Embracing the Reality: A Powerful Message from a Female Athlete

Picture of female athlete competing in race goes viral when man notices something off

Being an athlete is not for the faint of heart. The grueling commitment that goes into training for competitions is not for everyone. But there are athletes who go above and beyond, not just in their performance, but also in the messages they share with the world. British athlete Emma Pallant-Browne is one such athlete.

Emma is a celebrated athlete, known for her accomplishments in triathlon, duathlon, and aquathlon. She has won numerous medals and championships, including a silver medal at the 2022 World Long Distance Triathlon Championships and a gold medal at the European Championship. But it was a recent event that brought her even more attention.

In a photograph from a multi-sport challenge in Ibiza, Emma can be seen running in a pink and blue swimsuit. But there was something else in the picture that caught the eye of another athlete, Xavier Coppock. He noticed a red stain on her swimsuit and commented, “Not the most flattering photo of Emma, surely they can crop it a little better.”

Instead of being embarrassed or trying to hide the incident, Emma embraced it and turned it into a teaching moment. She responded to Coppock’s comment, explaining that having her period while competing was a reality for many female athletes. She thanked him for his concern and shared that even the most absorbent tampons could only last for up to 3 hours on some days.

A few days later, Emma took to her own Instagram account to further drive home her message. She shared the same picture and wrote, “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.”

Emma also explained the context of the picture. She chose to wear a swimsuit because she tends to overheat and pass out in hot races. During her period, her body temperature is even higher, so she opted for a lighter-colored suit to help cool her down. She acknowledged that while most of the photos didn’t show anything, there might be a few that captured the reality of racing on her period.

She urged others to save and cherish such photos, to remember how they performed on tough days. Because one day, they might be able to help someone else with it. Emma emphasized that there is nothing wrong or embarrassing about a natural bodily function like menstruation. It is a part of women’s lives, and it should be celebrated, not hidden away.

In her powerful message to other women, Emma stated, “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.”

Emma Pallant-Browne’s story is a testament to the strength and resilience of female athletes. It is a reminder that we should embrace and celebrate our bodies, and not be ashamed of something as natural as a period. Let’s spread her message of empowerment and inspire other women to celebrate themselves and their achievements, no matter the circumstances.