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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It happened again...the awkward compliment I get a lot

This morning my day kicked off with an 8 AM team meeting.  Our team met in one of the conference rooms and had a good 30 minute update with our boss.  As we were filing out of the conference room, one of my co-workers said my name and stopped me as I was walking.  I thought that something was wrong with my outfit like my slip showing since I had decided at the last minute that the dress I was wearing would look better with a slip underneath.  I slowly turned back towards her to see what was up and she proceeded to tell me that my calves were rocking today. I guess she hadn't noticed my calves before since she was walking directly behind me today.  I wasn't even wearing crazy heels or anything today...just a modest low wedge type shoe. 

This is not the first time that this type of situation has happened and it is always so awkward for me.  There was the time a stranger in the bathroom started talking to me with the line of "I hope this doesn't seem awkward...but you have really great calves." It was awkward! Another example was a recent picture that I posted to Facebook from my weekend at Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged.  We had an event where we all received cowboy boots and I had to share how cute my boots were with everyone.  Notice one of the first comments is about my calves!

Other people see my calves and think what great legs.  I usually see weakness in my calves...they can be tight and prone to messing up my running stride.  And much to my dismay my calves keep me from rocking the heeled boot trend that everyone else looks so cute in.  I have tried to get a good picture of my calves but just can't seem to get one where you can really see the muscle definition in them.  These are the best pics that I have...
Post hilly run in the mud and rocking tri tattoos after the Route 66 Festivus this year

Don't get me wrong...I'm proud of my legs and proud of the strength that they contain.  My legs and calves support me as I explore various sports and go on adventures including this one through the treetops.  And yes I am very conscious of my legs when I select shoes.  I prefer some type of heel to flats simply because it makes me feel like my calves look more normal sized when they are engaged from a heel. 

I can sometimes feel like a freak with my ginormous calves.  I don't know how we came about this contest but around 4th of July, my sisters and brother-in-laws and I all had a calf measuring contest.  I won! My calves measure about 16 1/4 to 16 1/2 inches around at their widest point. 

How does this compare? I discovered a website called Stack Me Up which offered a comparison tool.  Seems like my calves are quite a bit bigger than the average female specifically larger than 70% of the female population.  All of this without any calf raises! That's right I don't do any calf specific weight training...just running, biking, and other general fitness activities.  I have learned to graciously thank people for the compliment without showing my embarrassment.  It has been a hard process to learn how to respond because it really embarrassed me the first few times that it happened. 

What was funny about the compliment today was that this coworker didn't know which sports I participate in.  She thought I was just a swimmer so she was really amazed at how I could have these legs without being a runner.  She said something like you aren't a runner.  I quickly corrected her and said oh no, I run and I bike too.
In the middle of the yellow photo for the late 80's performance to Wild Wild West by Escape Club (but really listening to the song now it doesn't seem appropriate for a dance recital?!?!) and in blue for a tap number my junior or senior year of high school. 

Truth be told these legs are the work of an active life...as a child I danced and danced.  I lived dance all through high school and was also a cheerleader.  Strong calves and legs were necessary to power through jumps and support me on those intricate ballet turns and fast tap moves.  And then as an adult I discovered running and eventually cycling and triathlon.  These strong calves have been helping me accomplish all my fitness endeavors my whole life and I wouldn't trade any of those accomplishments for the ability to wear heeled tall boots!


  1. I can SO relate to this! I get the strangest, most awkward comments about my calves! (I blame the 16+ years of dance and current love of running/biking/swimming) Just the other day a man at the gym stated he would "give anything" to have my calves. Uh, gee thanks grown bulky man.

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