Hey all, I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend so far. I spent my Friday night in the gym with my best friend, we worked hard and laughed harder. And as I was breathing through my latest challenge (perfecting the deadlift) I looked at myself in the mirror and figured out why I was really there.
I’ve noticed that most 20-somethings are in the gym to see quick results. They do whatever it takes to get that perky booty, toned stomach, wee arms, and the infamous “thigh gap” (which I hate, but that’s another story. Click here for my opinion on that) And I’ll be honest, a year ago I was that girl. But I’m so grateful for my experience in the gym these last 2 months because it has drastically changed my view of what fit and healthy really means.
When I go to the gym I focus, I compete with the person I was the day before, and I have fun. I am gentle with myself when I am not quite understanding something new for the first few times, and I am hard on myself when my body says “give up” and my mind says “try one more time“.
At the beginning of this journey my goals were not healthy. I wanted to look good for a trip we’re planning in January that calls for bikini’s and sundresses. But something clicked and I realized that I’m not there 6 days a week to have skinny arms to flaunt at the bar or while I’m on vacation. My reasons go much deeper than that because they’ll effect my life, and those in it, years from now.
I want strong arms so that I can swoop my nephew up and squeeze him tight when we’re playing. So that it’s not as much of a challenge to carry things like groceries up the stairs to my apartment. I want to be strong so that I can defend myself if I ever found myself in a scary situation. And so that in May when it’s time for me to move I wont have to rely on so many people for help (and wine to recover;)
The strength I am working so hard for is for myself. So that I can have a lifetime of good health & fitness instead of simply working towards a slim body for the holidays or sporadic vacations on the beach.
And I am many years away from this part of my life, but I work hard now so that one day I can be a strong momma to my children. I want to be a good example of happiness & health for them. I want to be able to keep up with them when they are being stinkers & booking it as fast as they can away from me ;) & I want to be emotionally strong, which is what focusing on loving and nurturing my body does for me.
I will continue to run races, compete and complete spartans, and stay active. I want to be a fun auntie, a daughter who can help with big projects, a girlfriend who can do her own heavy lifting, a self-lover, and someday I hope to be a mom who can keep up with my quick and curious kids.
So when I walk into the gym on a Friday night or an early weekday before work I will forget what society says, I will brush any self-doubt aside, and I’ll remember why I started. And I think that’s pretty powerful.
“A woman is often measured by things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or doesn’t curve. By where she is flat, or straight, or round. She is measure by 36-24-36 and inches and ages and numbers, by all the outside things that don’t ever add up to who she is on the inside. And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is trying to become. Because every woman knows measurements are only statistics, and statistics lie.” -Nike