Thursday, August 18

Wouldn't Want to be Anyone Else

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Outfit:
Top- Urban Outfitters
Shorts- Charlotte Russe
Boater Hat- Urban Outfitters
Shoes- Urban Outfitters

43 comments:

Kuleigh said...

This is such an awesome story. I know how you feel and I think most girls can relate... even the tall, super skinny ones have their insecurities too! I've never been much of a runner but when I do run I feel a sense of empowerment. It's the little things that you are good at that you have to focus on instead of picking apart every little thing you don't like about yourself. Great inspirational post, Maggie!!!

<3 Kuleigh

head over heels said...

This post was amazing, you have a way with words :) I can totally relate to your story as well being only 5foot myself and spending most of my life feeling like i don't quite measure up (literally). Anyway i'm happy you got your confidence back, love the outfit too :) x

Caitlin said...

You are awesome! I got broken up with last summer (by a real childish guy - so technically, it's a REALLY good thing he did) and my dad saw how depressed it made me..and he started training me. I trained for an entire year and this May, I completed a 10K :) I've never felt so accomplished in my life - so I definitely know how you feel - and I LOVE this story! Congrats :)

Natalie said...

Ah, this was so fantastic to read. Not even just in the context of completing the workout, but also the entire idea of doing something you never thought you could do despite your self doubts and insecurities. I know I definitely struggle with feeling like I'm inadequate, and I'm sure that the majority of teenage girls can relate to that as well. What's most important is that we're strong and healthy, and body type is really insignificant in the grand scheme of a person. Oh, and also, the fastest girl on my cross country team is actually at least five inches shorter than me, haha... :)

dahhlayne said...

What an encouraging post! Why can't more girls be like you? :) See, looks isn't everything. It is truly unfortunate that the media likes to portray "skinny and tall" as the ideal body, but if you think about it, it's just one perception. A perception that is twisted by deceit and self-glamorization (is that a word...? oh well, I'm continuing anyways). Real people know that that certain look shouldn't define the world because not even half the world looks like that! So I'm so glad you are able to find beauty from both your outer and inner strength. :)

http://forte-espressivo.blogspot.com

dahhlayne said...
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dahhlayne said...
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Bree said...

So true, girl! :]
Oh gosh, I've missed your blogging. <3

You look so cute with the fedora and lace top!

Btw, you're beautiful. No need to worry about anything. :]

I love running too, girl!

By the way, I’m having an international Pura Vida bracelets giveaway so come check it out! :]

xoxo, Bree

http://vivalabreee.blogspot.com/

Abbey said...

Great, great post! :)

genevieve said...

Great post, DARLING outfit! Yay for short runners!

SomeoneLikeYou said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful post. Words cannot describe how much I admire you Miss. Maggie <3

Bethany Kellen of bunnypicnic said...

such a lovely post. and such a good story. you are one of the bloggers who i actually read everything you write. love you girl.

Charlotte said...

this is so inspiring, Maggie.
I have short legs too and I hate them. I've never been into running though. It's one of those things I wish I could do but I have no stamina for, but something I really want to do.
I started to run last year but while I loved the way I felt afterwards, I hated it while I was doing it.
This has inspired me to maybe, just maybe, take it up again.
You're amazing and such an inspiration.

Charlotte x

lifeisamaze said...

Great outfit and beautiful photos ! You look stunning !
:)

Celynne said...

That's pretty crazy. I know I'd have been one of the ones who stopped running first, I was so not in good shape back in high school. Part of me thinks I should start running... I have NEVER run, except you know, to catch a bus maybe. Never have I run a mile. I'm just afraid I'll keel over after 50 feet and look like the fat chick trying to run. Bah. Good for you running. I should take some pointers from your strength.

Steffys Pros and Cons said...

you are perfect the way you are and im glad you realize that!! i love your cute top with the best collar ever... and the lighting in these is amazing!!

<3 steffy
Steffys Pros and Cons

Katie said...

This is so great :) I'm going to start following you xo

Katia said...

Aw this post made me so happy :) I have long legs but I am horrible at long distance running. And although sometimes I wish I was more in shape, I do love the way I am and I wish that more girls were like you and me, who know there are more than one beautiful body type.
You look lovely here by the way!

Alex said...

I am always in love with the positive view you have on things! It's so great that you excelled at running! Who knew! I am a terrible, terrible runner, so you're right... long legs doesn't mean they'll work right :P for real. Anyway, I love the top! I want one just like that! It's sososososososo adorable

Alex said...

I am always in love with the positive view you have on things! It's so great that you excelled at running! Who knew! I am a terrible, terrible runner, so you're right... long legs doesn't mean they'll work right :P for real. Anyway, I love the top! I want one just like that! It's sososososososo adorable

charley said...

LOVE this outfit from head to toe! Work it superstar!

http://thecharleygirl.blogspot.com

xxoo

♥ sugarpuff ♥ said...

I love it when you say "Self confidence is about figuring out what makes you special and different."
Definitely true!
You have awesome outfit! <3
Have a happy day!

*hug* from your new follower

♥ sugarpuff ♥
Pinkie Anggia ☺
http://pinkieanggia.tumblr.com

Grace said...

Your outfit is gorgeous, and the pics too!
You know, running isn't the only gift you have.. You write very very well! :D I enjoyed reading the post :)

kylee said...

middle school plus being short was death. i know exactly what you're talking about. the teasing and wishing you were taller. story of my life back then. your outlook on life is truly beautiful. thank you for reminding me what true beauty looks like. and running? i tell myself nearly every day that i'll ge up and do it. i pray i finally see the day it happens.

Jul said...

Maggeygrace, this is probabily the most beautiful post I've ever read. This truly is an hymn to self-esteem.
You look gorgeous btw, I just love that top!

http://lifeisaromanticpoem.blogspot.com/

KateLainey said...

Great post on confidence and loving yourself for who you are...beautiful! Good luck with your running. Running does wonders for the soul and is my go to when I feel so unmotivated and crappy. Thanks so much for the love on my wedding photo post. :) It means a lot to me!

xo KateLainey

svenoblivion said...

YOU GO GIRL!

I so wish I could run. But on land, I stink at everything...in the water, though, I could go...and go...and go...

Not so much anymore, unfortunately...when I was 14 I had such horrible pains in my joints I had to get out of the water in ten minutes, and we we went to a joint specialist to get X-rays and MRIs done. Turns out my joints, especially my shoulders, are underdeveloped, and it just did not hit me till the last growth spurt right after I turned 14.

I had developed anorexia before this happened, but it wasn't really anything except the mindset. Once I stopped swimming, it got worse gradually. I'm not one of these people that have lost weight and had to be hospitalised or sent to treatment...in fact, I gained weight as I got older and even a little taller. Relapse happens constantly with me, and it is hurting my body so much. I am scared to go to the doctor because of finding out what all is wrong with me.

But I am passionate about everyone loving themselves for WHO and HOW they are, and am an advocate of TWLOHA and Operation Beautiful. So, like Romans 8:28 says, good HAS come out of this problem, and that good is glorifying the LORD. He is healing me gradually and showing me ways to reach out to everyone and let them know how beautiful they are no matter what. When you said that you think everyone you meet is beautiful just as they are, my heart leapt! Thank you, Maggie Grace! Thank you for saying that and for talking about what is not talked about near enough as it should be.

Much love and forgive me for the novel - I am a writer :)

- s
www.svenoblivion.wordpress.com (link on my name)

alissa b said...

i'm a newbie to your blog, i've just come across it but it's too cute! and i'm loving these wedges in this look.

great photos, great post!

alissa b
http://www.alissab.us

Hannah said...

Thanks so much for your comments! They are super sweet! Ive actually been following you for ages but havent commented much! I love this post; as always, gorgeous photos and I love your story. Its so true that body image cant be talked about enough. Im actually have a similar story sort of.. Ive always been 'bigger' than the average athlete. I did athletics all throughout my childhood until the age of 16 or so (IM now 20).. and that entire time I got comments about my weight or size or 'large thighs' or something. People would always judge on my appearance and assume I wasnt good for much. What they didnt know was that I was a state representing athlete for triple jump and long jump. Turns out my big thighs were good for something! Im pretty lucky though, I never really let the comments get to me too much.. I mean, it sucks when your 15 and some guy says you have 'huge thighs'.. but luckily when I looked in the mirror all I saw was a fit muscular body! Unfortunately it did get to me in the end though hence why I quit after I put on some weight thanks to puberty!
I just hate that girls are made to feel like the way theyre made isnt good enough! I hate even more that some girls start believing it too.

Great post though :) xx

Julia Topaz, La Belle Oiselle said...

excellent story! made me smile.

Kelly said...

These are gorgeous photos ... Love the lighting. Embrace the shortness I say! I'm short & it's a good thing too, cause so is my sweet boyfriend :) Never have to wear heels again (if I don't want too).

Kelly @
Elegantly Academic

hellolyndsey said...

Oh my gosh Mag.. I completely understand your height issue. Except for I am on the other end of the stick. I remember being in school and when I played basketball they would throw the ball to me and say "SCORE IT, YOU CAN PRACTICALLY TOUCH THE NET!!" I wanted to curl up and die whenver someone sad something like that. I also remember one girl saying, "Stand next to me, I love feeling so tiny next to you." I was always taller than every girl in my class, even when I was in elementary school. I am currently 6 foot and I constantly get stared at by every single person everywhere I go. I have never been able to own my own pair of heels/wear them out in public because if I even try to attempt to wear a pair, I sky rocket over 6'5. It is really embarrassing because everyone stares at me and looks at me like "God she's a freakin giant." It's also almost impossible to find a guy that's taller than yourself to date (unless you don't have a problem dating guys shorter than yourself..) Because of my height I have always felt a bit masculine and never feminine. I feel that my height intimidates guys and wouldn't make them think of me as "fragile". I am actually beginning to overcome this paranoia and actually become comfortable with myself and my height. I do think alot of times that I could've been born without legs or I could lose my legs when I get older. I need to be thankful for what I have and stop worrying about my self image like I do. It really is ridiculous about how bad I stress over it.

That story really was amazing to me, and I bet it was the best feeling in the world to beat all of those girls. am definitely not in shape and couldn't run 3 miles even if someone paid me a million to. Haha.


Btw, you look stunning, as always!
xx
lyndsey of hellolyndsey

Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

you look so cute! I love that hat!

Bonnie said...

I don't think I have ever loved you more.
I know exactly how you feel with the short legs thing. I have tiny, baby legs. I can never find pants that fit because they are so damn long. I mean, they go about 6 inches past my legs when they are size smalls. COME ON, PEOPLE.
I am so proud of you that you were the only one left running. Short girls always win. We're like the stealthy ninjas coming in to steal the light from the tall girls. They can suck it.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

My Heart Blogged said...

That was a really great post. I am a curvier girl but I have muscles. I find confidence in my strength as well. I hope you keep at it with your running, it sounds liberating.

Emma Robertson said...

How wonderful, this is so inspirational!

xo,
Em

Buttons and Bobbins said...

the lighting in those photos is just beautiful. as are you. great post.

kate gabrielle said...

This is such a fantastic post!!

I was always the shortest one in all my classes, in ballet and on my soccer team (I'm 5' on the nose) and for the longest time it bothered me, too. But eventually I've grown to really love being short! I actually think if I ever went to the doctors and found out I'd miraculously grown even an inch, I'd cry!

The jean inseam thing is still a pain, though, isn't it?! I got a new pair at Old Navy a couple days ago, and I need to hem like 9" off the bottom! I never realized I was THAT short, haha! :)

Kirstin Marie said...

This is such an inspiring story. In fact, YOU are an inspiration!!! Always remember, AWESOME things come in small packages :)

I adore your top & your cute hat! Lovely sunset photos! <3

Elyse (Give Me Bows) said...

Maggey this is such a beautiful post, I am so glad that you realised one of the many things that make you special :) I am definitely a 'work in progress' in terms of learning to appreciate the positive and unique things about me, but I do make progress every year. Thanks for the reminder to rejoice in our individuality! <3

Wild Flower said...

A very inspiring post darling, makes me want to go out and run! I also went through a lot of these body issues in high school, some still going on now, but for opposite reasons of you. I was always a foot taller than everyone and my feet are giant! It seems whichever side of the spectrum you are on, it's hard. I'm glad your back running and that helps you, maybe I should give it a try too!

Kaylee
xo

P.S. I have that top, but opposite colors! Looks lovely on you!

Jamie Rose said...

Such a great post. I love hearing about other short girls' experiences with coming to accept and love their height. I'm the same height as you, so I feel you! I am not a runner at all though haha. But there are other things about my shortness that I love, so it's okay!

Summer-Raye said...

Girl you are perfect and so beautiful. I know the feeling- Ive struggled a bit with my body too. Visit my blog.

www.summer-raye.blogspot.com