It was about six years ago I came across an article in Dirt Rag Magazine that F’ed with my head. If you are into mountain biking and its culture I highly recommend the magazine by the way. With that said I was reading an article from an author that is talking about his experience racing in his local circuit as a “Clydesdale”. I had never heard of this term and it caught my interest, come to find out that “bigger” guys have a division all of there own. Most events define the Clyde category as males above 200 pounds.
That fateful night I found out I was a plus sized athlete…
I initially took this shot to the head in a couple different ways. The first being triumph, triumph that I was of such a massive stature that people like me need our own division for our massiveness as to not scare the “little” athletes. After that testosterone induced moment wore off depression set in. Wait my size isn’t awesomeness it’s a handicap?
If my size necessitated a unique division because of its dominance they would have used a Thoroughbred as its representation not a Clydesdale. Clydesdales though strong and picturesque are not quick or agile I was being classified as big and slow. So go out their young Clyde and run/bike as fast as your heavy slow body can take you! When you finish we will be so proud and amazed that you even could do it.
How was I supposed to take this? Should I embrace my Clydeness or fight it? I’m not alone in this debate Clyde’s all across the country are fighting with the same question. I think it’s a personal decision that only the Clyde can answer. For me I’m a glutton for punishment and want to compete in the largest grouping of athletes so I ignore my designation.
This isn’t to say I completely ignore my Clydness. I’m just a Clydesdale working hard to spank Thoroughbreds across the battlefield known as competition! Maybe its time to get a shirt made. It should be a shirt that proclaims my ownership of my size with a warning of my capabilities. The front can say, “I am a Clydesdale”. The back will say “Warning if you can read this run faster or watch for droppings!”