I hate my broad shoulders, I hate how they fit weird in t-shirts. My skin is THE WORST, I just wish it was clear. My legs are too big, if only they were a little bit smaller, maybe then I would be pretty.
Just like the 98% of girls who feel a pressure to look or act a certain way, I failed to recognize the true beauty of my body - all the fabulous things it can do. Whether it’s something as simple as having the ability to join friends out for a run, or to be able to ride my bike to work - these are things we often take for granted. Sometimes we get so worked up about what our body looks like, and all the things that we are not - we forget about our true strength.
At times, we can all fall victim to the negative self-talk. And I can guarantee I wasn’t the only girl walking the halls of my middle school with negative thoughts plaguing my mind -- even if at the time I felt like I was alone. With girls feeling hopeless, sad or depressed on a regular basis - we’ve got an epidemic of self-hate on our hands. Studies have shown that 7 out of 10 girls across the nation believe they are not good enough, or don’t measure up to their peers, and right here in our own backyard - 62% of Washoe County middle-school girls report feeling sad, depressed or hopeless on a regular basis.
Girls on the Run recognizes that it can be tough to be a girl, and aims to combat those feelings of self-doubt, lack of confidence, and struggle to make friends. The program teaches life skills such as confidence, friendship, and leadership through a curriculum that incorporates physical activity and running. And, it’s working. Through the program, Girls on the Run participants have reported higher levels of not only physical activity but also self-confidence. .
The statistics don’t lie either - girls who are involved in sport report higher self confidence levels and have a sense of belonging, are less likely to be overweight or obese, depressed, smoke, use illicit drugs are have unwanted teen pregnancies. To dig even further True Sport also recognizes that girls involved in sport are less likely to be suicidal or to be sexually victimized.
With these statistics in mind and a strong foundation developed through Girls on the Run, I am choosing to embrace my broad shoulders, for all the laps in the pool they help me through. I am choosing to brush off the occasional break-out, life gets the best of everyone. My strong, muscular legs can carry me not only throughout my day, but on bike rides, and walks with friends. I am choosing to love all my features, for helping me realize my true limitless potential.