Today has been named “A Day without a Woman”. Lots of women are going on strike to remind the world of the unique contributions they make, to remind the world that women make things happen just like men. So many female teachers are doing this today that a number of school systems have been shut down.
I pondered striking too, and not just to have a day to loll around in my pjs or take a long walk or read an actual book, but because I do believe in what women have to offer, and realize that sometimes we are, in fact, taken for granted. Our voices do get squashed, not just in big ways, but also in the ways that we’re so busy taking care of the people in our lives that we forget to speak up for ourselves and our needs. But this isn’t a political post. I recognize that lots and lots of people are taken for granted, and have their voices squashed, and are afraid for various reasons that I can’t begin to feel.
I am going about my work today, not because I don’t support the message, but because I do. As a personal trainer, I help people work on their bodies. I show them how to lose weight, and how to get stronger. I help them fix injuries. But none of those things are done in isolation. When you talk about bodies, it’s not just a collection of bones and muscles. A body has a person in it. And that person has stuff.
A lot of my work is done with women, and in between work time, I’m helping “her” understand that she is an amazing person that is so much stronger than she believes– and they realize I’m not just talking about their muscle strength. I help “her” hear that she is worth making herself a priority. I help “her” understand that who she has been is not who she has to be– that she can rewrite her own story. I help “her” realize that she has a place, not just in the gym, but in the whole world around her. And I help “her” realize that it’s ok to have an identity of her own– that she isn’t just a mom, or just a wife– she’s a fantastic complilation of “and”. I help “her” develop a self confidence that walks out the door of the gym and follows her everywhere she goes.
I am going to work today (and I am wearing red) because this isn’t work that can stop. A lot of people will be doing without a woman today, but I will be spending my day with women, helping them not only become stronger versions of themselves, but helping them celebrate their own badass-ery.
Besides that, every single day, these amazing women teach me things about what it is to look life square in the eye and handle it. Their stories of strength and courage inspire me. They help me grow.
Today, I’m celebrating all the amazing women I know: especially the ones who don’t get to hear that they are amazing, especially the ones who don’t yet know how to believe it.