12 Jul Female Athletes, You Are Capable.
What if I told you that you are capable?
What if I told you that you can take charge of your life?
What if I told you that no one can take away your creativity?
What if I told you your expression of your unique gifts is the most important?
You are powerful, unstoppable and unbreakable beyond measure.
You are capable.
Of course, it sounds inspiring and moves your soul and uplifts your spirits, and you feel like you can carry the world on your shoulders without batting and eyelash on breaking a sweat.
You know you are capable.
The noise from the crowd knocks you down.
The social media distractions creep in.
The coaches jab at your body type.
The world tells you who to be.
The haters make you feel helpless.
The people above you strip away your autonomy.
It’s the dark side of growing up as a young woman in sports – the hate churns at your stomach, jabs at your independence, and makes you forget who you are.
People will say “you suck” or “you’re weak” or “you’re not fast enough” or “you’re not going to make it” or “you’re short” and you take the hits bravely and so courageously, yet you go home defeated and question if they are right.
It’s easy to have blind spots when you get criticism and judgement from others.
It’s easy to allow the crowd to bring you down.
It’s easy to let people tell you who you are.
It’s easy to lose your independence, creativity, and expression of self.
That’s all easy.
It’s also easy to be transfixed by your phone, with a zombie gaze toward the fear mongering headlines.
It’s easy to become brainwashed by the body type expectations of Instagram influencers.
It’s easy to shut up and do as you’re told with no questioning.
It’s easy to be reactive and scared.
And I’ve been on the easy side, succumbing to an emotional brainwash, and being told I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, driven enough, capable enough and this other person would take care of me. It sounded wonderful and safe and all, until I lost my identity, forgot my passions and stopped working on my creative pursuits – all of the things that infused me with life and joy.
I spoke about it in my Soccer Saved My Life article, how the loss of my unique self led to anxiety and depression, emotional unfulfillment, and feeling out of control.
But even at my most rock bottom point, my most brainwashed state, I mustered up the itty bit of awareness left inside of me to break free.
This is why I preach so much, tweet so loud, and shake people so hard that they stand up for who they are and don’t rely on others to save them.
It’s easy to choose the path of letting others control every ounce of your being.
But what isn’t easy is realizing you are capable.
What isn’t easy is stepping into your power.
What isn’t easy is being proactive and confident.
What isn’t easy is realizing, ‘wait a minute, I am in control of taking a stand against what everyone is saying.’
What isn’t easy is being self aware and thinking for yourself, instead of having others tell you how to think and who to be.
What isn’t easy is taking care of your health, physical fitness, mind, and soul day in and day out for YEARS.
Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl writes about in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Even when the world is collapsing around you, you choose love, not fear.
You choose you, and dismiss the haters, skeptics and critics.
You choose the empowered response, not the victim one.
You rise above, instead of crumbling below.
I urge you: don’t let someone take away your strengths, your gems, your gifts, your individualism, your liberation.
After all, sports are the ultimate creative expression where beautiful, talented individuals come together to create something magical.
You are capable.