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Daily Helping for March 28th, 2021 – Brittany Runs a Marathon

A photo still from Brittany Runs a Marathon, showing two characters running through a park, each of them looking deeply unhappy about it.

Eight years ago, after one too many drinks at a family dinner, I agreed to run a half marathon. I cannot begin to describe to you how much I loathed running when I made this agreement, but it was just another case in a long tradition of alcohol enabling bad decisions. My family held me to that agreement, and in September of 2014, I ran my first half marathon. I have since run two marathons, 13 half marathons, and countless races of smaller distances. And for the vast majority most of them, the expression on my face was very similar to the ones above. Which was why I couldn’t wait to watch Brittany Runs a Marathon.

I don’t think I need to do too much of a plot summary. It’s all there in the title really. But what I particularly loved about this film was just how accurately it portrayed the runner’s journey. Or at least, how scarily accurate it was to my personal runner’s journey. From being barely able to run a block, to getting addicted to the high that comes with crossing a finishing line, everything about this film rang true for me. Especially the part about just how f@#king hard it is to run a marathon, and how having a support team to cheer you on is absolutely essential for success.

I also love the way this film deals with the physical side of running and the body image problems that so many women face. The titular Brittany starts running on the advice of her doctor, and it’s not about getting thin. It’s about getting healthy, and the film goes to great lengths to comment on the many ways simply focusing on the exterior won’t work. Brittany may be making a physical transformation, but it’s not until she really examines what’s going on inside that true change can happen. This is a film that knows that a healthy body, both inside and out, is far preferable to a skinny one.

But Brittany Runs a Marathon is also about just that. A woman who runs a marathon, and all the ups and downs that undertaking such an enormous challenge entails. And I loved every second of it because I’ve been there. Running a marathon is an enormously daunting task, and you will question your life decisions every step of the way. But when you cross that finish line, I can attest to the fact that it is absolutely worth it.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!