One of the things that frustrates me enormously is the lack of real science in fitness reporting…. and the overwhelming amount of non-science that all conflicts with the rest of it.
Another thing that really frustrates me is the way that women’s magazines focused on fitness are really focused on looking sexy for your man.
So last week, in an attempt to combine skepticism, fitness and women in one place, I started the Skepchick Quickies Running Club on Facebook. It’s pretty great, actually. I expected that maybe 15 or 20 women would be interested ever, but we’re up to almost 60 members and it’s so busy I can hardly keep up with all the monitoring.
I’m really excited about this because I have one place on the internet where I can discuss so many of my overlapping interests. Like, even though I’m training for a marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s science-based medicine fundraising team to cure cancer, they’re not really skeptics or feminists… and, in Texas, I’m avoiding the religion topic allllllllllll together. And hanging out with other skeptics, it’s often assumed that I’m being impolite when I discuss my morning fartleks. And no one wants to hang out with me when I’m being all feminist buzzkill… and I don’t want to hang out with people who explain to me why my feminist viewpoints are my silly girly irrational emotions talking.
But now I have a place where I can injure myself while running for science and have a team of ladies be like “No! Don’t rub hemlock extract on that!” While also not not worrying about having to punch anyone for laughing at some dude getting “chicked” (that’s when you’re running so slow, a chick passes you.) It was a social intersection I desperately needed.
And even though we’re brand new and global, members are already organizing social runs for the group. Skepchick Jamie is hosting a Quickies run at SkepchickCon and a Sundays group run along the lakefront in Chicago. Rebecca and co-badass moderator Julia Burke are doing a Zombie 5K. And Surly Amy is developing a profound friendship with an elliptical/solidarity machine.
Sometimes I feel like the world is nothing but negativity, but then something like this comes together and it reminds me that the world is pretty great, and I feel pretty great knowing I did something to help make it so… like bring together 60 women into a niche group for support and encouragement and learning. And where they still “like” my annoying fundraising update/reminders. (“Did I mention I’m running the Chicago Marathon? FOR CHARITY? Well I still am. In case you forgot…. since I last mentioned it… 10 minutes ago.”)
Do you have any cool special interest groups you belong to? If you could start a group for your typically non-overlapping interests what would it be? Do you have a non skeptically focused hobby that you wish had more skepticism in it? Are you doing anything to help your communities be happier and more supportive places?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.