I loved the 90's. I am a 90's chick through and through. Not only was I completely obsessed with Angela Chase, I dyed my hair multiple rainbow colors, wore vintage itchy sweaters with Airwalks (before they hit Payless) and rocked out to Weezer, Tori Amos, the Violent Femmes, and Alanis Morissette (before she was cool)... but at that time, I also weighed 190 lbs -- before I even hit my sophomore year of high school.
90's Rae Circa 1998, seen in her element. :-)
I write to you now, from the same solid 190 pound "house" of a body. Only this time around I am much more secure in who I am.... and I still love the 90's, in all meanings of that number.
I sincerely hope this blog post resonates for the many iterations of me who found themselves in middle or high school and who felt less than, or not enough because they were "too much" or even "too little" of a person by someone else's standards.
I'm 35 years old, and even in this short lifetime I have teetered back and forth between wanting to be rail thin and wanting to be strong and bold. These two things aren't mutually exclusive, but my DNA makes it so much easier for me to be strong and bold. I could spend the rest of my life chasing and attempting to maintain a skeletal (on my frame) 140 lbs, or I can embrace my 90's self and LIVE a full life enjoying the perks of what moderation and strength bring to me. I'll choose option B.
We are all beautiful. Every damn one of us.
This past week I hit many milestones in lifting. I also hit some non-milestones that kept me in check with who I am and why I do what I do. This week I bench pressed 150 lbs., nine times. I squatted 305 lbs for a TRIPLE without a spot. I deadlifted 310 lbs for several triples. I ran with a 500# yoke on my back.
I am not where I want to be, but the mere JOURNEY is taking me closer everyday. Therefore, the journey is "where I want to be." You see? The magic is in the path we choose to take.
I am a lot of things. I am a wife, teacher, step mom, etc. etc. and I feel like life stretches me in many directions, but lifting is one of the only things I do solely for ME. Don't hear me wrong. It's not relaxing or leisure time, but lifting and strongman test me. Each and every time I approach the bar, I get to prove my strength. Sometimes I fail. Many times I succeed. I get to put this body to use in ways I'd never dreamed of when I was 12 and drinking slimfast, or when I was 16 and joining Jenny Craig.
These days it feels great to be strong and to be capable. I am comfortable in celebrating and embracing my genetic make up. My dad was a strong hunk of a man and he passed that on to me. I couldn't be happier to be his daughter. I may not remember knowing him, but I know I owe a lot of my strength to him.
No matter what, we are all built for something. You have talents that someone else does not have. You have abilities that only you can achieve. But constantly fighting against your body will only get in the way. Don't fight it, fight FOR IT. Fight for what you CAN do. Keep doing it, and you will get better. Whatever your "it" is, keep going.
If I'd spent ages 15-28 fighting FOR my body rather than against it, I'd be in an entirely different place. I'd like to think I'd be setting world records... after all, you never know. ;-) But think about it, how many people do you know who spend entirely too much time and energy trying to make themselves something they are not and never will be? Spending that energy on figuring out what you are designed for would be energy so much better spent. No?
It seems to be true riot girl fashion to tell the world that NOBODY gets to tell us who we should be. But to go out and decide for ourselves. <3 Keep pushing ladies, and don't stop until you've reached the "end of the road" even if you have to drive "with one headlight..." WHOOMP there it is. ;-)
Interested in the best songs of the 90's? Come hither: here.