I'm mid-suicide run. Morbid name for it, to be sure, but the drill-style workout -- in which you run to and from a starting line to a progressively farther line -- can have you feeling, well, like you're going to die. But somehow, I feel stronger, more powerful, and more capable than I've ever felt while moving my body this way. Yet, for the most part, I'm struggling to accept this, because part of me still feels like an overweight 10-year-old trudging behind her peers in gym class, coughing and heaving and scowling at the teacher who has tasked us with the state-required one-mile run.
Maybe that's one reason why a startling statistic, cited by Jes Baker's now-viral TED Talk, hit me -- hard. Baker says young girls are more afraid of getting "fat" than they are of cancer, nuclear war, or losing their parents. She also notes that 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.