Fitness empowers. Every time I put my body through a new physical challenge, no matter the result, I come away more confident in every area of my life. More sure that I've got the strength and the energy I'll need to make the changes I want to see in myself, and in the world. And more willing to try.
After 30 years of running, there's no longer a single moment I can point to, an "a ha" moment when I found my personal power. I've finished marathons through injuries, weather, and illness. I ran a single-track mountain trail at elevation, while tethered to a donkey. I completed a #@&%ing Spartan obstacle race. I push myself for the pleasure of it, but also for the person it helps me become. I've had the courage to seek an education, start a business, manage a lifelong anxiety disorder, endure loss, fight injustice, and survive the first few months of a Trump presidency. Because no matter how loud the voice that tells me the mountain is too high, the problem is too big, or that I'm probably going to fail, the person who trained for and completed those physical challenges is always in there, too, and she's even louder. She's been keeping track, and she knows what I can do. And she's really bossy.
If every woman could tap into her own strength and power, we’d be unstoppable. Fitness changes lives, and people who have changed their own lives go on to change their families, their workplaces, their communities, their systems of government, and the worlds they live in.
Running may change the shapes of our bodies, but more importantly it will shape our minds.
FEET that march, and take the leap.
LEGS that propel us forward into action.
BALANCE that keeps us upright through adversity.
GUTS that can handle the tough stuff.
ARMS that raise up fists, carry signs, and sometimes carry others.
LUNGS that magnify our voices.
EYES that don’t look away.
HEARTS that set the tempo.
Bodies that rest, fuel, recover, heal. That sleep deeply, and wake up every morning ready to meet whatever new challenge the day will bring.
If you're interested in joining me and runners all over the country in grassroots activism in support of Planned Parenthood and women's access to essential healthcare services, please visit the Run 4 All Women website at www.run4allwomen.com, and sign up to receive email updates.