Here we are in December and everyone is decorating and putting up lights and singing and I’m pretty sure it is all because my birthday is the 30th of this month. Go ahead, put it in your calendar so you don’t forget. Last year was pretty big because I turned 30. So I’m like a grown up now…or I think I’m supposed to say 'adult' now that I’m grown up. Anyways, 31 approaches and I am amazed at how much Jess at 31 is pretty much just a more stressed out version of Jess at 13.
You would think after years of experiences and somehow collecting that elusive wisdom I would not feel the same insecurities as I did when I was a skinny little gangly teen. BUT I DO! And it is even worse now because I know better!
My personality is kinda overwhelming in some areas. I happen to be uber girly (as if you couldn’t tell from my adorable blog posts). It just pours out of me. I can’t help it. I have ALWAYS been this way…and for a long time I hated it about me. I even went through a period where I pretended to be different because I was made fun of for it. And then after I got tired of pretending I just kind of embraced it and stuck with it. But that was a problem too because I put myself in a box. I felt like I couldn’t be athletic like those mean girls because I wanted to still be dainty and soft, not rough, tough and hard. So I never tried to be athletic in any way…until last year.
Enter CrossFit454. I’ve posted on my first experience with crossfit before. It was a bit overwhelming…especially for me who had never even attempted a push up before in my life. But I didn’t tell you about my real fear. I was terrified the athletic women at crossfit were going to hate me or judge me for not being super sporty. And let’s be honest…those women exist. They exist when we are teens and they too grow up and exist when we are adults. And at CrossFit454 there are some incredible athletes who are serious about getting stronger, fitter, and faster. I just knew they were going to see me as silly or be annoyed by my overwhelming bubbliness that I sometimes cannot control.
But this amazing thing happened…I realized that these strong, athletic women who are putting up ridiculous weights and pounding out burpees are just like me. Well, okay not just like me because let’s face it, there is only one me in this world (thank goodness) but they are girly too. They are gentle, sweet, kind, encouraging, supportive, and I realized you do not have to be this mean testosterony He-woman to be athletic. You can be a whatever kind of woman you are and be sporty and fit and active in your own way. THERE IS NO BOX! We do not have to fit a specific stereotype. We can be whoever God built us to be and he made me crossfitty…who’d a thunk it.
I know it may seem trivial to want to be accepted but let’s face it…
girls women can be so mean to one another. Why is that? It is an
ugly truth about my gender. Is it a competition issue? Or a jealously issue? Or
an insecurity issue? Or maybe all of the above? Who knows, but I am so
incredibly grateful to the amazing women at my crossfit box who are now dear
friends whom I adore and think the world of. I feel like that hurt and
insecurity that 13 year old me lived with all these years has healed because of
the acceptance of the truly beautiful women that represent all strong women in
a real way.
And now I think about how I want my little Addie to grow up. I will punch some mean girls in the face if they make my very girly little girl feel like she is anything less than absolutely amazing and the most perfect version of who God wants her to be. I hope she realizes strength doesn’t come from size like my sweet friend Bobbie who is this teeny little person but the strongest woman I know. I hope she is an encourager like Tawnya who is always cheering others on. I hope Addie is joyful like Jenny who is always laughing and who happens to have the most adorable baby girl who we all cherish. I hope she is determined like Christie who has more inner strength than any person I have ever met or will ever meet again. I hope she is like Maggie who is always pushing herself further and setting new goals. And I hope she is like me who may not be the strongest, or fastest, or most athletic but chooses to be exactly who God made her to be.