Empower – make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
Reading the definition, empower is a pretty strong word, isn’t it.
To be confident in controlling your life and claiming your rights.
One of the biggest changes I saw in my life after I started running was feeling more empowered. I believed I could do crazy things (like run marathons, or multiple marathons, or an ultra marathon, or an ultra Ragnar) and then I went to do those things.
With each accomplishment, I felt more and more empowered and I believed more and more that I had control over my life.
When I started training for my ultra marathon I was running quite a bit after dark since the sun sets early in Calgary in the winter. While I believe the areas I run in to be pretty safe, there are still some unsavory people out and about, and I wanted to be sure I was able to protect myself, so I invested in pepper spray.
Carrying it with me never made me feel more or less safe while running, but I knew I was, hopefully, taking the precautions necessary in case I were to encounter someone who didn’t have the best of intentions (and I hoped I wouldn’t point the pepper spray in the wrong direction and spray myself in the face!).
You don’t need to run (or carry pepper spray) to feel empowered; it will be different for everyone.
Swoob (okay, really, how awesome is it that they named themselves after sweaty boobs?! I think it’s freaking fantastic!) took a small idea and turned it into a way to give women a voice and encourage stylish and active lifestyles. What woman doesn’t want to look good when working out? Is it vain? Maybe, but I know I feel great, when I know I look it – and that’s okay.
Brene Brown speaks often of vulnerability and shame and how being vulnerable helps to remove the shame from our lives. I think being vulnerable can also be empowering. Instead of brushing our fears and insecurities under the rug, we can talk about them. We can reach out to others when they are struggling, we can share stories like Alana Maiello did in her We Are All Survivors post, or read the Survivor Stories presented by SABRE.
Or, you can be like me, having gained 20 pounds in nearly a year and still post a picture in the Dragonfly Sports Bra for the world to see.
You don’t need to run a marathon to feel empowered. Allowing myself to admit my faults and fears and tell the truth about my anxiety empowered me to feel like running a marathon was (and is) possible.
I believe almost everything I set my mind to is possible. It may hurt, it may be scary, and let’s be honest here, running three marathons in 91 days is absolutely and completely terrifying. I’ve had some moments after registering and booking the flights wondering if I made a bad choice. (#truthbomb) But? Like everything in my life (anxiety, my marriage ending) I will come out the other side stronger, and I’m pretty sure I’ll learn a lesson or two; even if the lesson is “I’ll never do that again” it will have been a learning experience nonetheless.
[Tweet “Join @SwoobFit and @cowgirlruns to talk about how you are confident in controlling your life #empowered”]
What empowers you?
Disclaimer: this post has been sponsored by Swoob; however, all content and opinions are my own.
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