Moving Day!

22 Apr

It’s been pretty much forever since my last blog post.  And for that I apologize heartily.  But it’s all been for an excellent reason – I’m moving my blog to my own site!

images

From here on out, all of my blogging will take place at -

www.howwerollfitness.com

If you’re currently an email subscriber, you’ll move with me to the new site (exciting!).  If you’re WordPress subscriber, you’ll move with me too (equally exciting!), but you’ll have to sign up again for email notifications on the new site.  Please do that – I love my subscribers!

The site will be up and running pretty much right away, with new content as soon as my brain comes up with it.   If you want more posts about derby, and training, and good times, please head on over to http://www.howwerollfitness.com, it’s going to be amazeballs!*

*actually, it’ll be pretty much just like this site, just in a different inter-webby place, and with way more frequent blog posts :)  See you there!

Do The Work: My Path to StrongFirst

14 Nov

Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Bang Fitness in Toronto to participate in a StrongFirst Level 1 Kettlebell certification.

strongfirst-logo

I am beyond excited.  And a little bit (or rather a huge, massive, heaving bit) scared.  I have trained all year for this weekend.  I have followed a meticulous training schedule (thanks Brett Jones!).  I have read theory, watched videos, and attended workshops (thanks Chris Lopez!).  I’ve tried to dial in my diet, and I’ve been progressive and particular about weighting up my bells.  I’ve done countless swings, squats, get-ups, cleans, presses, and snatches.  In short, I’ve tried to do the work necessary to become certified at the end of the weekend.

Here’s the thing – I still might not pass.  I might end the weekend with a bunch of knowledge, and more work to do.

Strongfirst is a very challenging certification.  You need to be able to demonstrate your ability to teach, perform, and persevere.  The lifting standards are detailed.  The workouts are grueling.  The weekend is long, and hard on the body and mind (so I’ve heard).  It’s also incredibly rewarding and, pass or fail, you come home better and stronger than you were.

kettlebells

So, what does this have to do with roller derby?

More than you’d think, actually.

As you know, I train all of our fresh meat.  I also train our league skaters. I have seen a lot of girls try to become derby skaters.  I have seen a lot of them succeed, and I have seen a lot of them quit.

Please note, I’ve not mentioned seeing anyone fail.  Derby is tough on you – both physically and mentally.  Derby takes a lot of commitment, time, and energy.  Derby forces you to be honest about what you can do, and what you have yet to be able to accomplish.

You only fail if you cease to try.

That’s how I’m looking at this certification – either I’m ready to pass, or I still need more work before I’m ready to pass.  I don’t fail.  I don’t suck at everything.  The instructors won’t be wrong and biased and just have it out for me – either I’m ready now or I’m not yet.

Derby is the same way.  I have seen dozens of girls lose their bananas over not being drafted, rostered, or played.  I have seen them call themselves all sorts of names, and beat themselves into the ground.  Over and over again, I’ve seen skaters call themselves failures, and then I’ve seen them spiral into self-doubt and poor play.  I’ve also seen skaters pull themselves up after missing the draft (or roster or line) and come back at it hard.  I’ve seen them attack their challenges like mad dogs and turn those challenges into the skills that they dominate.

Want to guess which strategy makes better derby skaters?

What matters is not always the outcome – we can’t control the outcome most of the time.  What matters is the input.  What matters is doing the work, and being confident that you’ve done the work.  Sometimes you’re just not the right person for the job, sometimes you’re not the one who needs to be on the roster, or the one who makes the team.  But if you did the work, you have nothing to be ashamed of if the output isn’t quite what you wanted.

Don’t get me wrong – if I don’t pass this weekend, I’ll likely be upset and I’ll go through some “what did I do wrong” drama with myself.   Not getting what you want when you feel like you’ve worked hard for it STINKS.   Especially when you feel like you’ve done all you can do.  But if that happens, it will likely be that I just wasn’t ready yet.  And accepting when you’re not yet ready is a pretty important skill to learn.   It’s one I’m still working on.  But I’m thinking of it this way, no matter which way things go – I spent a full year dedicated to a very specific goal.  I worked my tail off, and have already accomplished things I never thought I could when I started.  I met some wonderful people.  If all I focus on is 5 minutes at the end of a 3-day weekend, I’m not giving myself nearly enough credit for all of the amazingness that I’ve already achieved.  If you focus on one roster (or line or whatever), you’re not giving your whole derby journey nearly the weight it deserves.

1390497_601346253239988_1908769056_n

photo courtesy Joe Mac

So whether in derby, or training for a tough kettlebell certification, or anything you’re excited about – do the work.  Don’t avoid your challenges.  No one ever became a champion by ONLY doing things they were already good at.   Ask for help when you need it.   Do the work with confidence.   Let that confidence show no matter the outcome.

Big Rocks – Part II

31 Oct

Remember when Booty Quake (from the other TCRG) and Roller Derby Athletics, was awesome and invited me to guest post on her blog?  That was cool.

If you missed Part One of my Big Rocks series about how to craft a simple and effective weight-training program – it’s right here.    Part I is all about the theory behind keeping your training simple, and why it works.  Part II gives some examples of how to put it all together, so that you can develop your own cross-training regimen, tailored to your needs and your level of skill.  Interested?

Click on the logo to check it out!

Roller Derby Athletics logo

Rocking the “Big Rocks” of Weight Training

16 Oct

Most of you know that I’m a big fan of Booty Quake (from the other TCRG) and the awesome content she posts on Roller Derby Athletics.  She always has fantastic videos, gives great advice, and really cares about the conditioning of roller derby skaters.

Roller Derby Athletics logo

Well, since Booty is jet-setting around the world, she graciously offered to let me guest post on her blog.  SO EXCITING!

Without further ado, here’s part one of a two-part series about how to craft a simple and effective weight-training program that focuses on the “big rocks” of training.

Keep your eyes peeled for part two, coming soon!

 

KALE: It Is Super Good For You (even though it is gross)

3 Oct

Friends, let’s talk about kale.

First of all, let’s get some things out of the way:

1 – I am captain of a roller derby team called the Venus Fly Tramps.  Historically, they have been known as the “crunchy-granola-hippy”  team of TCRG.  This does not make me queen of the hippies.

2 – I garden.  I am not great at it, but I like the idea of growing my own veggies and stuff, and I like to have a moderate amount of control over what I put into my body.  This does not mean I am some sort of green-thumbed earth mother.

3 – There is kale growing in my garden.  I DON’T KNOW HOW IT GOT THERE.  (Yes, I do.  My mom had a ton, and she gave me a clipping, which I planted thinking I would kill it, as is the case with a number of my gardening ventures.)  NOW IT IS TAKING OVER.  I tried to sacrifice it to the bunnies in my yard, but after we put up chicken wire to protect our spinach, in a totally different part of the garden, they stopped lunching on the kale.  Bunnies!  Come back!  This kale is for you!

For some reason, kale is really cool right now.  I’ve always loved spinach.  I’m a recent convert to Swiss chard.  But of the healthy, leafy greens, kale seems to be getting all the press.

Kale is one of those vegetables that you probably (or at least I didn’t) hear much about growing up, unless your parents were hippies.  Now, you can’t turn the corner without hearing how great kale is.

(True Fact: Since joining roller derby, I have met two women who have children NAMED Kale).

I am trying REALLY hard to like kale, since it is ridiculously good for you.  Yes, I know, it’s easy to over-hype almost any food these days, but kale sort of lives up to its current hype.  It is definitely finding a renaissance amongst current foodies and fitness pros, and I feel like I should jump on that band wagon, lest I get left behind with the other spinach-eating troglodytes.

Here’s why kale is a good food that you should eat:

It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and has no fat.  It’s also chock full of an alphabet of vitamins – especially Vitamin K, C, and A.  That means it’ll help with digestion, elimination, and is very nutrient-dense, without being calorically-dense.

It’s high in iron. Allegedly (according to science), kale has more iron per calorie than beef, hence its current moniker, “The New Beef”.  Iron is crucial for cell growth, liver functioning, forming enzymes and hemoglobin and enzymes, and other important stuff inside your body.

Kale is high in calcium. Not content with taking over for beef, kale is also muscling in on milk’s calcium claims, providing superior calcium absorption per calorie.  As we all know, from the milk commercials, calcium is important for in preventing osteoporosis and maintaining healthy bones.

It’s also a decent anti-inflammatory food. A cup of kale contains 10% of your daily recommended omega-3 fatty acids, which help to fight against various ailments and keep inflammation in check.

It freezes well.  it actually gets a little sweeter if you expose it to some frost.  Convenient.

It blends reasonably well.  If you are not a super kale fan, like the author of this post, get a good blender, because you can just blend your kale until you don’t hate it anymore.  great for smoothies, rough blending/chopping for sauces.

Kale has been found to contain a group of resins that lowers bad cholesterol and decreases absorption of dietary fat – these properties are enhanced with steaming.  Also convenient  – SINCE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THAT KALE ON ITS OWN TASTES TOLERABLE.

I kid.  Somewhat.

The moral, kale is good for you, it sort of tastes okay, so you should probably eat more of it if you want to.  Here are 3 recipes that make kale not horrible to eat:

HIDE THE KALE SMOOTHIE

Just make a green monster: ice, banana, kale, dairy or dairy alternative of your choice or water, flavouring – peanut butter, frozen fruit, etc.  The banana will hide the kale (make sure you blend it well, it’s tougher than spinach), and the rest of the flavour can be whatever you desire – that said, don’t add strawberries.  It tastes fine, but looks like baby vomit.

STEAMED KALE

Steam your kale, drain it, add a little butter or coconut oil, season it with cracked pepper and sea salt.  That’s not so bad, is it?  You can also wilt kale and add it to anything that you would normally put spinach into – sauces, under meats, chopped up in rice.

 

KALE CHIPS

I, personally, am not a fan (much prefer dried seaweed for my chip alternative).  But lots of people are fans, so here’s how to make them:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the ticker part of the kale steams and tear into chip-sized pieces.  Wash and dry kale thoroughly.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt  (or curry, or rosemary, or Parmesan cheese, or whatever floats your boat).
  3. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until the edges brown.

BAM.  Non-horrible kale in three super-low-effort ways.  Enjoy!  Also, if you’re looking for some kale, I might know a backyard that’s full of it.

Sex & Sports & Fitness, Oh My! (Part Two)

19 Sep

Sex sells.  Lots of things, in lots of different ways.  Our media is awash in lots of sexy, irrelevant advertising.

In part one, I addressed how I’m pretty okay with using sex to sell women’s sports. Mostly because I think in time, more spectators who actually care about the sport will help to broaden our definition of “sexy” as it pertains to femininity and athletics. In time, I think female athletes will be able to choose exactly how they want to be marketed, and all sorts of marketing strategies will be successful. But for the time being, the sports-watching majority watches to see attractive women do something cool. It’s about novelty, and it’s about sex.

Let’s not deny our primal urges – watching men’s sports is rooted there too. We like to watch virile specimens engaging in simulated war on the field, court, or ice.

hockey

So, using the most primal of urges, sex drive, to get fans revved up about organized sports isn’t so far off the mark.  At its best, sex appeal in sports advertising adds to the athlete – making them seem both a fierce competitor and an object of desire, not a bad deal.  Despite the spin, you’re still selling the sport.  Maria Sharapova’s scores still get listed,   Anna Rawson’s golf games are still televised.  Sexy ads might draw more viewers, but the sport (and drawing spectators to it) is still the focus.

Now to fitness -

Personal fitness is an individual pursuit, not a spectator sport. It does not rely on asses in seats.  The only ass it needs to motivate is yours. It’s something you do (mostly) with yourself and (hopefully) for yourself.  Personal fitness should make you feel awesome about who you are and what your body can do.  And if it’s something you do for yourself, you should get to set the parameters of what you want to get out of it. Here’s where fitness marketing throws a wrench into the works – they say they’re selling fit and healthy and then give us this:

endurance

This is a gym ad. Seriously. Ugh.

It’s easy to get up in arms about using hot girls (and the potential for them to have sex with you) to sell gym memberships to dudes (see every gym ad ever).  And it’s easy to think using sex (almost exclusively) to hype fitness is silly since essentially personal fitness is about the business doing real life things, and most of us don’t spend the majority of our waking hours boning (we might say we are, but seriously, almost no one is getting it on 24/7).

However, fitness is about getting in touch with our bodies, and our bodies have primal impulses.  For argument’s sake, let’s give fitness marketing the benefit of the doubt and say fitness=success at biological imperatives and reproduction=biological imperative, so fitness=winning at sexy times.   Even if that is true (which is a stretch), let’s take a look at the routes they choose.

29565-Strong-Is-The-New-Sexy

My major issue with marketing sex appeal as fitness is that “sexy” looks pretty narrow in the marketer’s eyes.  “Strong is the new sexy” (or “Real women have curves”, or “Suck it up so you don’t have to suck it in”) throws up guidelines about what’s sexy, and if you’re not hitting the benchmarks (skinny, muscular, still have boobs, thigh gap, perky glutes, no cellulite), you’re not it.  Whereas in sports, sex appeal can add to what we think of the athlete, in fitness sex appeal diminishes what we think of ourselves.  It gives us a sexed-up image of strength (apparently the only image of strength that sells, seeing as the ads aren’t full of powerlifters or moms toting multiple children and bags of groceries), and forces us to admit we don’t measure up.*

Relying on the same tactics to sell personal fitness as sports (and cars, and Axe spray) to the public belies the fact that those selling it want your dollars (you know, the ones you shell out because you feel bad about yourself), not your well-being.  Since most of us aren’t professional athletes, we don’t get coverage of how great we’re doing day-to-day, we don’t read articles about how well we served a customer, or how insightful a report we wrote, or how diplomatically we handled a PTA meeting – all we have is our less-than-airbrushed bodies to compare to the glossy ads.

reebok-easytone-shoes-ad-campaign1

No one uses phones with wires anymore. Just sayin’.

Fitness marketers aren’t so concerned about celebrating the personal accomplishments you’re achieving now, they’re concerned with getting you to spend money to get where you want to be next.   If you feel a little bit inadequate, you’ll be more motivated to buy into whatever it is they’re selling.  The worse you feel, the more you’ll buy.

gym-woman-small-37760

With a hard focus on the superficial outcome of what clean eating and hard training can bring,  sexy ads imply that you and your self-worth amount to what your body looks like.  That the more cut (or lean or disciplined or whatever) you are, the more sex with attractive people you will have.

And with less pants.

And with less pants.

I’d like to challenge that – I think oftentimes more focused you become on super-sexy extreme leanness, the less connected to others you become, and the more you begin to treat your body like the enemy.  The more unrealistic the images used to market, the more hardcore the message, the less attainable the “end product” becomes.  “Do what makes you feel accomplished, energetic, and healthy” turns into “cut for that 6-pack until your hair falls out,  you’re cold all the time, and your sex drive is totally shot.”.

nike obsessionIn one of my favourite posts about sex appeal, Juliet asked the real question:

“What really makes us attractive? Sure, a physically attractive body never hurts to look at – I won’t argue that point. But! How much of that is adding to our sex appeal? How much is our pursuit of sex appeal making us less appealing?”

In the post, she really digs into the fact that a) we all have physique goals, whether we are willing to admit them or not, and b) sometimes the crazy things we do to achieve those physique goals end up making us less attractive to potential partners (and ourselves). Single-minded fixation on your physique goals, whatever they may be,  is not appealing.  I speak from experience – my partner doesn’t find it attractive when I bitch and moan about how much I hate (certain parts of) my body.  Yes, we all want to look better naked – but at what point does wanting to look better naked turn to being disgusted with what you currently look like naked?  Trust me, feeling terrible about the way your body looks (no matter what it shape or size or state it’s in) is a great way to drastically cut down the amount of sex you’re having.

You know what’s “sexy”?  Confidence.  And advertising that makes you feel like you’re failing isn’t really a confidence-booster.  Hotness as a fix-all in your life is a fallacy – if hotness fixed everything, people wouldn’t have multiple plastic surgeries.  Fitness can make you hotter, sure, but it doesn’t necessarily make you more confident.  If you drink the Kool-Aid about the “ideal” body, and aren’t getting the “right” results, fitness can make you feel less confident.

fitness-center-campaign

So, what’s the fix?  Total media blackout?  Stop trying to get hot and forgo fitness altogether?  Deny that you have physique goals (and secretly think that you’re vain because you still do)?

I think the solution is the same with sports marketing – broadening.  Expose yourself to all types and shapes and sizes of sexy.  Celebrate your body for what it can do.   Move.  Eat well and joyfully.  Give yourself a freaking break.

Figure out what makes you feel sexy – maybe it’s a PR deadlift, maybe it’s strapping on your skates, maybe it’s making your family a beautiful meal, maybe it’s reading a book in your jammies – whatever it is, be mindful of it.  And keep that sexiness with you for the next time you see an ad that makes you feel “less than”.

 

* For an amazing (and fantastically snarky) deconstruction of the marketing of fitness through “fitspo”, look no further than Kevin Moore’s brilliant post.  I LOVED this article.  My favourite part: “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being skinny. I’m also not suggesting that being skinny and strong are mutually exclusive. I’m only pointing out that strength only sells when it’s sexy and, make no mistake, advertisers want very badly to make you feel like you are currently failing at both.”

Sex and Sports and Fitness, Oh My! (Part One)

5 Sep

A recent article in the Daily Mail caught my eye.  I’m not on the Twitter, so I didn’t see any of it first hand, but 15th seeded French tennis player Marion Bartoli, who won June 6th’s Wimbledon final, was trolled like crazy on Twitter after winning the championship.

First of many? Marion Bartoli beat Sabine Lisicki to grab her first ever grand slam title

The trolls made fun of her looks, calling her ‘ugly, ‘manly’, and ‘a fat slob’.  You can read all of the nasty details here.

First, that it’s a shame that I was able to find more coverage of the internet trolling of Bartoli than details of her win.  Second, that I’m pretty sure this sort of thing wouldn’t happen in men’s sports.  Which got me thinking, how much of a role does sex appeal play in women’s sports?  It also got me thinking about how sex appeal sells fitness, but I’ll cover that in another post.

Let’s look again at tennis, where Wimbledon officials (in the 2009 tournament) admitted that they take physical attractiveness into consideration when assigning courts.  Anna Kournikova, once ranked 19th in world, routinely makes more sponsorship money than much higher ranked players, including the Williams sisters.   She starred in a music video with Enrique Iglesias.  She does countless magazine covers.   Nora Lanktree, of Lanktree Sports Celebrity Network, who matches endorsers and athletes says it’s a matter of economics – ”For an advertiser, the most important element is visibility,” Ms. Lanktree said. ”And in sports, women are just not as visible.”  Female athletes who get that visibility are less often the ones with great accomplishments, and more often the ones who are easiest on the eyes.

Even golf, which has not traditionally been a sport centering on sex appeal, has parameters about the appearance of their players, said LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw, “The very number one point … is performance. Everything else follows from that. But, you have to also find ways in which you make yourself relevant to our fan base, play the game and represent the sport with joy and passion, be mindful of your appearance and also be approachable so the fans want that autograph and that interaction with you.”

LPGA golfer, Anna Rawson

LPGA golfer, Anna Rawson

Millions of viewers tune in to the Legends Cup (formerly the Lingerie Bowl), while WNBA games can barely attract 250,000 viewers per game.

Women’s beach volleyball (with ALL the bikinis) was one of the London Olympics’ hottest tickets.

Sexist?  Sure.

A detriment to women’s sporting culture?  Well, let’s take a closer look at that.

One empirical study out of the University of Minnesota looked at whether or not sex really does sell women’s sports.  Mary Jo Kane and a colleague showed a variety of age and gender specific focus groups photos of female athletes ranging from “on-court athletic competence to wholesome “girls next door” to soft pornography”  They then asked the participants to rate their interest in watching, reading about, or attending the sport in question.   According to the results of the study, the sexualized images alienated women and older men, and offended some of the viewers.  They noted that while the prime viewers of sports, younger men, found the provocative images “hot”, they would not be more likely to attend an event based on them.  The studies claim: Sex sells sex, not women’s sports.

Hm.  Maybe.

Another point – Many marketing campaigns for women’s sports (the ones that don’t rely on sex) focus on family values, and the wholesome nature of sport.  They appeal to all generations, often highlighting father-daughter connections.  If that’s the image we’re selling, sex appeal might not be the most complimentary bedfellow.

That being said, I  don’t think this issue is as black and white as Mary Jo Kane’s study would have us believe.

To deny that sex appeal is a part of women’s sports is to deny what I believe to be a pretty obvious truth.  Men are the major consumers of mainstream sports (don’t get all up in arms, I didn’t say only, I said major).  Men are visual creatures.  Men like action, they like aggression, and a good number of them can appreciate a fine-looking lady.

Does complaining about how sexist that is help to bring more fans to women’s sports?  Not a chance.

Too often we make the mistake of assuming that using sex to sell women’s sports is all bad.  That it’s an just insidious mindset that makes female athletes into objects, and downplays their real athletic abilities.   That by relying on sex appeal to get asses in seats, we we give up any claim to sporting prowess.

I call bullshit.

Sure, it might set your teeth on edge, but women’s sports do have something to gain by not denying or railing against the incorporation of the feminine and the athletic.

The primary image we hold of sports is traditionally male (hockey and women’s hockey, basketball and women’s basketball, etc.).  Since Title Nine in the States, girls have become more and more active in sports, operating under the existing structure of high-school and college competition – a structure that used to be for the boys.  This means more and more male coaches, and a “hyper-masculine” approach to training and achievement.  To get noticed, girls have to push themselves even harder than boys of comparable skill.  If you want to read more about the benefits and pitfalls, I highly suggest Warrior Girls, a great book about girls, sports, and the culture of injury that’s been built up.

Generally, women who play sports and play them well don’t fit into the box that we use to define femininity or the one we use to define athleticism.

Katy Kelleher, of Jezebel, puts it this way:

Female athletes seem to serve as a never-ending well of material for those obsessed with both the female body and the importance of femininity. There seems to be a real difficulty marketing athletic women to the general public without resorting to these tricks, which continually reiterate that this is about a woman in sports, a female athlete, someone with two X chromosomes. In a way it makes sense that a physical career would lead to coverage that is so heavily centered on the body, but the emphasis on womanly-ness and athleticism undercuts the fact that many women are naturally athletic, that it is not impossible to be both.

Also in Jezebel, Margaret Hartman writes,

At the core of (the) stereotypes is the idea that athleticism is inherently masculine. While women’s sports are supposed to be about greater equality and empowerment, female athletes are still expected to strike a balance between being too sexy and not attractive enough. Unfortunately, until Serena Williams grunting on the court and wearing a dress and pearls during an interview are seen as equally feminine, there won’t be a level playing field for women in sports.

Again, derby, solver of all of the problems of traditional sports culture, I look to you.

Powerful AND Sexy. Photo courtesy Joe Mac

Powerful AND Sexy.
Photo courtesy Joe Mac

Roller derby holds a somewhat unique place in sports because it is defined by its female-played incarnation.  It’s roller derby and men’s roller derby, as opposed to hockey and women’s hockey, basketball and women’s basketball, golf and ladies golf, and so on.  We can define exactly the image of the sport that we want to send out to the public.  And, in my opinion, I think it’s best that image be both powerful and feminine.  Both athletic and sexy.  Roller derby is many things to many people – from the little girls wanting to be just like their skating idols, to the frat boys wanting to see hot chicks beat on each other, to the die-hard fans tracking the stats.  If we play our image card right, we can appeal to all of these people, and change (in our own small way) the way that female athletes are marketed.

The key is to make strength, power, and athletic competition appear sexy, not to sex-up the strong, powerful athletes in a context outside of their sport.  I appreciate ESPN’s annual bodies issue, but I get all up-in-arms when the athlete’s photos have nothing to do with what they do for a living.  When Suzy Hotrod was photographed, she was wearing her skates.  They’ll often have basketball players dunking, or runners in the starting blocks – fantastic.  Just lounging around like you’re on the cover of Playboy (or Playgirl as the case may be) – not as fantastic.  The photos that are the most captivating are the ones that show the athletes doing what they do best.

I guess the core of what I’m saying is that too often the pendulum is way to far in either direction when it comes to selling sex and women’s sports – they’re not antithetical.  The sex is there – but it doesn’t need to be the reason you start, the reason you stay, or the reason that drives you way deep in your soul.  Market the sport, market the action, market the power and the pull of strong bodies.  As female athletes (and marketers of roller derby), we should accept that we can be feminine and athletic.  Some examples from other sports:

jen-kessy

“The Olympics is a platform to show we’re real athletes, …Walking out there in a bikini, trust me, I don’t feel sexy. I am mean. I am tough.” (US beach volleyball player & silver medalist, Jen Kessy)

“We don’t apologize for …the marketability of our players off the court, they’re attractive. They’re fit. They’re recognized as great athletes, which they are — some of the greatest athletes in the world.” (Women’s Tennis Organization CEO Kevin Wulff)

“It’s really wonderful to be feminine, I mean, why do you have to hide your femininity to be a professional athlete?” (Jan Stevenson, Senior Tour player)

Jan Stephenson A 2011

Ms. Stevenson goes on to say, “They may go watch the other cute girls, but when, when it comes down the stretch, they’re going to be watching winners.”

Let’s aim for a more encompassing definition of what it is to be a female athlete, and embrace all of the aspects of who we are and what we offer to the sporting world.  Let’s be strong, be agile, be whatever shape, size, and composition we are, let’s be fierce competitors, and world-class athletes.

And let’s not forget that being all of those things is pretty darn sexy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 351 other followers