So, this picture.
I appreciate Jay Proffitt capturing a great action shot. I’m smiling and everything. I don’t do a lot of that. Especially while running.
But. (You knew a but was coming, right?) But all I can see is grey hair and bags under my eyes. (Sooo much grey hair. My hair hasn’t seen a hair stylist in months.) I see old.
And I hate that that’s all I can see.
Every photo of every other woman I’ve seen who ran that race, all I see is strength and beauty and badassery.
And while I love that I can see all of that in them, I wish I could see it in myself. I’m pretty sure those things are in there somewhere. I just struggle to find them sometimes. It’s cool, though. I’m always losing stuff. One time I lost my car keys for three days. In the fridge. They were in the fridge. And the fact that I didn’t realize it for three days says something about how often I eat unprocessed foods. Or clean out my fridge.
Women can be a bit of a contradiction, can’t we?
We preach self-love and confidence to other women while focusing on self-criticism and insecurity in ourselves.
Granted, there are those girls out there that seem to want to focus on tearing other women down. We’re not talking about those girls here. They have a whole notha set of issues and I’m blessed enough to not have any in my life. That I’m aware of.
And there are those amazing women who are able to raise others up while also being fully confident in their own awesomeness. Or, at least, I think there are. Or maybe they just seem like they are fully confident.
I think sometimes people think I’m fully confident. Because in most ways I am.
In most areas of my life, I view myself in a pretty positive light. In my careers (all four of them), I am confident about the work I do. I’m good at what I do. I’m competent as hell. I know this.
And while I know I’m not a particularly fast or impressive runner, I’m still confident in my ability to push myself beyond my limits and do hard things. I’m a pretty kickass mediocre runner.
I’m proud of the way I’ve parented and in my willingness to work a ridiculous number of jobs to make sure we have the things we need. I’m a hard worker. Dedicated.
I fully believe that I’m an awesome person who deserves the best. And yet, I also feel entirely inadequate and believe that most people in my life just tolerate me rather than really wanting to be around me. I know my worth while also questioning my worth.
Don’t ask. It doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s ridiculous. Right?
But am I alone here?
I don’t think I’m just some freak of nature wildly unstable chick that needs to be medicated. (Though there are days…)
Rather, I think I’m probably pretty representative of the female population. We get so many conflicting messages about our value throughout our lives. That our worth is in our physical appearance, but that our physical appearance is never good enough. That we need a man to take care of us, but we have to be prepared to raise our families on our own. That boys are threatened by smart girls, but you have to go to college to have a future. That boys will be boys, but girls are to blame for boys being boys (or at the very least we need to keep our mouths shut about it).
It’s exhausting. And confusing. And ridiculous.
And it needs to change.
And I think it is changing thanks to programs like my Girls on the Run.
I wasn’t able to coach for Girls on the Run this season. Too many dang jobs. And I hate that, because I know how imperative the GOTR lessons are for young girls. Shoot. I know how important the lessons are for me.
Girls on the Run is gearing up for their Fall Season Celebration 5k’s right now and also starting to recruit coaches for Spring Season. I’ll probably have to miss one more season, but if you have two afternoons a week that you can commit to, I urge you to sign up to coach this spring. And sign up to be a running buddy or help at the Celebration 5k. Our girls need us. Because otherwise, we’ll just end up with more walking contradictions like me running around. (But hey, at least I’m running.)
Click here to find your local Girls on the Run council and sign up to volunteer. And to get your daughters involved. It will be an experience that will forever change them. For the better.
Meanwhile, I’ll be over here getting my roots covered and throwing cucumbers on my baggy eyes.