“She inhabited two spaces or worlds – one masculine and the other feminine – at once.” ~ (Sarah Duff – Descriptor of Dr Jane Elizabeth Waterston)
I love working out. Anyone who knows me will say that my happy place is found in movement, effort and sweat.
Yes, I said sweat. I do not glisten nor do I perspire. I full on drip with hard-earned sweat equity and I am more than okay with that. The difficulty thing when you spend so much time working out in gym clothes with your hair up in a messy ponytail is to remember to honor the other side to yourself that doesn’t pump iron, do burpees or punch it out 24/7.
For some women this can be a relaxed and casual side that enjoys wearing comfy pants and a warm hoodie, for some it might be the joy of putting on a nice dress, makeup and some swanky boots or for others it could be sliding into a finely tailored tux.
I will admit I love the feeling of putting my hair up first thing in the morning and seeing the size of my biceps in the mirror however (sadly) there is a societal stigma that goes with along with larger muscle growth in particular on a woman. Somewhere along the way it has been grossly misinterpreted that a female who is strong physically has a harder time looking feminine.
Between demands on our time with children, jobs, partners and life in general I feel that the art of playing dress-up has been lost along the way.
What recently reminded me of my own self-neglect with regards to this was a little girl I met this summer. Her name is Eva and she is 3-years-old. She was stopping in the gym to spend some time with her Dad who trains there. Eva was wearing the most pretty, sparkly, purple dress. The kind that twirls quite nicely if you happen to like to do that kind of thing with you put one on (guilty, I admit it!).
I commented on how nice she looked and told her that purple was my favorite color. That’s when her Dad told me that she was wearing her beach dress. This young, authentic and pure soul had decided that going to the beach was a more than adequate reason for looking her best. Dare I say it, she was right. Why limit ourselves to feeling pretty or feeling confident in our clothing and our skin to just special occasions? Why not give ourselves permission to feel that ANY day?
That was when I decided that I was going to follow Eva’s lead. Yesterday there was enough of a break in the wet weather we are treated to during the west coast winters for me to head to the beach to play a little myself and remind MY soul what it’s like to feel powerful, strong…and pretty all at the same time!
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing I wish nothing for you but feeling your best. I wish you the opportunity to play dress-up and remind your soul that life is about wearing your best to the beach. Thank you Eva!
Photos of Eva: Courtesy of Dustin Tremblay (aka Dad)
Photos of Me: Courtesy of my phone timer