Finding your inner badass
It will change your life — take it from the former big, fat, sweaty girl in the back of the class!
I met an amazing gal by the name of Netto this summer. She’s a petite, little thing with muscles as hard as rocks; I’d say she could breeze under a five foot beam and clear it, even with her tall, gray, spiky hair. She’s got this beautiful, milk chocolate face and the liveliest of eyes — inherited from a small tribe in Arizona. She’s the kinda woman who energy radiates from — and you have never seen a more beautiful smile than hers while she’s being pulled from the back of a boat. She can’t see you smiling back, as she’s as blind as a bat with her glasses off.
I met her one weekend while camping at Pyramid Lake — she was trying to slalom behind a jet ski. She’s also seriously addicted to her ATV and snow skiing. She coaches and plays softball. You name the camping spot, she’ll jump in her big ol’ truck and camper trailer with her dogs in tow.
Oh, did I mention that she just turned 63? She’s got some serious badass going.
Amy, here at Raving, consistently hits her driver over 220 yards, and 180 is no problem with her 3 wood. She can tell you all about downriggers and thermoclines, and the proof is in the pudding: she caught, cleaned and barbequed the best Lahontan cutthroat trout for us out on the lake this summer. Sing along with me now, she’s got some badass going.
I met my friend Sara at the dojo where we’ve worked out since January; she has two extremely energetic, towheaded boys, ages 6 and 8, is a full-time RN, and every chance she gets, you’ll find her out on the river in her kayak. Yes, this spring when the Truckee was running six times faster than normal from all the record snowfall — making it scary for most of us just to put our toe in — well, she was out there rolling and surfing in the freezing water.
You know what’s coming — she’s a full-time mother, provider, wife and a total badass.
None of these women will admit to being a badass; they’ll probably kick mine for writing about them. Because most folks I know would never, ever admit to being a badass. It’s a feeling. It’s a private thang.
The point of finding your inner badass is how it makes you feel about yourself; how it
empowers you. And for a lot of us women, I can say it is:
1. Knowing you are as strong and powerful as you can be, no matter your age
2. Overcoming those things, that you do indeed have the ability to change, that
hamper your confidence
3. Achieving your own personal best; it’s not about proving anything to anyone
4. Finding joy in whatever activity you are experiencing that moment
5. Looking down and seeing your triceps for the first time
6. Being Olympic swimmer Diana Nyad — and taking off your dress at an awards
banquet to reveal your 61-year-old bathing-suited body
7. Laughing at yourself, laughing a lot and allowing yourself to be a dork
8. Catching your naked self in the mirror and saying, “I can dig it” instead of “Oh
Many of you read my article earlier this year, which was called, “Starting Over With Folks Half Your Age,” which could have been titled, “The Big, Fat, Sweaty Girl and a Bunch of Skinny Cheerleaders.” Well, I’m here to tell you that nine months later, I’m still the sweaty girl; however, I don’t feel fat anymore. How much have I lost? How many pant sizes? Let me tell you what has been more important than fitting into skinny jeans:
A couple of weeks ago, I walked into a gym located in an out of the way industrial area. It is called International Fight Center (yeah, funny, little ol’ me, going into a “fight center”). Two rings, several bags, mats; sweaty, muscular, tattooed men training for their next MMA fight. Are you getting what I’m layin’ down? The sounds of fists hitting a heavy bag, the release of air through a mouthpiece, the grunt from taking a body shot.
I was there to learn classic boxing — think Million Dollar Baby (less the need to be a world champion and die). Why? Because I wanted to learn an “art.” Because I thought it would be fun. Because I knew it would challenge me and take my fitness to the next level. Did it matter that I was the oldest woman there? No. Did it matter that I knew no one? Nope.
What mattered was that I had no qualms about opening the door. I was there to give MY personal best and was excited to try something new. What matters — is that I now know how to properly wrap my hands, I jump rope like nobody’s business, I can bob and weave, jab and cross, and I’m learning footwork. What matters is that although I’m still constantly blinded by my sweat — despite the less than fashionable bandana, I’m not stumbling from exhaustion and I have been able to keep up with the male and few female partners less than half my age. What matters is that I am having so much damn fun and that I have to seriously work at containing my goofy smile when I get instruction from my trainer, “Briggs.”
After class last night, I was so very pumped, I drove in my convertible, far enough away that the gym members wouldn’t hear me and “woo-hooed” at the top of my lungs for the next mile or so. I was floating like a butterfly, baby.
I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have walked in there nine months ago. I can also say that, in getting in touch with my inner badass, I have tackled other goals I didn’t previously have either the ability or the confidence to do. I’m so much happier and I know that positively affects the people who share my life.
So here’s to all you badass women and men out there — skiers, kayakers, golfers, stand up paddle boarders, belly dancers, power walkers, jazzercisers, bowlers, surfers, carpenters, fishermen, motorheads, musicians, luncheon pick-up basketball game players, and the make your own pie crust bakers. You know who you are. I celebrate your badassness. And if you haven’t been in touch with that part of yourself for a long time — find it. It’s never too late and it will change every part of your life.
Originally published by Raving Consulting Company