Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You have to suffer to be beautiful.

It's all my mom's fault really. As I finished my run this evening, IT band screaming, I kept thinking "you have to suffer to be beautiful". That's my mantra when anything gets hard. I don't run just to stay in shape, and the mental benefits I get from running probably outweigh the physical. But in those last moments when it's the hardest, those are the words that go through my head.

Do you remember those soft pink curlers we used to wear in our hair overnight? I HATED those things with a passion. I remember my mom putting them in, and as I'd complain she'd say, "You have to suffer to be beautiful." In fairness to my mom, 1) she's an awesome mom and 2) I think she said it to get me to quit complaining. She's not a vain person at all, but every little girl wants to be beautiful.  So I would shut up and sleep on those uncomfortable little things.

So it turns out you can still buy these things. Who knew?
Fast forward 30ish years, and it's what I say to myself not only when I'm running but when I'm doing other unpleasant tasks in the name of beauty - getting my eyebrows waxed, wearing high heels despite having given myself a bunion on my right foot (hot), or getting through the last few minutes of a Jillian Michaels workout DVD. I thought it yesterday when I found my first gray hairs (insert gasp here) and pulled each one out at the roots. It started with little pink curlers and has instead become a mantra for life.

I am sure there are those reading this who think it's terrible to put so much emphasis on looks. But for me this saying isn't about being "beautiful". It's about pushing through things that are unpleasant and uncomfortable to be who we want to be. It's running that last mile. It's pushing just a bit harder. It's working those extra hours. It is for me, in a lot of ways, about being an overachiever. So I could take out the word beautiful and instead say, "you have to suffer to be who you want to be." Because it takes work to run that extra mile. Just ask my IT band.

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