I could tell from down the block that you were going to make some sort of comment to me. The way you were hovering around the edge of the playground, just next to the fence, and kept glancing in my direction. I thought about going down a block so I wouldn't have to run past you, but then I realized that I am a grown ass woman and that I was not going to alter my route for fear of your ridicule.
I heard one of you yell out "She must be running to McDonalds!" and I heard the laughter of your friends. Well played, 11-year-old girl. Well played. I probably would have laughed at that too, if I was your friend in the 6th grade.
But here's the thing: I was 3/4 of the way done with a four-mile run when I passed you. I currently run four or five days a week for three to five miles at a time. After I finished my four miles today, I showered and went back to my job. The job that I work very hard at and that helps to support my family, including my little girl. Who I hope is a lot nicer than you when she is your age.
Yes, it's true. I am carrying some extra weight. That's part of the reason why I am running, but it's not the whole story. See, I grew another person in my body last year. Then I had a somewhat traumatic birth experience. Then I recovered from major surgery while caring for a colicky newborn. Then I spent the next 10 months feeling terrible and not dealing with my post-partum depression. Then I got help for that. And then I started running again. And running makes me feel a lot better about myself and life in general.
So, middle school mean girls, I hope you go home tonight and talk to your parents about the importance of exercise and how fast food is bad for you. Especially since, from the looks of it, at least two of you probably outweigh me already.
P.S. For the record, I had quinoa with roasted brussels sprouts and Greek yogurt for lunch. I did not run to McDonald's.