Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers. Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about. Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post. Today’s word is juxtaposition….. I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.
Juxtaposition – the act or an instance
of placing two or more things side by side;
also the state of being so placed
The juxtapositions of thin and overweight; fit and unfit… What unfair conclusions do people draw from these comparisons, taking nothing into consideration other than outward appearances?
The average person’s perception on what makes a person fit became obvious to me about twenty-five years ago while training a tall, thin woman who hired me to help her build muscular strength and endurance. Just after finishing a session with this lady, another gym member came up to me and in a rather nasty tone said, “Why does that woman need to work with a trainer? She’s not fat!” At that point it dawned on me, most people perceive thin people as fit and overweight people as unfit.
The point became even clearer when I overheard a fellow runner complain when anyone heavier beat her in a race. She thought that heavy people should be slowed down by their weight; and therefore, should be at the back of the pack – or at least behind her. I had to remind her that some runners are just genetically gifted, no matter their weight.
Years later, when my slightly above average size friend packed the studio night after night with her extremely challenging aerobics classes, I became baffled. Based on my previous experiences with people’s perception of “thin meaning fit” and “overweight meaning unfit,” it didn’t make sense why people would want to take a class from a “not-so-fit-looking” instructor. Turns out, class participants loved her because she was real. She worked them hard, she was obviously very fit if she could teach an hour-long advanced step aerobics class, and she looked like one of them!
So let’s place these various body types side-by-side, and take a closer look. The tall and thin person might have appeared to be the fittest, yet she was weak and had poor endurance. The slightly overweight runners and aerobic instructor were strong, had great endurance, and were obviously very fit. This juxtaposition of body types shows that you can’t judge a body by it’s outward appearance.
What juxtapositional situations can you think of that occur in the running and fitness world?
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Next Wednesday’s Word: Visceral