As a bold hero, Wonder Woman demonstrates zero hesitation in doing whatever is necessary to save others or lend a hand. She’s committed to her inner warrior, fighting each day the negativity that attacks from all directions. As an icon, she speaks for all women. Her cultural impact has increased over the years, serving as a continuing symbol of female empowerment.
Each woman can find and nurture her inner Wonder Woman. Society pressures us to be a certain kind of superhero – have it all, do it all, perfect mom, perfect career, “Lean In” – but becoming your own Wonder Woman is a personal journey, and it doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s.
A year ago, I never would have walked into the hotel fitness center while on vacation. A year ago, I never would have shown my midriff while working out. A year ago, I never would have imagined how strength training and the challenge to compete could change my life. A year ago, I viewed my body completely different. A year ago, my confidence was a 4 on a scale of 10.
Time warp to a year later, and so much has changed…
Fitness, for me, is a way of life now. It’s no different than sleeping, showering, brushing my teeth or fueling my body with food. I’m not extreme with it, and certainly don’t obsess about missing a workout, but instead enjoy the balance it has provided. And with that stability, confidence has emerged, along with the permission from within to love my body in ways I never thought possible.
I’m no longer intimidated by the box gyms or the “lunks” inside them. My body and mind used to freeze like an icicle walking into the commercialized facilities, only to melt and accomplish next to nothing. I was so demoralized by the awkwardness exuding from those lunks, almost as if I was a stray cat.
But this lady, the lady I am today, “owns her strong.” I am now asked by those very same individuals how I can help them. Funky print capris, mesh leggings, empowerment tank tops all adorn my body instead of black yoga pants and tees. Embracing boldness is part of the new mantra. I no longer need to hide in darkness.
But that change hasn’t happened overnight.
Acceptance is a constant work in progress. Starting somewhere beats starting nowhere, and my beginning was with a simple pull-up. I was asked by my trainer to do one at our first strength session, and I pleasantly surprised not only myself, but him as well.
One pull-up led to another which led to dozens of weighted ones, then hundreds of pronated pull-ups, followed by supersets of wide grip ones, until reaching a level beyond what I ever thought was possible.
And what did that do for my psyche? Well, I slowly began to think I was Wonder Woman – confident, brave and powerful.
Today I wear my Wonder Woman armor proudly – even if I am not clothed in red, yellow and blue. Instead, strength and self-assurance, and conviction provide my protection as I campaign for women across the world to embrace the beauty that lies within and own their strong!