welcome– you’ve got FEMALE!

International Women’s Day– yesterday– was a cool day on the internet. NYT published obits of women they had failed to memorialize in the past. Male friends honored their women friends on insta. Everyone wore purple. It was hip to listen to women! Cool. But I didn’t publish this post yesterday, and here’s why: women’s voices matter every. single. day. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! So without further ado, here are some thoughts on women and adventure in the media:
A few years ago, I read a copy of Outside Magazine on a plane. I like Outside— because I like adventure, and I like fitness, and it’s more interesting than Shape or whatever (which let’s face it, you’ve read one, you’ve read them all). But boy, did I get mad that day. The cover touted a story about some awesome women athletes (didn’t manage to get one in the cover shot, though!)— and I flipped to the article. I was dismayed to find it was actually more like a photo spread, with full-page photos of women in tiny clothing, and the text was mostly about like, what they ate for breakfast. Sad trombone, Outside. So, I looked back to ask myself if my magazine-reading habits were silently minimizing women, and guess what?

  • 2016 was 0 for 11 on women gracing the cover (yet they somehow managed to get noted outdoorsman Tim Ferriss in there?). Oh, and the Tim Ferriss issue contained the story that started it all— “these seven women will crush you”. Like that should be somehow surprising or notable that women might “crush” you? Anyway.
  • 2015 was 1/12— and she’s wearing a bathing suit (but at least she’s an athlete!). It doesn’t get better as you keep going back (you can look at their archives.)

I think, to their credit, Outside has recognized this and is trying to rectify it. I’m waiting to see whether they can walk the walk. So far, 2018 has had Amelia Boone on a cover. 2017 had Mikaela Shiffren as cover athlete, plus a special women’s-themed issue (XX factor-branded, co-sponsored by REI, where they put their men on hiatus for the month. I have mixed feelings about this*). I’m not counting the anonyous bikini-clad ass on the April issue.

But, there’s a silver lining! My fed-up female athlete ass went on a mission to find some better content for adventerous females, and lo and behold, Misadventures was there for me. You guys. Have you seen this? They have it at Barnes and Noble, and REI. But get a subscription!

Spread from Misadventures 1

tucson represent! from a glorious Misadventures story on BICAS.

They have  incredible articles and no sexy pictures. They write about conservation! And urban cycling! And surfing, and skating, and kayaking, and camping! The photos are gorgeous— and they’re of natural elements, and women athletes— including, frequently, women of color. They review gear for women— and not just by adding a pink one to the list. They review books by women. But what mostly makes me happy is the fierce, fresh female voice that runs through it. My experience of the first issue of Misadventures was kind of like when I watched Wonder Woman— IT ME!! I’ve been doing it all wrong letting men run the show! My tribe has arrived!

*Is this kind of like the thing fashion magazines do where they do a “size themed issue” or have a column about plus sized clothing, but don’t do anything to alter the rest of their content about dieting and featuring models with unrealistic bodies? Maybe. I guess we’ll have to see. I’ll be happier about it if, instead of putting their male writers, editorial staff, and photogs on furlough for a month, they start hiring more women into high-level jobs, and using more women freelancers, every month.

Kinesio taping: yea nor nay?

I’ve had a minor niggling calf pain for a week or so. Should I kinesio tape that sucker? Kinesio tape (also called KT tape, though technically that’s a brand name): it was a hot ticket at the olympics a few years ago (London, maybe?). I’ve used it before, for minor tweaks and sore spots. I see others at the gym doing it. Patients of mine ask about it. Professionals (hi PTs!) do it. Theoretically, kinesio taping is supposted to increase blood and lymph flow by lifting the skin— this isn’t the same as traditional athletic taping, which is meant to create stability. Because I’m a science person, I’m immediately skeptical of a claim without evidence, even if it seems generally sane.

So, let’s ask: Kinesio tape. Is it safe? Does it do anything? Should I cover myself in multi-colored tape before my next workout?
taped up and ready to run.

why yes, my KT tape does match my skoras, than you for noticing.

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Running, Thrills, and Awesome

It’s THRILLING to accomplish something you weren’t certain you could do. For all the babble out there and instagram quotes about comfort zones and breakthroughs and whatnot, that central truth remains. And to accomplish something you aren’t certain you can do, you have to, well, do something you aren’t sure you can do. For people who are risk-averse creatures of habit, this can be a huge leap— but so, so worth it. There are roller-coaster thrills, and then there are life-changing thrills. On the roller coaster, you know you’re on there for five minutes and everything’s been safety-checked. For the other kind, there’s no net— you don’t know what will happen.

Last weekend, I ran a Ragnar Relay with my sister and a bunch of other lawyers.

the van

what could go wrong?

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Running, Racing, and Life

Why, as a reasonably slow adult, would I choose to participte in competitive running events? I pay money, run when I don’t feel like running, make a trip to whatever running shop to pick up my bib and tshirt, get up at some ungodly hour of the morning, wait in line for a porta-potty in the freezing cold, and then run so hard I feel a little sick, only to finish in the middle of the pack, eat an underripe banana, go home, and go back to whatever the rest of my life holds that day.

Sounds a little crazy, I guess, when I try to explain it.

But competitive running events are immensely popular among adults who aren’t, and never were, elite athletes. I know some people do it for the social aspect, some people do it because they need some external accountability (interesting thoughts on this re: Gretchen Ruben’s 4 tendancies— stay tuned). Some people are just really competitive and they get a buzz from that. I get a little satisfaction from these aspects, but not a lot. I’m an introvert. I’m pretty self-motivated. So why? Continue reading

Overcoming the fear of The Group

Hi, I’m Zabby, and I’m a Capital-I Introvert. Often when I tell people this about myself, they laugh and say something like “but you’re so friendly!” There’s been a lot of discussion in the general zeitgeist* these days of what real introversion means (Exhibit A , Exhibit B). Really, it comes down to the fact that social interaction takes energy. A lot of introverts are also sensitive, like I am— and that combination can be challenging. I find it hard to talk to people I don’t know, and I hate being in the middle of a crowd (I’d rather be on the edge). I don’t like loud things with lots of stimulation or being forced into conversation. I hate feeling trapped. I DON’T hate people— I have friends who I love deeply and want to be with. But I have, like, eight, not fifty.

At the same time, I believe in the benefits of a group— for motivation, accountability, energy, inspiration, pushing boundaries, learning.  It’s NOT about competition, comparison, or shame. “Make a date with a workout buddy!” is such common advice now that it’s almost a cliche.

I know those benefits are waiting for me, if I can push myself over the “OH NOES! STRANGERS! TALKING!” wall that I sometimes manage to build.

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