You don’t need to be skinny to be an athlete.

There is a moment that I absolutely dread when people find out that I’m cycling around the world. It’s that once-over most people give me, a sweeping glance up and down my body that is usually blink-and-you-miss-it fast. I never miss it. 

People get judged by their appearance every day, and since I’ve put myself in the spotlight recently, I get judged a lot. I know that I’m not skinny; I know that I don’t look like the typical athlete.

But I am more than my weight. I am more than my body type. 

I am strong. I am determined. I have an enormous will-power, and what I look like has nothing to do with how good of a bicycle tourist I am. It has nothing to do with the smile I get on my face when I get on a bike a sunny day. It has nothing to do with the song in my heart when I’m discovering the world from a saddle. My weight has nothing to do with how strong I feel when I’ve climbed a hill and stand at the top feeling absolutely unbeatable. Like I can do anything I want. And I can.

Would I be faster if I was thinner? Maybe.
Would I be happier? No. 

This trip is not about what I look like, it’s about doing something I love and living the life of an adventurer. My body is amazing and I praise it regularly for what it can do, something everyone should start doing instead of judging it by how it looks. My legs are strong and they can take me places far away. My arms can lift heavy things and give warm hugs. My stomach is strong enough to hold me up during hours in the saddle, and every time I laugh I can feel the muscles working to my advantage. My brain can process things faster than a computer and it can learn languages and make up stories and it gives me courage.

There is more to me than what I look like, and I want you to remember that. 

Strong across Sweden in 2013.

Strong across Sweden in 2013.

Strong across Europe in 2014.

Strong across Europe in 2014.

Strong training for around the world in 2015.

Strong training for around the world in 2015.

Comments

  1. says

    Det är lika sant som det är galet. Själv lever jag efter Ola Skinnarmos definition av en äventyrare; “En äventyrare måste vara glad, stark och lite fet!” Kram på dig

    • Cecilia says

      Det låter som ett perfekt citat att leva efter, det ska jag komma ihåg! Tack! 🙂

  2. Theresa Russell says

    Good for you! I’m more of a stocky frame and I love cycling. Just back from a 40 mile ride out. Looking forward to cycling In Holland In August.

    Good luck – i’m dead jealous!

    • Cecilia says

      It’s all about the attitude, not about the body! 🙂 Holland is amazing to cycle in, great roads with bike lanes and respectful drivers. You’ll have a really good time! And thank you!

  3. says

    The infatuation with overly skinny is a modern fashion fad that makes no sense physiologically/biologically. Humans historically have always been in an epic battle with famine, and having a reserve of energy was a very important survival trait. Food is more available these days, sure …most of the time. But maybe not so much on a bike trip around the world? On such a trip, being skinny would be a terrible disadvantage given the enormous energy demands that are going to be made on you.

    • Cecilia says

      Exactly my thoughts! Now my body has an energy reserve to take from when things might get a bit rough. Riding a bike is so much about the mentality, it doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you just keep going. And my mind is very strong, so I’ll be just fine!

  4. Suzanne says

    Åh vad fint och inspirerande som vanligt! Fortsätt med att vara du, du är fantastisk!

  5. lanttolife says

    Skriker bara “Ja. Ja. Och ja!”
    Så sant. Skriver under på allt men framförallt det här:
    Would I be faster if I was thinner? Maybe.
    Would I be happier? No.
    Stort, stort lycka till, ska bli roligt att följa dig.

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