I had a kids fitness class this week with seven children all between the ages of 5-8. In the class there were about 6 boys and one little girl. The one little girl’s name is Beth and she has some of the most amazing qualities you can find in someone as young as six years old. She is strong, focused, smart, engaged, determined, athletic, cute as a damn button, and SO, SO much more!
At various points throughout the class, Beth would come up to me, look me in the eyes, and whisper private feelings of inferiority that all started with “Lauren, I’m JUST a girl…” and ended with something that she felt as though she couldn’t do as well in comparison to the boys in the class.
My mind was blown.
She had no idea that she was outperforming the boys in EVERY aspect and component of the class. Why didn’t she know that? How could she not see how well she was moving, running, skipping, jumping, and throwing in comparison to her classmates? The answer is simple; society limits girls.
Now, before you stop reading this because you think I’m a crazed feminist, I’m not. I call things like I see them and I have some experience growing up in a traditional family with a male sibling. I know a thing or two about the unwritten rules on what it “really means to be a lady”…. all of which I have broken already by the way (sorry mom and dad). I remember distinctly what I wasn’t able/allowed to do, but my brother was. And when I had asked why, the answer was always “because you’re a girl and things are different when you’re a girl.”
Society, in many different ways (some of which are even subliminal) remind girls that they can’t be brave, sporty, strong, muscular, loud, fast, play certain sports because they are “for boys”, etc.
We are, however, constantly reminded that we’re supposed to be; weak and in need of rescue, always be smiling and happy, bad at sports because we’re far too delicate and fragile, glossed, primped, adorable, and submissive. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, take an hour or so and watch any Disney Princess movie. #PointProven
Limitations such as these are placed on girls from the day they’re born and have the potential of sticking with them throughout their entire life. I want to change that. I want all of those feelings and thoughts of limitations to stop once they enter the program.
I have made it my personal mission and responsibility to make sure girls like Beth grow up knowing how unbelievably un-fucking-stoppable they are. I want them to KNOW and FEEL how limitless their potential is. That they are beautiful souls capable of doing whatever their brilliant minds dream of. That they are brave, strong, independent, and in NO way, shape or form need to be “rescued” by a man. That they can be strong mentally, physically, and emotionally. That they are always ENOUGH, both as a person and in the things they set out to do. That being strong and having muscles is crazy beautiful. That it feels pretty fucking awesome when you’re out lifting or out preforming the boy next to you in the class and that’s normal and okay.
I want to help build the self-esteem that girls deserve because it dictates every decision they make in their lives. Good self-esteem equals good life decisions. CrossFit is magical because it has the natural ability to increase one’s self-esteem (no matter how old you are or what your sex/gender is) and break any/all limitations you may have placed on yourself. This newfound self-esteem and limitless feeling eventually bleeds into every aspect of your life.
If you know a young lady who can use a self-esteem boost, send her my way. I’d be happy to help show her how truly amazing she is and how much potential she has under all of the unnecessary worry and anxiety.
Yours in health and wellness,
P.S. No I don’t swear in front of children like this
P.P.S. I care about the self-esteem of boys just as much. Boys and girls receive equal amounts of care and Coaching in classes.