As a teenager, my perception of what was beautiful was skewed by what I thought society saw as beautiful. As a 15 year old, beautiful was skinny, tall, had long blonde hair, and wore a 36C. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see beauty. I saw a girl who was overweight, insecure, and unable to achieve society’s standard.
What I didn’t see was a girl who would lift more than most of the boys on the football team, who trained hard to be a discus and hammer thrower, loved people with all of her heart, no matter their size, shape, heritage, or culture.
This girl, who didn’t find herself beautiful was a competitive powerlifter and won the state championship in Texas her senior year. This girl, who didn’t find herself beautiful earned a scholarship to throw the discus and hammer at a Division I university. This girl, who didn’t find herself beautiful would go on to run a half marathon.
If I could talk to that girl I would tell her just how beautiful she is. I would tell her to not allow society to define her and to see the beauty in everything she’s accomplished. If I could talk to my 15 year old self I would encourage myself to focus on my goals and to realize that I can truly achieve what I want to achieve, that the opinions of others do not matter, and that I need to love who I am.
Even at the age of 28 I battle negative thoughts from time to time. I second guess myself and compare myself to other people. People who in my head are skinnier, in better shape, or are more athletic. Sometimes I just forget what’s beautiful and I lose sight of all that I’m working on. I have bad days… but I have to remind myself of what’s beautiful.
Sometimes it’s hard to realize how athletic we are and for others to acknowledge that the face of athleticism has changed over the years. In time, I hope that women will realize that they are beautiful and athletic, no matter their level!! The woman who takes classes at her gym is beautiful. The woman who burns calories cleaning up after her family is beautiful. The woman who plays football is beautiful. The woman who tackles her fear of trying Crossfit is beautiful. You. Are. Beautiful!