Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Strong is the New Awesome

For a lot of years I've been told that I look strong, and I used to bristle at being described that way. I thought strong meant I looked like a bodybuilder or a professional wrestler. Women in those sports are generally extremely muscular. It's not a bad look, but it's not the look I'm going for.

I'm pretty skinny, but I have curves. I am really muscular. The women on TV I looked up to while growing up in in the 90s (I'm looking at you Jennie Garth and Heather Locklear) weren't exactly bringing bootie back. Now with the rise of cross fit women are praising looking strong like never before. "Strong is the new skinny" is the fitness phrase of 2015.

I've heard women complaining that we've just replaced being "skinny" with being "strong" as the new ideal. As a result this still alienates women who aren't the "strong" ideal. I get it ladies, but when you've got a really strong body, celebrate that sh*t. We should all be working towards being our strongest self. Strong is the new awesome.

Last weekend I turned 37. I'm not the kind of person who laments getting older. I loved my 20s and had a great time, but I'm stronger (mentally and physically) and happier now than I was then. As I reach the downward slope to 40 I know myself better than I ever have. I appreciate myself more than I ever have. I've discovered I'm stronger than I ever thought possible.

I spent the weekend being active - 15 mile long run, trying paddle boarding for the first time, kayaking, long bike ride. We went on long family walks with the dogs. My bestie got me a massage, and it felt like heaven on my post-long run sore muscles. I had my fair share (maybe more than my fair share) of cocktails and snuggles with my boys. Turning 37 isn't what I would've imagined a decade ago; it's so much better.

Paddle boarding for the first time. So fun!
When I first saw the photo of me paddle boarding I thought, "Ugh my butt looks big". Old habits die hard. But then I looked again - strong core, strong arms, enjoying myself. Yup...I have a butt. It's that strong butt and legs that keeps me running marathons and running after my precious little baby. I'll keep it, thank you very much.

It may have taken 37 years, but I'm happy to be described as strong. In the marathon of life there are lots of tests of strength. I love being able to conquer each challenge and come out stronger than I was before. Here's to many more strong birthdays! 

Loving family time on the boat.

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