This is rich coming from me. But I was chatting with a friend the other day and we were discussing Caitlin Moran’s book How To Be A Woman (which we both adore.) There’s a bit in the book that touches on recreational sport and the differences that exist between men and women in relation to this.
Men participate in lots of recreational sporting activity very frequently. It’s a bonding thing. Lots of father/son activities include playing football in the park, going fishing, shooting, golfing, pool/snooker, you name it. They play sport for social reasons, with a bit of fitness rolled in there.
Women on the other hand, the sport we do, appears to be heavily related to health/looks/weight. This not suggesting ALL women doing this – just that from what I’ve seen for a lot of my friends and girls around me, we do sport for purpose that are not solely recreational or for fun. It’s because we want to sweat out that chocolate cake we just ate.
This means girls do not socialize a great deal through sport. Yes, sometimes a few friends and I will go to yoga or spinning, but it is still an individual activity with individual motives. We, as girls, want to burn calories. We are not going to just have a chinwag and a latté. We’ll go to Starbucks for that.
My hope would be that as girls we see sport as something fun and social without killing ourselves constantly over the ingrained link in our brains between exercise and self-improvement. If we begin treating sport/exercise as something social, fun and place to bond and meet new people, we will surely go more often, live fuller lives and stop beating ourselves up before, after and during our work-out sessions.