So, I was sitting here eating a Hostess Ho-Ho and reading my Facebook friends feed (umm, no, really — does that make me a “bad fatty”?), and came across a link from a friend. The link was for a place that sells women’s chest protection for fencing. Basically, think a hard, plastic front of a model looking thing that you wear to keep yourself from getting hurt while fencing.
I’ve thought about picking up a blade a time or two. Conall’s been doing SCA fencing for about 3 years now, and really enjoys it. It looks like it could be fun, and is not near as rough as the heavy fighting is (those people beat hit each other with sticks rattan “swords” and require much heavier armor than fencing requires).
However, every time I’ve looked into fencing, I’ve been disappointed to find there’s nothing that fits me. The link my friend put up went to “x-large”, with no measurements or other indication of just what they consider to be extra large. Places I’ve seen in the past only go up to a 36 D.
This always comes back to the whole “why don’t fat people exercise” question. Many people assume all I do all day long is sit on the internet (or watch TV) and eat Twinkies (or, in my case, since I admitted to eating one up there, Ho-Ho’s). However, when we try to get exercise, we typically have two problems: 1) we are ridiculed for any attempt we make, whether it be walking or bicycling or swimming or joining a gym, and 2) there are no clothes that fit us properly, doubly so if we go into a specialized sport, such as fencing, or karate.
It’s extremely frustrating and disheartening to find a sport I like, only to find that I have to make my own clothing. A specific case is the karate I’m doing. When I joined, the Gi’s only went to a unisex size 8 (obviously, these sizes are NOT standard US sizes). A size 8 Gi top does not close on me, however it does at least do the crossover tie. Where it’s supposed to tie all the way at the sides though, it only overlaps by about 2 inches. The pants didn’t fit at all. The dojo special ordered a size 9 for me, hoping it would fit better. It did, and didn’t. I could squeeze into the pants (if I held my breath), and the Gi jacket now almost made it to the sides. The problem with the jacket was that the shoulder seam came down to my elbows. Not something I could actually, you know, fight in.
Next week Conall and I both are entered into the this Dojo system’s state Competition (and how we allowed ourselves to be talked into it, we’ll never understand), and I have to make myself a Gi jacket I won’t be embarrassed to compete in. Because, of course, they still don’t make any jackets that might actually work for a woman over a conventional size 14.
So, a lot of times when I hear from trolls (both online and in real life), “Just exercise more, fatty! Stop playing video games so much and eating Twinkies all the time,” I think about the challenges that face me when I do exercise. It’s a good thing I know how to sew and make a pattern, otherwise I’d not have agreed to enter competition no matter how much Sensei tried to convince me it would be good for me. Unfortunately, since I don’t know how to mold plastic to make a formed breastplate for myself, I’m not going to be trying fencing any time in the near future.