If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that “being beautiful” isn’t really what we’re told it is. It’s not necessarily what I’ve always thought.
To me, “strong and empowered” is beautiful. The key? Find a goal that consumes you (in a good way) and work hard.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that while our fitness/healthy living/running etc blogging community seems so huge to most of us involved, it’s still a well-kept secret to the rest of the world. There are so many people out there who just think blogs are for nerds with a lot of extra time on their hands. This isn’t even slightly true! (Well, I’m probably a nerd…) I’m convinced that I would still be so lost if I hadn’t jumped into this whole blogging thing. How did I get so lucky to stumble upon this?! You find your niche, and everything falls into place. I never understood this until now. And now, I feel stronger.
A couple years ago, I had NO IDEA that this little section of the internet existed. Discovering it was literally life-changing. I used to be stuck with these constant feelings of “not being enough”. That I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to train for another marathon but didn’t want to do it alone. I had no idea where to start and constantly berated myself for not being perfect enough and not being skinny enough and just not being enough.
But you know what? I hit a turning point when I discovered this semi-secret community. As the months passed, it slowly began to hit me. WHO SAYS I’M NOT ENOUGH?! I realized it was just me. No one else. Who cares what “society” says if what society says is negative? I ain’t got no time for that. This is a place to talk about everything I love talking about, and when you begin to develop friendships with people who can relate, it’s so incredible. Internal beauty starts coming out and you learn to see it within yourself.
(Who knew you could actually meet friends online? Friends who AREN’T creepy, at least!?)
There are still girls out there striving to be skinny and eat less and find the best diet or the best trick to make them beautiful/thin/popular, etc. What’s the secret? The secret is that there is no secret. Develop confidence in yourself and you’ll begin to feel strong mentally and physically. Strong is what’s beautiful.
This absolutely isn’t easy. It sounds like one of those cliche things that people say just to give you an answer. But it’s cliche because it’s true. (Is this why they say your late 20s and 30s are so much better than your college years? I mean, I freakin’ LOVED college…but I 100% feel better about myself now.) The two things I do: find something I love and can focus on (Running. Training. Now, Ironman.) Something I can look forward to and work for. Talk to people who have common interests. Doing these things give you the opportunity to be yourself, and that’s an amazing feeling.
Indirectly, this blog has changed my life. Twitter has changed my life. Why, you ask? Because it brings us closer to each other. It brings out the positive. It reminds us why it’s important to have relationships with people you can relate to. There is so much positivity oozing out of each and every one of you that it makes me smile from ear to ear. You help me achieve my goals. That’s what makes us all beautiful.
Without this confidence, I probably wouldn’t have run a Ragnar Relay. Or PR in a half marathon. Or even run 6 half marathons. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have run two marathons and I’m absolutely certain I wouldn’t have had enough faith in myself to even think about training for an Ironman or attempt to raise $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (I’m almost halfway there!).
Now? I’ve realized that I CAN do these things. I don’t just care about being “skinny”; that doesn’t hold me back anymore. I care about being healthy and strong. And maybe the rest of America doesn’t realize the importance of this quite yet, but I’m content with that.
Thankfully Under Armour is heading the “What’s Beautiful” campaign to help give others a glimpse into our secret little community.
So, what’s the deal? Where is this coming form? I’m part of this sponsored campaign by Under Armour called “What’s Beautiful”. I’ve created a page with my goal and my challenges. You can join teams, create teams, and interact with all sorts of people who are working toward their own varied goals. And now, I get to help introduce the world to our inspiring, motivating, fantastic community. Lucky me, although their focus is on the “What’s Beautiful” message, they also sent me some gear to test out!
Commit to reaching a goal and follow along with #WhatsBeautiful and #IWill.
Will you get it? #IWill
What’s beautiful to you? What are your goals? How have you built confidence in yourself?