This member has chosen to remain anonymous, but their message should be read as if they are both your best friend and the stranger you just met for the first time.
The Tribe is Strong, but we can and will be better.
To bring it up might even seem petty – it was one competitive guy, right?
These runners had been passed by other male runners, and yet, as they turned their heads and sized me up, they did everything in their power to “beat” me. It was not a challenge to keep up with me, to maintain my pace, or to race me up a hill – I was just a woman on a morning run who five individual men refused to lose to.
If they were just being competitive, then why just with me? After the fifth occurrence, I vented to my incredibly patient boyfriend about these egotistical males I had encountered.
This time in particular, as I began to overtake the man in front of me, he looked at me, registered that I was passing him, and immediately sped up.
I fell behind again, running my own pace, but the male runner quickly slowed down, and I began to gain on him once more.
Dads have warned their sons not to let girls join their rough play.
Boys have made fun of their friends who lose to girls in gym class.
It is not uncommon for runners to increase their speed as they are being passed – whether it is a conscious or subconscious decision, it happens to all of us.
However, the five specific situations that I am referring to were incredibly blatant. We get up before dawn to work out, and we test our bodies with absurd distances. I was not the finish line of a race, and I was not someone’s workout buddy.
November Project’s value system clearly defines the time and space shared within the tribe as being inclusive, supportive, motivating, inspiring, and geared towards the growth of all people who put forth the effort to #justshowup.
So, when a member of our tribe at November Project Chicago reached out to us and expressed concern, frustration, anger, and hurt over their experiences both outside of and within the tribe, we knew it was time for a refresher course on how to not only talk the talk, but how to walk the walk.
What inspired me to write this blog post was the shocking realization that some of the kindest, smartest, and most generous people I know also believe that men are inherently more athletic than women, and that this harmful thinking exists within my NP_Chi family.