Athletics come in all sizes. That’s the message Women’s Running UK is sending out with its November 2015 cover. Size-18 runner Lindsey Swift is featured on the cover and this is the first time the UK magazine has featured someone who is not a model on their cover.
Lindsey’s story may sound familiar. While training for a 10K last month, the 26-year old teacher was heckled by a driver who slowed down, just to hurl fat jokes at her as she took a morning run.
She penned an open letter to the man and posted it to Facebook, which went viral:
“Featuring a plus-size lady and real-life runner on the front of a running magazine is a first in the UK. In doing so, we’re sending out a message that all women, regardless of their body type, should feel comfortable about running without fear of being judged.”
With her open letter going viral, Lindsey has been contacted by many other people who shared that they have also experienced the same thing:
“I’ve had messages from people all over the world saying that they have experienced similar things and will think twice before getting upset in future, which is amazing. A friend told me she’d once been heckled on her way to the gym by a car full of young men. She had been so shaken and upset that she had turned around and gone home.”
This is not the first time Women’s Running Magazine has featured a plus size women on their cover. The US version of the magazine featured plus model Erica Jean Schenk on their August 2015 cover, who is also a runner.
Lindsey told Women’s Running Magazine UK that running was never about changing the way she looks. She just wants to feel healthier:
“Even though I’ve always been big, I’ve always kind of liked my figure the way it is. I don’t want to be skinny, but just to be a little bit more toned and healthier is fine by me. I’ve noticed the difference and I like the way that I feel much healthier. I can do so much more now than I could before.”
Kudos to Women’s Running Magazine for showing diversity in athletes and pushing the message that anyone can be fit, in the body you’re in and has a right to be active with no judgments.