How sled dogs taught this racer everything about body positivity

As a professional dog sled, Blair Braverman has learned a lot from his puppies over the past 13 years. They taught her to work hard, to love deeply, and most importantly, to appreciate her body as it is.

The Alaska-based runner shared this heartwarming message of body positivity in a recent series of tweets.

While reflecting on her adorable crew of puppies, Braverman revealed that her dogs have helped her focus on developing a healthy body image, writing, “Y’all, having sled dogs has been so good for you. my body image. And not because mushing is a joy-filled outdoor physical activity, although that’s true. It’s actually something much simpler than that.

Braverman went on to explain that she grew up learning that all bodies are different, but didn’t really understand the concept until she started caring for dogs.

“@QuinceMountain and I feed, train and massage them, teach them to be puppies and help them retire. We get to know each dog well. And once we start doing that, do you know what has become EXTREMELY OBVIOUS?” Braverman wrote. “Understand this: all bodies are different.”

Each of Braverman’s glorious dogs has their own unique body and habits, and that suits them just fine.

Braverman gives a lot to her dogs, but she also gets a lot of love in return.Blair Braverman

“Some of them eat thousands of calories a day and are still full green beans. They literally eat three times as much food as everyone else,” she wrote. “Some of them can eat, like, a tablespoon of kibble, and the next day they need a bigger harness.”

Braverman says his dogs have taught him life lessons.
Braverman says his dogs have taught him life lessons.Blair Braverman

And just like human bodies, all dogs respond differently to physical activity.

“Some of them can start training in September and are immediately ready for long races,” Braverman explained. “Some of them need to train slowly. They need softer training sessions – and more training sessions – before they can keep up with the rest of the team.”

Some of his dogs have disabilities or were born with bodies that need a little extra attention.

But the differences are not qualified as good or bad. They are just different.

Braverman, who wrote about her experience as a dog sled in the book “Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North,” told TODAY Style she first made the connection between his dogs and body positivity. few years ago.

“I was talking to a friend who was having body image issues, and I pointed out that her body was built like one of her favorite sled dogs, Brewtus, and said she would never talk about him like she was talking about herself. The idea It made me realize that I have a lot more confidence in my body than before, and part of that comes from working with the dogs, seeing them growing and taking on challenges, and loving them so much as individuals,” she said.

The dog lover soon realized that her own body resembled her dogs in that it had its own set of physical traits that were totally beyond her control. And she thought others might relate to this idea as well.

Braverman has always had a case of puppy love!
Braverman has always had a case of puppy love!Blair Braverman

“I thought my yarn might make a few people smile, but I had no idea it would take off. I got so many meaningful notes from people saying it helped them be kinder to themselves, or at least trying to be nicer,” Braverman said.

There’s certainly a lot of value in raising and working with dogs for a living, but Braverman said she definitely gets more than she gives.

“The most important thing my dogs teach me is joy. The joy of moving, the joy of being together and the joy of exploring the world. Our body is the tool we use for that. , and I’m grateful for that every day,” she said. .

Bette C. Alvarado