Fat Woman has never been a fan of the word "Olympic". "Olympic" joins "gigantic", "huge", "titanic" and "mountainous" as words that a part of Fat Woman always expects someone to turn around and say to her: "That's you, that is*" No one has actually played that particular trick on Fat Woman for at least fifteen years now, but Fat Woman is still slightly wary about synonyms for "large". "Jumbo" is Fat Woman's least favourite because of the cross-referencing to elephants.
Combining a synonym for "large" with sport makes Fat Woman doubly nervous. Fat Woman has not had good experiences with sport. Fat Woman has been excluded from several sports on account of her weight. Fat Woman wanted to ride but the local stables have never had shire horses. Fat Woman wanted to try open water swimming but could not find a wetsuit in her size. More pertinently, Fat Woman suffered extreme pain trying to keep up with fitter people. Fat Woman was invariably left gasping for breath with agonising pain shooting through her side (a "stitch") within a few minutes whilst friends were obviously annoyed at her pathetic inability to meet normal expectations and her need for rests.
Fat Woman's attention was caught by a newspaper article on something called the "Olympic Gold Challenge". The principle of the Olympic Gold Challenge is that you raise money for one of a selection of charities by trying a new sport. Fat Woman was inspired by the article and the claim that you could do just one sport. Fat Woman considered that she could cope with trying one new sport for the requisite three hours. Fat Woman signed herself up and arranged with Personal Trainer that she would attend his boxing class.
On finding more information about the challenge Fat Woman found that she would have to try not just one but five new sports. To just try one sport would require you to be on a team with four other people. Fat Woman had a moment of panic. Where could Fat Woman find four other people each willing to try a new sport on their own? Fat Woman finds it hard enough to coordinate four people who want to have dinner. Fat Woman was not comfortable asking other people to ask yet more people for money. Fat Woman takes a dim view of people who use charity sponsorship to fund their sporting activities, especially marathon runners.
After that initial moment Fat Woman realised that there was nothing stopping her trying four more new sports. For the first time in her life Fat Woman felt able to take up a sporting challenge.
Fat Woman is now undertaking her own Olympic Gold Challenge. Fat Woman has chosen the following Olympic Sports - boxing, weight lifting, hockey, 50m freestyle and clay shooting. Fat Woman has chosen to do this in support of Cancer Research. Fat Woman chose a cancer research charity because she lost her mother to cancer a couple of years ago. Fat Woman's mother used to say "I'm so proud of you" whatever Fat Woman did. Fat Woman hopes her mother is still proud of her.
If you would like to support Fat Woman in her once-in-a-lifetime efforts you can donate on her Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/ElizabethCook-1. You can also see what Fat Woman really looks like. Fat Woman rather likes being anonymous and writing as a character, but thinks that perhaps this is a little bit more important than that.
*Interested readers can view the source of this phrase here: http://youtu.be/aEQcsuXnnnc.