There’s this woman, Leena, who feels like a friend to me. I have never met her, nor have I spoken to her before. But I have been watching her YouTube videos for a long time now and they always give me something to think about or reason to be inspired. Her latest one dealt with the issue of girls and sport; how we all sort-of gave up on P.E. as the teen age hit us, and how that was a very normal thing to do for all of us. What Leena said truly resonated with me – so I thought I would share.
P.E. was hard for me. I was a shy kid, and I was very, very afraid of other people judging me. Now that’s a normal fear for a normal kid, yes. But that fear held me back from realizing my potential because I kept telling myself and others that I sucked at whatever it was we would have to do. I never had that go-getter mentality of the confident girl that just ‘gives it a go’ and has fun in the process. I hated being watched and measured up against the other girls, because in my opinion, I would always be less than. It felt like torture to be reminded in such a cruelly physical way that I was not adequate.
Even though high school is behind me now, I still feel remnants of those feelings of inadequacy when it comes to sport. Although I have mustered up more of a go-getter mentality than ever before, I am still very self-conscious when I share my workout routine with others. I feel the need to put myself down before they get the chance; “yeah but I use very light weights”, “I am so weak, look at me!”, “I can only run for like 3 minutes so…”.
I lower other people’s expectations of my performance so they don’t make fun of me… because apparently I am convinced that they would.
It’s not all bad, though. I’m learning! And I am challenging myself to a… 7k obstacle run. That’s right – me! This quiet, petite me who always hated running is going to kick some ass at the Strong Viking run in a few months’ time. Yes I will. This time around, I am training with a friend. We’re a team. We’re going to have fun being active together, helping each other out. Fuck perfect, fuck ladylike. I want fun and I want challenging. And most of all, I am going to let myself have that.