I was recently inspired by professional runner Lauren Fleshman's #keepitreal campaign. It made me think about how poorly women view themselves and what kind of example we are setting for our children.
As someone who has done gymnastics, dance and cheer...Ive always been fully aware of the reflection in the mirror. My life was centered around scales, counting calories and looking acceptable in a sports bra. Weigh ins at Sunday practice were the worst or that stupid body fat caliper telling me I had too much junk in the trunk (cut a bitch a break, its all my latinaness). Everyone drinking and eating their pizza, while judging how we looked in our uniforms. There I was barely graduated from high school, sweating about whether my fat roll would show on ESPN. What kind of thinking is that for a young adult? I wasn't even sure what to major in, but I knew which way to stand to avoid "breaking the internet." At 17 yrs old and barely 95lbs, I was told more than once to skip out on a water break.
Eighteen years later and I still find myself spending time in the mirror...JUDGING! Not only at the reflection, but at pictures too! Holy shit, what a complete waste of time....minutes that will add up year after year...minutes I will never ever get back. It was during a run last week, where I realized how much I've demanded from my body over the years and I never once thanked it. How rude of me. Instead of thanking it that week for getting me through another 70+ mile week of running and basically just staying alive, I critiqued my quads in my race photos. Completely asinine!!!! My body grew two beautiful babies, fed both my babies for a total of 30 months, ran 50 miles, ran 6 marathons, ran crazy miles to train for all that and 3 Boston qualifications and counting.
Its not what you see, as I'm sure you will wonder what the f*ck I'm talking about. Its what Ive been taught to see from very young. So, be careful with your words because they sting. Be careful what you say about yourself and what you do as you take one last glance in the mirror, little eyes and ears are always there to mimic you. Teach those little ones to respect their body....ALWAYS!
Those legs may jiggle, but hot damn they carried me for some time now and not to mention took me on a little jaunt thru the streets of Boston. Take that supermodels of the world! I'll race ya!
My first steps as a baby according to my parents was actually a run. At 5yrs old my dad took me to the NYC Marathon, but truth be told I had no idea why people were running down the street. All this was foreshadowing for what was to be a life of running almost 30 years later. "If opportunity doesnt knock...build a door."