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Mary Cain's courageous op-ed (Read 269 times)


It's a setup

    +100

     

     For starters: more women in leadership positions of everything, everywhere.

    runlikeagirI


      I wish RA had a "block" or "mute" feature.

       

      Holy crap yes.

      Brewing Runner


      CIM FanBoi

        kilkee she made a decision AS AN ADULT to continue her relationship with him. She made the decision when she was 17, almost 18 to go run for Oregon Project. Kids sign up for the military, or college sports, at the same age. I have plenty of compassion but for her to blame everything on him is unfair. She made the choice to stay there year after year after year. yeah. I'm sure there were pressures on her from family and friends to go be the best. Yeah I'm sure it REALLY sucked to feel like you'd be letting those people down if you didn't do what they said. Even Shalane said she didn't reach out AND SHE SAW HER STRUGGLING! Making adult decisions at a young age sucks. Like Bill said, all the problems aren't due to NOP. I guess since you've survived an abusive relationship I'd expect you to understand the amount of energy and effort it takes to get out of that kind of relationship vs staying in the relationship day after day, month after month, year after year thinking it would somehow get better. She never did. No one helped her. Hopefully someone helped you and you're able to help others. I'd never treat someone that way so it's challenging to understand where the justification comes from. I'd also choose not to be in that type of relationship regardless of what it cost me. I'd rather be dead than have someone make me feel like I'm worthless emotionally or physically on a daily basis.

         

         

        Seriously.  How is this hard to understand?

         

        And to blame the victim in all of this?  Just how out of touch does one really have to be to blame the victim?

         

        When you choose to stay in an abusive relationship how are you a victim?  It is hard for me to understand someone being a victim when they're continuing a relationship destructive to themselves. How out of touch does one really have to be to stay in a relationship where you tell the other person you've started cutting yourself, the person you tell shows how little they care, and you stay in the relationship?

         

        For me, it is impossible to understand staying in a relationship with anyone who treats you like she outlines. Telling you to lose weight, telling you what to eat. Treating you like you're nothing because I wouldn't stay with someone who treated me this way. There are lots of ways to get help for abuse. I'm not blaming the victim. I'm blaming the adult who made decisions to cut weight in order to stay competitive then mentally defeated herself before a race started as the reason the adult was suffering for over two years. Just like anyone who hates their job but stays there because they need the money or benefits. Maybe professional athletes expect some kind of horrible treatment. I guess I'm out of touch with how professional athlete's lives with coaches are to be expected.

        1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

        5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

        10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

        Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

        Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

        Annual Miles 1,892.7 miles

        *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

         

        2019 Goal: Get into the 4/19/21 marathon. 

         


        runktrun

          . I'd also choose not to be in that type of relationship regardless of what it cost me. I'd rather be dead than have someone make me feel like I'm worthless emotionally or physically on a daily basis.

           

           

           

           

          Fundamental disconnect between doing something of your own volition versus being pressured and manipulated without knowing it until it's too late.  Most people do not CHOOSE to enter into an abusive relationship.  You are projecting what you THINK you would do in a similar situation, but you just don't know.  I was a straight A, driven student who got into the best architecture school in the country and always scoffed at those videos in health class about unhealthy relationships...that would never be me!  Well...it was, and I didn't choose it.

           

          And yeah, I wanted to kill myself.

           

          So there's that. You don't deserve any well thought out response, but I hope that in posting this, people who are compassionate and open-minded may gain a better understanding of what is wrong with the system that ruined Mary Cain.

          Not running for my health, but in spite of it.

          CanadianMeg


          Cirque du Sore Legs 2019

            For me, it is impossible to understand staying in a relationship with anyone who treats you like she outlines. Telling you to lose weight, telling you what to eat. Treating you like you're nothing because I wouldn't stay with someone who treated me this way. 

             

            Good for you that you've never been in a bad relationship. Hindsight is powerful and sometimes you don't see how bad it's gotten until it's really bad. Then you get out but the damage is often already done.

            "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

             

            Half Fanatic #9292. 20 Half Marathons and Counting... :)

            Brewing Runner


            CIM FanBoi

               

              Good for you that you've never been in a bad relationship. Hindsight is powerful and sometimes you don't see how bad it's gotten until it's really bad. Then you get out but the damage is often already done.

               

              It's not only having never been in a bad relationship. It's not being the person willing to subject another human being to the type of treatment I'd run from. Hindsight is nothing. If anything I'd use this article along with some experiences from Devon Yanko to teach any woman what types of treatment is unacceptable. It's unfortunate she subjected herself to this for so long. Alberto wasn't going to end the relationship. Nike probably wasn't going to end the relationship. The system wasn't set up to manage her relationships and it's honestly sad her parents did not end the relationship. As a parent I'd feel horrible if this was my child and she never told me any of this when it happened. Just like friends I know who were molested said they'd never tell THEIR parents and they are currently fathers of multiple kids.

               

              kilkee what could the system do differently? Another professional female athlete saw her struggle and did NOTHING about it. I'm glad you were able to get out of your situation and hope you're able to help others.

              1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

              5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

              10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

              Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

              Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

              Annual Miles 1,892.7 miles

              *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

               

              2019 Goal: Get into the 4/19/21 marathon. 

               


              From the Internet.

                 

                Good for you that you've never been in a bad relationship. Hindsight is powerful and sometimes you don't see how bad it's gotten until it's really bad. Then you get out but the damage is often already done.

                 

                Echoing this + similar sentiments from others. I know a number of good people who have gotten out of bad relationships. Abusers aren't obvious monsters, that's how they're successful. They're just sweet enough to their victims, just nice enough to family and friends, or just good enough at coaching amazing athletes to make you think you're the problem. If only YOU were just better at X, Y, or Z, they wouldn't have to treat you like crap. It might be obvious from the outside... but sometimes it's not even obvious from the outside. And sometimes the person on the receiving end of the abuse KNOWS they should leave, but it's too costly or dangerous to leave.

                 

                Re: the program's role in this, I had a lengthy discussion about it with another group this morning. I think the approach of "well this training worked for X, so all of my athletes will do it, and if they break down, they just weren't good enough" is dumb in this day and age. Individuals need different things, regardless of gender, and women are built differently than men. That has nothing to do with deserving legal protection and equal rights, of COURSE we deserve to be treated like humans, we just physiologically cannot all be expected to train like small men and thrive. There's a lot of hormone and body fat stuff that men simply do not account for when coaching women.

                 

                We do need more women in coaching and other positions of power in the sport. We need to teach our girls to stand up for themselves when things aren't right and aren't working for them. They need to understand the gravity of RED-S and how easy it is to get there, and that weight isn't everything when your bones are cracking within you. I cried while watching the video and then I went out and co-coached my daughter and 6 other 10-11 year old girls through a track workout this afternoon. I can't fix the entire sport but I am damn sure going to make some good changes to it in my little corner of the world.


                It's a setup

                  A modicum of empathy would improve your life a great deal. A modicum of investigation into how abusive relationships begin and progress might change your perspective just a tad.

                   

                   

                  When you choose to stay in an abusive relationship how are you a victim?  It is hard for me to understand someone being a victim when they're continuing a relationship destructive to themselves. ...For me, it is impossible to understand staying in a relationship with anyone who treats you like she outlines.

                  Katia77


                     

                    Not all coaches fit athletes. She made the decision to stick in an abusive relationship. It's devastating to hear she went through this. At the end of every day it was her choice to stick with who she thought was the best coach in the nation. Mary doesn't say she took the pills she knew weren't allowed in her sport. She posed for photos for the New York Times article. She stuck with Nike and lined up for races she'd lost mentally before they started. So all that training and money spent on her doesn't matter when it could have gone to another athlete who might have fit their program.

                     

                    Yes the system is "sick" when you tell someone you cut yourself and they don't care. Your parents saved you and that is wonderful. Think of any job where the boss doesn't care about you and you're just there to do your job and you personally don't matter. You can be replaced at any time. How you feel emotionally doesn't matter to them. Welcome to the non-professional athlete world. Those of us who hate our job, feel picked on or bullied, isolated, condemned, trapped, made to feel insignificant, made to feel stupid because our ideas aren't good enough or we're not smart enough to work on those challenging tasks don't get to blame our boss for our personal dissatisfaction. No one gives those people an article and platform saying our employer needs to change. They are told to "find a different job" because the emotional abuse is different for some reason.

                     

                    If she has a way to get women into power I'd love to hear it. Instead of forcing women to fend for themselves they have to be protected. they're obviously a privileged class. They need different treatment and attention than their male counterparts who are required to fend for themselves. So much for "women can do anything a man can do" and "equal pay for equal work" when you're saying women need to be treated differently.  If Nike controls that much of running it won't matter if women are in power. They'll be Nike's women.

                     

                     

                     

                    You have.. legitimately no idea what you're talking about.

                     

                    As stated, she was a CHILD when she did this. You have no idea what it's like to be in a competitive sport with a corrupt governing body where CHILDREN are taught they are disposable and yet, have a talent that they want to pursue. Comparing it to a job is insane, for so many reasons including but not limited to... the fact that children are different and oh, most young girls in sports are PAYING TO DO IT, or more accurately, the system is really fucked up and secretive. 

                    Also, most of us don't get told at our "crappy jobs" that our body is the problem and get our body, diet, and emotions manipulated. 

                    -signed, someone that did elite gymnastics for 5 years, and probably knows more about this stuff than you

                    PRs: HM: 1:32:59 (2015); FM: 3:18:36 (2017)

                    Katia77


                       

                      Fundamental disconnect between doing something of your own volition versus being pressured and manipulated without knowing it until it's too late.  Most people do not CHOOSE to enter into an abusive relationship.  You are projecting what you THINK you would do in a similar situation, but you just don't know.  I was a straight A, driven student who got into the best architecture school in the country and always scoffed at those videos in health class about unhealthy relationships...that would never be me!  Well...it was, and I didn't choose it.

                       

                      And yeah, I wanted to kill myself.

                       

                      So there's that. You don't deserve any well thought out response, but I hope that in posting this, people who are compassionate and open-minded may gain a better understanding of what is wrong with the system that ruined Mary Cain.

                       

                      I think this is very accurate. You have NO IDEA what you'd do in this situation. You have no idea what it's like to be told you're in an elite few, which puts you in a different category entirely. You make special arrangements with school, you train more than most adults work, you MOVE for your sport. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most people can't fathom most of this anyway, at the age of 14. But this is how sports can work. it's all great to say that as a 17 year old you wouldn't allow yourself to be treated this way, but quite frankly, that's likely bullshit.

                      PRs: HM: 1:32:59 (2015); FM: 3:18:36 (2017)

                         

                        You have.. legitimately no idea what you're talking about.

                         

                        Hard agree.

                         

                        Plus, if all you've got to offer on a topic is victim blaming and what-about-ism, maybe just strongly consider shutting the fuck up. In fact, shutting the fuck up is a super underrated tactic that can be applied in many different circumstances and walks of life.

                        Runners run.

                        Teresadfp


                        One day at a time

                           

                          Hard agree.

                           

                          Plus, if all you've got to offer on a topic is victim blaming and what-about-ism, maybe just strongly consider shutting the fuck up. In fact, shutting the fuck up is a super underrated tactic that can be applied in many different circumstances and walks of life.

                          Good advice.

                           

                          My husband says just remember that a person like this has to live with him/herself 24 hours a day.  

                            LetsRun has the transcript of (Mary Cain's) video essay posted.

                             

                            I wasn’t even trying to make the Olympics anymore. I was just trying to survive. So I made the painful choice and I quit the team.

                             

                            Those reforms (Nike shutting down the NOP) are mostly a direct result of the doping scandal. They’re not acknowledging the fact that there is a systemic crisis in women’s sports and at Nike where young girls’ bodies are being ruined by an emotionally and physically abusive system. That’s what needs to change and here’s how we can do it.

                             

                            JHFC

                            "Famous last words"  ~Bhearn

                            CanadianMeg


                            Cirque du Sore Legs 2019

                              I think I've bought my last Nike gear. Maybe they aren't the only ones doing this, but they are the ones getting caught right now. It's a small act of protest, but that's what I can do.

                              "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

                               

                              Half Fanatic #9292. 20 Half Marathons and Counting... :)

                              Brewing Runner


                              CIM FanBoi

                                 

                                You have.. legitimately no idea what you're talking about.

                                 -signed, someone that did elite gymnastics for 5 years, and probably knows more about this stuff than you

                                 

                                The little bit I know about your past is just a slight understanding I have as to the subject. The fact you were able to come out and talk about it lets me know just a little bit about how much pressure I shouldn't put on my own child growing up. I appreciate what information you've given me and I'm not trying to be a smartass or anything. I seriously appreciate it.

                                 

                                I guess I need to be in an abusive relationship to understand it more. I'll "shut the fuck up now" and try to educate myself on what it takes to be an elite athlete made to feel like shit about everything I do. There seems to be no other way to understand this according to everyone here. Maybe I'll just go run since this is a running forum.

                                1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

                                5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

                                10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

                                Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

                                Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

                                Annual Miles 1,892.7 miles

                                *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

                                 

                                2019 Goal: Get into the 4/19/21 marathon. 

                                 

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