For most of my middle school life, I hated being short. I hated the nicknames, I hated the jokes, and I just wanted to be 'tall'. I hated never finding a single pair of jeans in a store because either the waist was too small or the inseam was eight inches too long. I looked at my mom as she left for her morning runs every day with a smile on her face wondering how she could be happy when she had the short stubby legs that I had inherited. For as long as I could remember, I had stood at countless finish lines waiting for my mom to finish marathons and triathlons by the dozen. The look on her face when she finished a race was one of pride that I had never felt nor deserved to feel.
Fast forward two years, I nervously awaited my first soccer conditioning practice as a ninth grader trying out for the high school team. It happened to fall on my fifteenth birthday and all of my classmates sat quietly waiting for instructions in the already 85 degree heat at ten in the morning. We were told to complete a 'warm up' mile including difficult plyometric exercises that left us all nearly dead by the end. And this was just the warm up. After twenty seconds for water, we were then told that we were going to be running three and a half miles in the rest of the thirty minutes of practice. I gulped. I couldn't remember ever having to be timed in a mile once in my life. We started our run, the faster girls on my team with long, lean lovely legs in the front. I felt tired and wanted to lay down on the track and die, but I kept running, even as they lapped me.
On exactly the ninth lap, I noticed that only half of the freshmen remained. A few were puking. As the laps continued on, they slowly continued to drop out. On the eleventh lap, only the fastest girl on the team and I remained. She was gasping more her breath and kept looking from the track to me back and forth while she ran. With just 300 yards to go, she started jogging slower...and slower, until she stopped completely. I was the only one running and a few painful seconds later, I finished. It wasn't in thirty minutes, but I got to walk back to the group and see my classmates laying on the track as the only one to finish. I guess if there was any moment when I realized what a gift it was to have the short stubby legs my mother had given me, it was then. And for the rest of high school, I can honestly say I didn't care about how I compared to other girls regarding how I looked. I was proud. I could run longer than the girls with stick legs and that was all that mattered to me.
Self image is something I've never talked about my blog...but I don't think it can be talked about enough. I hate that the model figure is someone in magazines as if there is only one kind of body type in the world. I hate that girls think they are ugly because I honestly think everyone I meet is beautiful. However, going to college, I lost what made me feel like me and it took months for me to figure out that it was being able to run forever. Not actually running, but being able to. I always loved how strong I was and able. It made me feel weak and I guess I lost that confidence I had all through high school that kept me who I was. Well, last week, I started running again... and I have ran twice this week. I can't describe how it feels to feel like I'm gaining myself back. Looking good truly is all about feeling good. Beauty to me is strength. Self confidence is about figuring out what makes you special and different.
Top- Urban Outfitters
Shorts- Charlotte Russe
Boater Hat- Urban Outfitters
Shoes- Urban Outfitters