Under Armour slash capris and heat gear top are even cuter in real life! Forgive the pose, I was trying to show you the slashes on the back without just pointing to my butt. Probably should have just pointed to my butt…
“You’re so brave!”
I never noticed how often people say this until I wasn’t, well, feeling it.
Ever since I announced my goal to run Warrior Dash, my first obstacle race, as part of Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful challenge, lots of people have been commending me for my bravery. (Well except one guy who patted me on the shoulder and said, “I’ve had lots of friends do it, and they say it’s mostly hype.” Um, ok?)
Also this past week I’ve been told that I’m brave:
– For wearing a funky red vintage dress with bright blue velvet platforms.
– For eating a “weird” vegetable (it was kohlrabi).
– For having five kids.
In each of these cases my reaction was to think, well thank you but is this really “brave”?
When it comes to fashion, I think people actually mean, “I’m glad you’re wearing that and not me.” In the second instance I think they mean “I’m glad you’re eating that, and I’m not.” In the third I think often they are saying “Thank you for talking about it because it happened to me too, and I haven’t found the words for it yet.”
And as for the last item, that actually might be true bravery. Or insanity. Hard to tell the difference sometimes. (Or perhaps being brave requires a measure of insanity?)
Shouldn’t brave be something big? Like Joan of Arc facing the hordes or Winston Churchill before D-Day or Strawberry Shortcake before she takes on The Peculiar Purple Pie Man of Porcupine Peak? (Hush, my 5-year-old son’s favorite show is Strawberry Shortcake. Don’t tell him I told you.) Heck, Richard the Lionhearted even has bravery in his name. So can I be brave in my small things?
Confession: I don’t feel brave very often.
Even when I’m doing something that might be seen as brave – like giving a speech in front of hundreds or people or free-rappelling down a 100-foot cliff or changing a poopy diaper with only one wipe left in the house (I am a diaper ninja!) – in that moment it only feels scary.
As I watched some of the other challenge videos on the Under Armour site I was struck by how many of them – you! – seem to feel the same way. This has led me to believe that perhaps bravery is one of those labels we only apply to a situation once we’re no longer in it.
So right now I’m feeling a little nervous, a lot determined, and really excited. But you know what they say the best cure for being scared is, right? Preparation! And thanks to my amazing Lifetime Fitness trainer, Steve, (Whom I still can’t believe I get to train with! Pinch me!) I’m well on the road to being physically prepared.
Ack – forgot to snap a pic with my trainer but my husband makes an excellent stand-in!
Believe me, if I have to climb a rope using only my right butt cheek I will totally win. By taking care of my weaknesses now – and yes, I’m doing my corrective exercises every day like a good girl! – I’ll have less to worry about during the race. I’ve also enlisted a few friends to do it with me since my bravery is exponentially related to how many people I have to laugh at myself with. And of course, wearing my Under Armour gear (the slash capris are every bit as adorable in real life as they are on the site! I was pleasantly surprised by the nice wide waistband – the better to hold my battle-scarred tummy together) helps me feel confident. Not only does it stay put through the craziest of my workouts (nothing like doing a headstand and being strangled by your own shirt whilst simultaneously flashing your sports bra to the entire gym to teach you that trendy loose tees are a bad plan) but it also makes me feel better. Hey, at least I can look like I’m brave, right? At least until I move.
And then I watch a video, like this What’s Beautiful one, about the woman whose goal is to build a kitchen in the Kibera slums of Nairobi to serve food to hundreds of starving people (and she’s already accomplished it!) and realize bravery is about so much more than trying something I’m afraid of. Being brave is just as much about what we do for others on the outside than how we feel on the inside. It turns out being brave isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. In which case, yeah, I am pretty brave for eating that kohlrabi. I mean, have you seen those things?!
Speaking of brave – I got to meet Kendra Ruff, MMA fighter and co-captain of the Minnesota Valkyries, at Lifetime Fitness! And it turns out she just completed the Under Armour personal training certification! While she had to wear her uniform I got to wear the UA purple and gold yoga jacket. (My job: talk to people while wearing cute clothes. Her job: get punched in the face while wearing cute clothes. Hmmm.)
What does bravery mean to you? How do you empower your workout?
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