I am not a small woman.
Even when I weighed less, I wasn't what anyone would describe as small. And you know what? I'm okay with that.
I take up space. I exist. You see me. I stopped being uncomfortable with that notion a long time ago. Professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reese sums it up nicely:
"The thing I don't like about this fear of being big is that it feeds into this general female thing of wanting to less powerful, less assertive, less demanding, less opinionated, less present, less big."
My size has both it's advantages and disadvantages.
While I have to work very hard at finding clothes and shoes and am sometimes mistaken for a man from behind, I rarely have problems regarding personal security.
Like most things in life, my size is a mixed bag of frustrations and blessings. On Monday the blessing part revealed itself in a rather unique way.
I had just gotten off the green line at Austin and was slowly descending to street level behind an elderly woman with a cane.
While the Austin stop has an escalator going up, it also has stairs that you can take up or down and no elevator. Clearly if you have mobility issues, using the stairs is your least desirable option.
Someone had already sped past the lady and I wasn't in that big of a hurry to get downstairs so I patiently walked behind her.
Plus the stairs are so narrow, that my presence would effectively stop someone from pushing past the both of us and potentially knocking her down.
About a quarter of the way down a man literally fell on top of me and slid right into my ass.
Luckily I'm not only built for comfort and speed but sturdiness as well.
Truth be told, I was holding onto the handrail so that more than likely saved the day but I'm pretty sure that my ass also absorbed a great deal of the force of a grown man falling on me.
When I turned around to see what was going on, I saw a rather frail elderly man parked against me holding onto the handrail for dear life.
Other commuters came to his aid as we all tried to steady him and get him upright. We all thought he had missed a step and fallen.
The lady with the cane in front of me managed to make it all the way downstairs in the midst of the commotion.
The gentleman behind still couldn't stand on his own.
I eventually went downstairs to alert the CTA attendant as we all thought he may have broken something.
He was carried downstairs and the authorities were called. During the wait for their arrival, I asked him if there was someone I could call for him so they could meet him at the hospital.
He said no.
The police, fire and EMT's showed up. I had given my account of the story to the CTA attendant and asked the gentleman one more time if he wanted me to call anyone for him. Again he replied no.
I sensed he was more embarrassed than hurt so I let him be.
Then the enormity of what just happened hit me.
My body, more specifically my ass, saved this poor man from what could have become a much worse fall. Furthermore, he could of taken out the lady with the cane in front of him to compound the disaster.
Not to slight my smaller sisters but he would of mowed down an average/petite girl. His downward slide stopped with me.
The strong body that I often look at as being too large was just the thing to stop a man (albeit a frail one) from tumbling down the stairs.
Now it's not everyday I find myself in these situations---when's the last time someone fell into your ass?
In this case big was a blessing.
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