school yet. What compels them to be so mean? Where do they learn this behaviour and what are we doing to curb it?

Last year out on a run with my running club a group of kids were initially rude but then ran with us for a while asking some reasonable questions. I think the convo went a little like this…

“What you doing”
“Running”
“Why?”
“To keep fit”
“But you are still Fat doh”
” I know, which is why I am running”
“Oh, right”

At my last 10k race in Regents Park I was about 700 meters away from the finish line when some little kid said “cor look at that Fat lady” he was about 6 or 7 I guess, I heard it clear as day and just looked at him to let him know I had heard, his 9 year old brother looked mortified and told him off…why is it that even at 6 or 7 he already knows (or thinks at least) that fat people don’t run?

And finally in the last mile of the Brighton Marathon last month when I felt like I was actually gonna die, a bunch of kids of about 12 started mimicking my breathing and laughing. I was gutted and if I had the energy I quite possible could have pushed them over the sea wall they were perched on. My running buddies who were supporting me heard them too but ignored them, perhaps at a loss for what to say or maybe hoping I hadn’t noticed it in the first place.

So what are we to do?

One lady on my Facebook page says this is why she runs at night, is this the answer?

If more overweight people ran in public would this make it less of a spectacle? Less funny perhaps?

Answers on a postcard please…what should we do about these little shits???

  1. April 27, 2014

    When I was 14 I had just done 60 lengths of a 25 m pool. I walked outside and there was this really pretty thin girl and I was lost in my own thoughts when her boyfriend shouted ‘what you staring at fatty look at your arse wobble’

    I really wish he hadn’t of said that because that’s what led me to start dieting. I lost 2 stone but ever since starting dieting at 14 I’ve yo yo’d ever since.

    Then on one of my training runs this year someone stuck their head out of a car window and shouted ‘you might try running but you’re still fat’

    It did knock the wind out of me but I realised its them that are poorly educated. There are so many things I wanted to shout back now – but at the time I couldn’t fight the tears.

    Some people are just so inconsiderate and don’t know how much it hurts. I find it quite sad on their behalf and wonder what they will be like in the future. But then we are all in a bit of a special club really with common understanding about weight issues and how hard it can be. I’m very protective of my weight loss friends because most of us has been battling for years – usually after a comment from a said ‘little shit’.

  2. April 25, 2014

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  3. Ugh, must confess the thought of abusive ‘little shits’ is rather demotivating for a big girl thinking about going running. Luckily, reading your blog however is a great antidote to such. Currently I’m just walking first thing every morning, which for me, is a good start as I haven’t exercised properly for a few years now. Once I’ve been walking a while and am solidly into the habit of going straight out to exercise as soon as I get up, then I mean to start doing walk/run intervals. Fortunately for me, hoards of little shits don’t seem to appear at 6:30 in the morning round my way, so fingers crossed I’ll manage to avoid them once I start wibbling, puffing and thudding along..

    • Unfortunately it is a reality for many of us, but there are ways of avoiding it. I run in parks with lots of other runners and along tow paths etc, you learn to ignore it I guess

      • I’ve been thinking of putting a card in my local co-op to see if other ‘larger ladies’ would be up for joining me for morning walk/runs around the quieter paths in our little town – it might be nice to have some company, and I suspect there are probably plenty of fatties who frequently ponder exercising in public but fail to start because they feel too embarrassed to do so alone.

        • Great idea!! Which area? You may find people via social media too. Are you on the Facebook page?

  4. April 24, 2014

    You aren’t alone and it isn’t just about being overweight. Commando is tall and slim with enviably long legs. He has children and even adults shouting things out at him when he runs too. He runs fast, he looks good but still people shout or laugh. Maybe it’s just because people mock the thing they wish they could do. I’ve had it when I’m power walking too both when I was size 20 and when I was size 10. It’s not about the weight it’s about going out exercising I think.

  5. April 24, 2014

    Bad upbringing and the parents are probably the same. I’d put on headphones and blaze past them singing to my ipod.

  6. April 23, 2014

    I can never think of witty put downs when I’m gasping for breath and concentrating on keeping going when I run past these little shits. I read a blog post about a triathlete who is overweight, called Jackie Stringer. Unfortunately I can’t find the original blog post but this blog talks about how Jackie was ridiculed at first but then went on to inspire people of any size to train and compete. Well done Jackie, she really is an inspiration. http://www.blisstree.com/2012/08/03/fitness/triathlete-gets-fat-shamed-becomes-even-more-inspiring-937/

  7. April 23, 2014

    It’s the ignorant ones that do it. The insecure children who think they need to look better than someone to make themselves feel better and society dictates that fat people are an easy target but it could be anything. They’ll pick on any vulnerability to make themselves look better… Still I ignore them and smile thinking this will be you one day unless you do as I’m doing do big off you chavvy little cretins

  8. April 23, 2014

    With children up to about 10 or 11 it can work to stop and introduce yourself and ask them their names, what they’re up to and why they’re calling out. That takes energy but can be really effective. Usually they haven’t actually realised that a) you are an actual person and b) you can hear them. I do this sometimes at the pool when you get those fat lady in togs giggles.
    One of my friends was always harassed when riding his bike home by a couple of kids who’d throw things and yell (he’s not fat, btw). One day he stopped and said hey kid, my name’s bob, what’s your problem? After that the kid always smiled and waved. Weird but true.
    With anyone 13 or more, including adults, or the kind who are deliberately trashing your property or something, I have no ideas.

  9. April 23, 2014

    I am quite lucky in this respect in that it isn’t the children as such, but the teenagers. The teenagers who tear around in their horrendously “modified” car (you know the type – trash can exhausts, lowered to mere millimetres from the ground etc), who I find as offensive in their trashy vehicles as they find my attempts to run. I usually flip them the bird, but I appreciate you shouldn’t do that to a child.

    Anyway… my solution is to run at night or on quieter (but safe) routes.

  10. April 23, 2014

    Unfortunately, kids will always be kids and coming out with sarcastic, rude, hurtful comments is something some kids are brilliant at. I honestly don’t think there’s anything you can say that will stop them as most of them love it when people respond, it eggs them on. They think they’re being clever, usually they’ll do it to impress their mates and look like the big guy. I’ll wager that most of them wouldn’t dream of speaking in the same manner if they were with their parents, and i’ll wager that most parents would be mortified if they knew their kids behaved in that manner. Unfortunately there’s always an exception to that, as proved above with the lad who was fishing.

  11. April 23, 2014

    Invite them for a run with you?…!
    Usually I smugly think ‘Little shits are gonna die young’ as they tuck into their MaccyDs. It’s always the chavvy, completely unfit ones that shout out.
    I think it probably used to bother me, but having worked as a teacher for the past four years I think I now block out all conversation from kids directed towards me!

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