The Rolling Thunder

you’re welcome.

The December air burns in my chest a little, but it feels good. It’s awakening my body and my brain, forcing my legs to propel forward this body that causes me so much stress and frustration. I am acutely aware that my thick thighs are bright red from the chill and quaking with every impact of a lightweight, neutral shoe on the crunching snow. I love them for it as much as I hate them. In fact, my tall-socks-and-short-shorts uniform is specifically engineered to show them off, whether or not onlookers care to see their jiggling, pale, cold and goosefleshed square footage. I know these big, meaty gams can push me through this sloppy, snowy mess as far as I can dream.

Torture device (Photo credit: fciron)

Remember those body fat caliper tests? I had to do one in high school, my freshman year. I was already well into my first season of cross-country, and a proud and happy (albeit huffy and puffy) runner, but nonetheless I still dreaded and hated phys ed class with every fiber of my being and wished so hard I’d faked sick that day or something. I was fine when we measured our arms and our necks, and even measuring my belly wasn’t so bad. But when it came time to measure the fat in my thighs I wanted to wrench the caliper–it even looks like a torture device–into a crumpled little mess of metal.

A lot of it is genetics, I know. My mom has big thighs. Even my tiny sister has big thighs, for a tiny person. That didn’t make it any easier to cope when I tried on a pair of thigh high stockings the first time I wanted to wear some pretty lingerie and discovered that the elastic tops only make chunky legs look more chunky; they cinch in the flesh so that your fat bulges out around them.

(I have since discovered garter belts and am happy to report that the big girls’ alternative to stay-ups is not only more practical, it’s much much sexier.)

My legs are far more muscled now, but they’re still big. They’re still squishy and thick and occasionally a source of body frustration for me, but I stopped being ashamed of them at some point. Maybe it was the cat calls I get from the less-than-savory characters around Brooklyn. Maybe it was just growing up. But now I wear short skirts with pride. My tall sock collection has grown so large I have a dedicated drawer. My favorites cover my knees, to make sure those sweet little joints don’t steal any of the thunder from my glorious thighs.

What running teaches us more than anything is that our bodies are our friends. These thighs may be big, but they’re the engine that propels me farther than most people dare to walk, and I love them.

And lucky me, boys love them too.


Are you ever uncomfortable with your runner legs?ย  Do you love to hate your thighs, or do you just love them?

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. By day she's a camera assistant for films and tv in New York, and by night she's on a quest for zen in the 10k. Her writing is a mix of satirical humor, finding wholeness as an average runner, cheering for runners at all paces and more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I read somewhere that elite women runners tend to have thicker thighs in proportion to the rest of their bodies. That made me feel better about my big ‘uns ๐Ÿ™‚ And then I thought of this piece of cheese: my thunder thighs make me fast as lightening! (sorry!)

  2. I can so relate to your article. I have always had bigger thighs and have always HATED them. No matter my weight, my thighs always stayed larger. I started running about 4 years ago and noticed my thighs taking on a new shape. More defined, more muscular, and yes possibly even a little bigger. Now I love the part I always hated and am proud to show them off in my running shorts!

  3. Seriously, there is NO part of my looks that I get more compliments about than my big thighs. I don’t totally understand their appeal, but I’m sure glad it’s working for me, and for you all too!

    And Salty, I LOVE that cheese. I’m working on the graphic now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. My thighs are the body part I’m most uncomfortable with! We got this tiny running skort at work and I tried it on to be funny. Although everyone complimented me on it, I couldn’t get over how huge my thighs looked. Maybe one day I’ll learn to love them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. I absolutely love this post!! I’ve had big thighs since I can remember and always hated them. And apparently I only enrolled in activities that made them bigger (field hockey, volleyball, Irish dancing, tap dancing, you name it). I still haven’t fully embraced all there is to love about “thunder thighs” (a term I hated in high school, but kind of love now), but this post pushed me to love them a little more ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m so glad, Brianne! Trust me, you’re probably not the only one who loves them. Big healthy thighs are part of what make women look like WOMEN, and by extension, they’re sexy!