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I have been very blessed for most of my life with a great metabolism. It has only been recently that I’ve really struggled with my weight. Because of this, I did not grow up being called names and being treated different because I was fat. I’ve seen kids be teased for it. I’ve heard rude comments be made. But it’s not something that I comprehend from personal experience.

Last night at volleyball there was a large man on the team we played against. I mean, a LARGE man! I wouldn’t want to even take a stab in the dark to guess what his weight was. But he was a big guy. I couldn’t stop watching him because it’s really not common in our league to see large people playing. It takes a fair amount of agility and stamina to play three sets. It’s a sport, for hell’s sake. Before anyone thinks I’m bashing fat people, just hear me out.

As I watched him, I watched his reactions when he would miss a ball or when he missed a serve, or when he missed a hit. He would stomp/shuffle his feet on the floor and mumble curses under his breath. I couldn’t help but notice how hard he was on himself. I got the clear impression that he felt as though he was a failure. I wanted to go give him a hug and tell him kudos for being out playing and being active and to let him know that he was doing just fine. I can’t begin to imagine what he has been told his whole life. I can’t begin to imagine the teasing that he took growing up. I can’t begin to imagine what he must feel like when his team mate would make snide comments to him (I felt the overwhelming urge to punch her in the throat).

It made me sad to see this young man be so hard on himself. How do we teach people to be kind to those who are different from themselves? How do we go about building people up? Where do we begin to heal people like this? I wish I had all the answers. All I know is that this kid touched my soul a little bit.