Meet Dorothy Beal — she's run 32 marathons, completed over 100 races, and is a mom of three, a running coach, and a source of inspiration to runners across the globe. But just like all of us, Dorothy has dealt with her own body insecurities. Last Summer, Dorothy completed a race, and when she received her race photos, she was immediately discouraged by the appearance of cellulite on her legs.
Dorothy recently took to Instagram to explain why after almost a year, she's coming to terms with the photo and bringing up an extremely important point about self-love. "Let's get real with each other for a second shall we!?" she captioned the photo above. "How many of you have let a race photo steal joy from you?? Both of these race photos were taken on the same day at the same race. In one I looked happy and strong and in the other I was left questioning if there was a part of my body that didn't have cellulite."
She explained that this race was unusually difficult for her and she actually threw up along the 13.1-mile course, but after the race she had fun drinking wine with her friends. "If you had asked me after if I had a good time I would have said YES!!" Dorothy wrote. But that happiness only lasted until she saw her race photos, when her feelings about that day and her confidence level both took a negative turn.
"A race photo is ONE SINGLE moment in time and I let one of them steal joy from me," she recalled. "Most times we don't look great while we run, but that's not why we run anyways, we run to FEEL like I look in the photo on the right — HAPPY. Don't let a photo steal joy — you are worth so much more than one split second — moment in time."
PREACH! Dorothy also runs the IHaveARunnersBody Instagram account, where she shares photos celebrating body diversity and encouraging all runners to love their bodies. It's a powerful way to bring the huge running community together and celebrate all the empowering qualities they represent.
Dorothy is an incredibly inspiring woman, and her own realization about race photos is a reminder that we cannot judge ourselves based on the way we look in photos. We cannot let a bad angle ruin our day or even take away from our impressive accomplishments (such as, you know, completing a half marathon).