There's no such thing as "a runner's body." That's the message Candice Huffine is hoping to spread with a recent post on Instagram.
On Wednesday, the Vogue Italia cover model posted a photo of herself sitting on the floor in her workout gear, with her T-shirt tucked into her sports bra so we can see her belly rolls. In the caption, Huffine—who is training for the Boston Marathon next month—talks about the ridiculous notion that a person's appearance has a direct correlation with her fitness level.
An excerpt from an old notebook I found, written one year ago today and right on time. • • • "How come when people say 'wow you look skinny' we say thank you? In my experience the times I've slimmed down the most have been preceded by stress, a break up, lack of self-care, something traumatic. How come people don't ever say 'You look so fit, 'Wow, you are so strong' or 'You run so fast and far now!'?! It's always about size, not ability and sometimes it overjoys us for someone to say we shrunk. Well, I've changed my mindset once and for all. My stomach can jiggle and roll up when I sit for all of eternity, but if I can be healthy and strong and finish this race, then I'm complete." • • • A year later and I'm in the best shape of my life and look 👆🏼, tummy still has rolls and I feel unstoppable. There's no perfect body. The one you have right now is amazing. Let it lead you to perfect days, finish lines, happy times, and fun. Take in compliments that inspire you, and give ones that empower. And you know what, why don't you join me this Saturday at 1pm at the @NYRR Run Center and we'll continue this conversation and end with a Q+A! Link in bio 💪🏼 #strivetobemorethanskinny #BeBold #BeYOU
She begins by quoting a journal entry that she wrote exactly 12 months earlier: "'My stomach can jiggle and roll up when I sit for all of eternity, but if I can be healthy and strong and finish this race, then I'm complete.'" She then points out how far she has come in her training since then: "A year later and I'm in the best shape of my life and look, tummy still has rolls and I feel unstopabble."
Huffine wants running to be seen as a body-positive activity—not a sport that only athletes with a certain physique can enjoy. "There's no perfect body," she says. "The one you have right now is amazing. Let it lead you to perfect days, finish lines, happy times, and fun."
Putting the CAN in Candice 😉 So this April 17th I'm running the legendary Boston Marathon and proving to MYSELF just how strong I really am and to all women that you and your unique and wonderful body can do ANYTHING! Link in bio for an awesome piece by @shape on my anniversary race, the upcoming marathon, and redefining was strength looks like. 💪🏼 #IWillWhatIWant #IGotThis #NYCHalf #BostonMarathon #ihavearunnersbody
Last week, the model posted a photo of herself pounding the pavement in the snow. "I'm running the legendary Boston marathon and proving to MYSELF just how strong I really am," she wrote.
The takeaway? If there's a boxing gym, dance class, or running group you've been wanting to join, just go for it. Maybe you're worried you don't fit in, or you're not fit enough—but once you start working, those feel-good endorphins will make you so glad you gave it a shot. As Huffine put it, "your unique and wonderful body can do ANYTHING!"