Being an athlete is not for the faint of heart. The gruelling commitment that goes into training for competitions is not for everyone. This female athlete showed her commitment to her sport and shared a powerful message about the moment.
Keep reading to know more about this story and what happened.
British athlete Emma Pallant-Browne who competes in various kinds of competitions including triathlon, duathlon, and aquathlon. She is a celebrated athlete with one of her latest achievements being her winning a silver medal 2022 World Long Distance Triathlon Championships. In another prestigious competition known as Ironman 70.3, she won two medals (silver in 2017 and bronze in 2022) and a gold medal at the European Championship.
In her latest multi-sport challenge, Emma finished in fourth place. The PTO Tour European Open in Ibiza held just a few days after she won the Dualthlon World Championship.
She participated in the event in Ibiza. Like many athletes at the event, she was photographed and the images were subsequently uploaded on the event’s official page.
Another athlete Xavier Coppock noticed something in the picture that others might not have focused on. What he noticed was what later became a huge topic of conversation.
Pallant-Browne was running in a pink and blue swimsuit. The picture of her uploaded to the event showed a red stain which she got because during the race she had her period.
On seeing the image Coppock commented, “Not the most flattering photo of Emma, surely they can crop it a little better.”
Instead of being embarrassed about the incident, Emma Pallant-Browne embraced it and decided to use it as a teaching moment for everyone in the world of sports and beyond.
She immediately replied to Coppock’s comment saying that her period was regular and no matter what tampon she used, on some days even the most absorbent one would not do the job for more than 3 hours. She graciously thanked him for his concern and explained that this was the reality for a lot of female athletes; having their period while they competed.
A few days later, she uploaded the picture in question on her own Instagram account in order to drive her message home. “Celebrating the amazing women in sport and the equally amazing men who champion them. Humbled by the number of messages I’ve had from both men and women about the unglamorous reality of racing on your period,” she said.
She then went on to explain the context of the picture. She wrote, “I raced in a swimsuit because I over heat and pass out in hot races, on my period my body temp is also higher. I have a full length suit for the cooler races in dark colours but the light colours we were experimenting with for the cooling effect. It is dark at the bottom and at the back but my bike position has changed and now I roll more forward (lesson learnt for next years suit design).”
She further explained, “A lot of the photos you can’t see anything, pouring water over yourself at aid stations does the trick and if it doesn’t you end up with one photo like this but the idea to edit it means there is something wrong with it.
If you wrote to me saying 99% of the women you know would be mortified at this then that is exactly why I am sharing this, because there really is nothing wrong.”
She added, “Its natural and coming from eating issues as an endurance runner when I was growing up where I didn’t have my period, I now see it as beautiful.
So if you have a photo like this, save it, cherish it, remember how you performed on a tough day because one day you might just be able to help someone else with it.”
The reason she chose her outfit was because it provided her the most amount of safety and comfort as she competed. She wanted to extend the message that women should not be embarrassed of something as natural as a period.
“This is a women’s sport and the more barriers we can break, the better. After a long career, you end up with a photo like this, but the idea of editing it means there is something wrong with it. I share it because there’s really nothing wrong with it, it’s a natural thing,” she wrote.
“So if you have a photo like this, save it, cherish it, and remember how you performed on a tough day because one day you might just be able to help someone else with it,” the celebrated athlete concluded in her powerful message to other women.
What a wonderful message by this inspiring athlete on competing in games and not being embarrassed about something as natural as a period. Share this with other women to inspire them about celebrating themselves.